Submitted by Sandy Carrion
Make a Plan
A tour doesn't necessarily require a car-related
destination. Factory tours, private collections (of anything), museums, a winery or even a simple drive and picnic. Anywhere
that might appeal to a group of adults. So, decide where you'd like to go! (Hint: many things have been done before; keep
in mind that a reasonable interval between this and a similar tour of the past will probably attract more people.)
Perhaps a joint tour; invite another club along! Will the group need to stay overnight? Choose a host motel/hotel and
arrange group room rates, if possible. For dinner, make arrangements for a group meal at a restaurant, preferably with good
parking. Be creative! Most people appreciate a pre-arranged plan (the rugged individualists can go off on their own if they
Next and most essential, create a
detailed announcement for the newsletter promoting your tour, preferably 2 months in advance of the event so people can make
time to go. A “best practice” is to advertise your tour in two successive monthly newsletters with a
registration form that can be filled out, clipped, and mailed to the tour “Producer/Director.
Plan the Route
Whenever possible, choose a scenic or back road route. It's less
stressful and more pleasant than city traffic and probably won't take that much longer. Try to do a dry run so there are
no surprises; at least check with CALTRANS for any adverse road conditions (gravel roads, road surfacing, etc.) and notice
any steep climbs or descents where good brakes will be mandatory
Convenient Departure Point
Preferably near the freeway or main road you're taking so it will be easy to
find for folks who are unfamiliar with the area. Make detailed maps with step-by-step driving instructions that are easy
to read. Include a written outline and timeframe of events/activities. Mention any costs, i.e., parking fees, museum admissions,
etc. Pass out these agendas (they don't have to be fancy) at the drivers meeting just before taking off
departure times, i.e., slow group leaves first and fast group later, or group by vehicle age. Other marques and modern iron
are welcome, but place them at the end of the line. Ask a volunteer to be designated sweeper to cover the rear of the entourage
for any breakdowns. Allow reasonable time for pit stops and gas/oil replenishment.
Borrow or buy, but use CB's or even 2-way walkie-talkies. It is MUCH more fun if everyone
can at least hear the conversation carried on within the group and CB's allow everyone to participate. People enjoy talking
back and forth, pointing out landmarks, and they will feel more comfortable in case of emergency. And if anyone gets lost,
it is a relief to know the rest of the group can be contacted. Cell phones are great and almost everyone has one these days,
but the two-party conversation just doesn't do the job.
And finally, Have
Once you've done all the coordination and hard work, relax and let the tour unfold.