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A Day in the Life of a Collette Tour Manager

It's 5:50 am and my alarm clock is going off. 

I would like a 10-minute snooze, but my mind is awake and already knows what the plan for the day is. Being a Tour Manager is a 24/7 job with lots of responsibilities. Lots of preparation, lots of expectations to be fulfilled and so many wonderful moments to be shared.

The day begins with plenty to do! 

In my head, I am already planning where we will be after lunch, even though it is only 6:20am! I have showered, brewed the first cup of coffee from the hotel room kettle, and got dressed for what promises to be a very busy but rewarding day.

At breakfast time I'm down at the hotel restaurant with a folder of vouchers and luggage tags. I make a quick inspection to make sure everything is in order before filling up my plate. Ah, coffee. Making me more awake and thinking of the upcoming activities. How is the weather? What do I need to wear? Are we moving between areas where there is a need for different currencies? Just like every day in the life of a Tour Manager, the "to do" list is long.

When I see the familiar faces of my guests approaching my table in the morning, I feel instantly happy. It is a big responsibility to be with a group around the world, but it is a great opportunity to take them to places and to see new cultures.

In the blink of an eye, between checking the luggage from guests with the porters and delivering the hotel voucher, it is already time to hit the road. We all board the coach, and it is great to see the excitement radiating from our guests. They can't wait to see it all and I can't wait to show them!

Out on the road is where Tour Managers shine

Here we go, hitting the roads of the world! My moment to shine comes along with having the best seat in the house: the Tour Manager's seat. I get to experience a bit of a "Hollywood moment" when I click the microphone on for the first time. All eyes and ears are on me and I feel honoured and proud to share my knowledge, facts and curiosities of a land that I get to unveil. It is a great moment when I get some laughs and some wows along the way.

Once we start experiencing a new destination with my guests, I love to watch as their eyes light up while I introduce them to historic monuments, enriching museums and delicious cuisine. I feel it’s such a gift to help immerse them into a destination’s culture. It helps them feel less like a tourist and more like a local. Lunch time is also a great opportunity for me to share some of my favourite places or foods to try. Some guests truly indulge in the local food to get a real sense of what the locals eat and how they live.

Organising and more organising

I am always in the process of organising commentary for the day, further activities for the tour, checking logistics paperwork, giving the guests some down time when they sit on the coach and calling everyone I need for the upcoming days. It always makes me smile when I witness someone having a powerful moment contemplating the landscape from the window, dazzled by all they are taking in during their trip and it makes all the planning and organizing very rewarding. And when we step off the coach for the day, the guests are able to truly discover the destination – taking in the sights and sounds of somewhere they’ve always dreamed of exploring.

Wrapping up the day

The check-in at a new hotel at night is the ending to a day of adventure. Dinner is served and I take my seat a bit further from the group this time. It becomes easy to see that not only am I leading guests to new destinations, but also to new friends to share experiences and a few laughs with. After dinner, the day can be wrapped up and we can all enjoy a little free time to recharge. If other work colleagues are around, we have a drink, a laugh, share information and make sure everyone is doing well. Colleagues are essential to the lives of Tour Managers because we make each other's jobs easier by sharing our knowledge and offering support.

A Tour Manager's role

I like to say that being a Tour Manager is a bit like being a parent because I take care of my guests like they are my family. I take them to new beginnings and show them that they can change their point of view by experiencing new things. I make them laugh, give advice, share helpful tips with them, teach them about the world, tell them stories, share hugs and appreciation. My biggest reward is seeing dreams come true – just like a parent. Being able to show people the world is the best part of being a Tour Manager and it's what keeps me on the road.

I could go on and on about how much my job fascinates me, how dynamic it is, and how I adore being with people, but I need to go to bed and enjoy a peaceful sleep feeling fulfilled knowing that today was a success.

Tomorrow, the alarm clock will go off at 5:50am again! With coffee, a smile, and a heart full of love, I will lead another new adventure.

Follow Cinthya on her adventures around the world on Instagram: @cinthya.pavan

With the offer code THELADY, The Lady readers are also entitled to £100pp off all tours in addition to any specific tour offers. Don’t forget to mention you’re a reader of The Lady and use the code THELADY when you book! *terms and conditions apply 

For bookings, call Collette on 0800 804 8725

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