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1.    Dominate the tour guide’s time

One of the primary responsibilities of a tour guide is to educate travelers about places being visited by providing information and by answering questions.  One way to isolate yourself from your fellow travelers is to dominate the guide and pose question, after question after question to the point that no one else can get a word in edgewise.

Be mindful of your guide’s time and responsibility to all travellers.

2.    Bring 2 carry-ons, 3 plastic bags a back pack and camera case on the bus

The buses on small groups tours are just that – small. While there is ample space in the back for travelers’ suitcases, the room above and below the seats inside the bus is limited. If you travel with an extensive amount of carry-on gear you will crowd your seat mate and anger others. Be considerate of the interior space.

This is one situation where less is definitely more.

3.    Ignore tour guide tips

Your tour guide knows the places you are visiting and the culture of the area. Your guide might say it is not safe to go to a particular spot alone, or it is best not to wear shorts and skimpy midriff baring tank tops or you must ask permission to take a photograph of residents. Understand the tour guide is advising you about safe and unsafe practices.

Listen to your guide.

 4.    Neglect personal hygiene

There is nothing worse than having to sit for long hours in an enclosed space with someone whose body odour equals that of backed up sewage. Be respectful and bathe/shower regularly. This may not be possible in all places you visit but a stand-up wash at a sink would work as would wet wipes.

Bring wet wipes from home just in case.

5.    Make a habit of being late to board the bus

It is one thing to be “late to the party” quite another to be tardy about boarding the bus. When on a tour. there are scheduled travel and break times. Not only will tardiness mess with these schedules it will also result in less time at your next destination. And, being continually tardy will tick off your travel mates.

Do you really want to do that?

6.    Wear excessive amounts of perfume or cologne

A different kind of smelly, but definitely right up there with being smelly due to lack of cleanliness. This can be so annoying for travel mates and often a health risk for those with allergies. If you climb on the bus smelling like you have just emerged from baptising yourself in a vat full of cologne or perfume, be prepared to be greeted with coughs, sneezes, gagging noises and comments like “Oh my goodness,” “Gross,” or worse. And, you might even be asked to get off the bus to air out.

Be considerate of the air you all have to breathe on the bus.

7.    Be negative and over critical about everything

Small group tour companies endeavour to devise an itinerary that will offer something for everyone on the tour. You may not like all of the experiences, but you will like some of them. The same holds true for your tour mates. What you like may not be what they like. But, going on and on about how you didn’t like this city, or the tour to that factory or this tour stop and that tour stop will make your tour mates wonder why you even came on the tour.

If you don’t like the tour, then leave it. At the very least, keep your constant negative opinions to yourself.

8.    Refuse to tip your guide and driver at end of tour

When your tour ends, you may think tipping should not be required. However, the rate of pay for drivers and guides is not overly generous. As these roles are classified as service industry roles you might consider the following. Has your:

·      driver delivered you and your luggage to your next destination without issue;

·      guide provided you with a wonderful look into the places you have visited;

·      guide provided assistance with mobile phone issues, food preferences /allergies, physical limitations or                 medical needs;

·      guide and driver have helped build camaraderie among the group?

If you can answer “yes” to any of these questions, then your driver and guide deserve a tip.

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