It’s June in the Cyclades Islands, Greece. We’ve just been dropped off to explore another village. I’m last off the bus and too often last back on. If you’ve ever been on a group tour, you’ll recall there never seems to be enough time to do what we love to do.
On this day I even found a way to get lost, try to find a way back and finally was found by our caring guide. Or was she just angry because I kept the bus waiting. This is definately a don’t. That taught me to plan better. Next time I asked the time to be back, then set my watch.
That has to be the only drawback to group tours.
The huge plus is the time saved learning about the country and it’s people. Most guides are expert in this area, and you’ll often find me running a small tape recorder to capture the words. Relying on my wife to get take notes doesn’t always work as sometimes she doesn’t get what I think is important. My camera on video has even worked in a pinch just for the words.
The smartest thing yet; however, is to let the tour guide know that you would like to record the words to remind yourself later of things to mention in an article you plan to write. Would she have any objection? How about a picture here and there? Then be first on the bus to sit in the front near her or him, so the engine noise doesn’t overwhelm the words. Most tour buses have the big diesel engine in the back of the bus. If sitting there, it won’t make any difference what recording device you use.
Another plus with a tour are the built in models. Just make sure you ask them if they mind being in a picture or two in the event one is chosen to illustrate an article you plan to write. There are some things you just can’t stage, and with a tour group the price is right, and of course you’ll be writing off the cost of the trip on your income tax return. But, don’t forget to confirm that with your tax professional. I’m not licensed to give tax advice; but, that’s what we do. It’s a great way to help offset the business expenses, Photography equipment, auto, instruction, meetings and computer equipment.
PS. If I get to Santorini again, I won’t be doing the Donkey Ride up. Once was enough.