When I started Safe Travel Tours I decided to specialise in Small Groups for Women who wanted to travel to Bali, rather than for Larger Groups of 20 – 25 people. I have been on a couple of these tours myself and found them too big and quite impersonal.
It was in 2001 just after my dad passed away, I was lucky enough to have won a competition which gave me some cash. I took my mum to Vietnam for a 10 x Day Holiday. This was her first overseas trip and first time passport, pretty exciting!!! I thought it would be a nice break as she’d been pretty full on as dads carer. The tour read “Come alone or with friends” fully escorted trip all around Vietnam. Well I must say… if mum had been travelling on her own it would have been so scary for her as there really wasn’t anyone there to look after us. It was pretty much each person for themselves to check in. We met the other ladies travelling from Brisbane and then found out the person who was supposed to escort us couldn’t come so she arranged for another lady to look after the tour who hadn’t really done it before. It wasn’t a direct flight so had a stopover in Bangkok for four hours. Quite daunting if you’ve never been to Asia before. Once we landed in Vietnam we met with the guide and driver who took us to our hotel where we checked in and were on our own until the next day when we were to meet after breakfast for our first tour.
Lucky for us we had booked with friends and were not first time travellers as mum was, because for her to have been alone, she would not have coped with checking in, the foreign currency and lack of english spoken. As much as we had a fabulous vacation, great tours and accommodation, It has always stuck in my mind, how much nicer it would have been if it had been ten or less people a smaller group, so when I decided on my tours to Bali, I only want smaller groups, that way I can change to suit the individual. I have the outline, but if I have a few people that would like to add anything to my itinerary, we can as I wanted to be flexible and have trained my team to be with our guests at all times. So if I have someone like my mum who is travelling alone I want to make sure they feel safe and secure and will have from the start, have someone escort them wherever they are go. I’ll try to pair off with someone her age or similar interests. We’re tour creators not travel agent, so I want to offer something more.
I’m so pleased I have experienced a large group, it was fun, but like I said, not as personal as I would have liked for my mum and everything was so regimented, which has to be when there are that many people. My ideal number is 6 – 8 women.
Bali have quite small roads with lots of traffic, so best not to travel in a large bus too hard to get around the island. That is why my motto is “ Small Groups, Big Adventures” – we want to make Safe Travel Tours, exactly that – SAFE, travel and small tours for Women in Bali. Come along and see our tour itineraries, or call Suz for a chat and see what we can do for you.