International Tour Management Institute (ITMI)

The Premier Training Institute for Tour & Travel Professionals Since 1976

So I Married a Tour Guide...And It's Vacation Time!

So I Married a Tour GuideDean JacksonComment

Ok, so we’re going to a land far far away. There are questions to be answered, reservations to be made, finances to be sorted and tickets to be purchased. There will be lists to be written, things to be purchased, bags to be packed.  Of course, my eyes are bugging out, I’m sweating and trembling-its vacation time and I’m out of my element.

My love for travel was hard won; it came with missteps, bumps, bruises and ultimately incredible joy and adventure. The sand traps have historically come during the planning stages, hence the dyspepsia. You see, I can run a business, prepare a budget and manage people, but when it comes to airline websites, train schedules and meal reservations I tend to shut down. I’ve never quite figured out why this is the case; perhaps it’s a fear of getting lost, of ending up in Houston when I meant to go to Honolulu.  Maybe I’m afraid that I will forget something at home; those fuzzy slippers are, after all, a part of my nightly ritual-to do without them would be frightening. Maybe it’s being away from work that scares me so; after all, things are bound to fall into irreparable disarray in my one week absence. Perhaps it’s the bank account. The true culprit; I believe, is fear of the unknown.

Enter my wife, the Tour Director. At first glance she makes it look effortless. I blink and there are the plane tickets, after lunch my Zip Line adventure is booked, before dinner our itinerary is set. In reality, she does research, she gets up early to make phone calls, and she haggles for the best price. When all is said and done our conversation goes something like this: Wife: “do you want to do this, or would you rather do that?” Me: “How much do they cost?” Wife: “Don’t worry about it.” Me: “Ok, let’s do that!”

I am one of the fortunate few that have the luxury of having married a Tour Director, and with her encouragement I take full advantage of my good fortune. Her planning skills, forethought and creativity really do make my fears unfounded. While much of this ability may be innate, I also contribute her success to her training, and her constant desire to learn and experience new things. Through the advice of her peers and teachers, and through successfully navigating challenging situations on the road, she has developed and refined a sense of being at home in nearly any location, as well as a talent for making others feel at home. Much as Greyhound used to say “Leave the Driving To Us” (not that I’d pay for a ticket and then want to get behind the wheel), in my case, and in the case of many tours, it’s trust the tour director and “Leave the details to her.”

Now, with fuzzy slippers packed, all tickets and itineraries in hand, and with the trip about to begin; I have to wonder what all of the fuss was about. The plans are made, the adventures await us…and thanks to my personal Tour Director, I can sit back and enjoy the ride.

So I married a Tour Guide….why was I even worried?