Guidance Topic

How to Organise a trip by Public Transport including a guided tour

As people pay a fee to join LALG their membership should offer benefits.  

When organising an event you might:

  • Set a lower price for Members
  • Open the trip only to LALG members
  • Give LALG members preferential booking, opening to non-members later

Setting up a visit with a tour

  • Check the proposed date on the LALG calendar to avoid any clashes.
  • Select the place to visit and contact them to see if group tours are available, cost, time and any restrictions.  For example, how many people may be accommodated.
  • Work out a budget and a timetable so that you have enough time to publicise your plans and to collect money etc.
  • Have all arrangements and costs with providers confirmed in writing.
  • Check with them a couple of days in advance that all is to plan.
  • Agree with the guide how long the visit will take and construct a timetable for the day including comfort breaks and refreshment stops. 
  • Decide if you will collect names yourself or utilise the Booking service of Discover Letchworth (formerly the Tourist Information Centre).
  • If you collect the names yourself an example LALG booking form for trips is available.
  • Put information into the regular newsletter. You can either decide to put all the information in the newsletter up front or you can collect names and send the participants detailed instructions closer to the trip.  Email is a useful method for doing this though you will need to plan for anyone not on email, possibly via TIC.
  • Venues often require you to purchase group tickets in advance and you may need to pay your guide separately.  Make sure you have included this in your budget and collect money in advance. 
  • Make sure people know under what circumstances money is non-refundable.
  • You can ask the LALG Treasurer to manage the money via the LALG account or you can set up a bank account for your group.  Electronic payment is easiest using the surname as an identifier.  People who do not bank on line can go to their bank and ask for a payment to be made into the designated account.  Or you can arrange for cheques to be collected at the TIC but you will need to make sure you have time to collect them and for them to clear.
  • Remember the guidance on Data Protection 

Planning the route

  • Decide the route you will take to the venue and what transportation you will use.
  • Travelling off peak will be cheaper but you need to check restrictions on travel.
  • Check train times: http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/ gives up to date train travel information and a journey planner. 
  • Transport for London (TFL) also has a journey planner which covers tubes and buses https://tfl.gov.uk/plan-a-journey/
  • Have alternative travel plans in mind in case there is a problem on the day.
  • Work out how to navigate between modes of transport (for example from the train to the tube) and how to get to the venue itself. 
  • Carry a map and any instructions from the venue.
  • Remember it takes longer for a group to get about than an individual or couple on their own!
  • Know where on the route to find public toilets and cafes and tell people when there will be breaks.
  • Make clear that transport costs are not included and people will pay for their own travel on the day.

On the day

  • Agree where the group will meet and at what time.
  • Provide your mobile number in case of problems.
  • People may choose to join the group at different stations or go directly to the venue.  Make sure you know this and tell them how to find you.  A LALG sign might help!
  • Arrange with the guide where you will meet and when and exchange phone numbers for any emergency.
  • After the trip escort the group back to the starting point.  Some people may chose to travel home independently, ask them to let you know if they plan to do this so you are not waiting for them.
 

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