The demographics of a tour group

The demographics of a tour group: How many of these people have you met?

Earlier this year I solo travelled to Costa Rica and while I was there I had my very first hostel experience. I  felt like I kept meeting different versions of the same few people and so I documented 10 hostel guest stereotypes in a blog called ‘What type of hostel guest are you?’ More recently, I went to India and travelled around the Golden Triangle in a bus full of (South African) tourists. This is not the first time I have been part of a tour group. Based on two experiences, I now think I have a decent handle on the stereotypes that occur in tour groups and so, I have decided to once again document them for you here.

If you have ever been on a group tour, how many of these people have you met?

Tour bus

1. The people who are always late and selfishly and repeatedly expect everyone else to wait for them
It’s not their fault that they were having too much fun to be back on time.

2. The male chauvinist who is very territorial of his seat 
Even though some people change places every day, if you dare sit in 'his' seat (because someone sat in yours), you're in trouble! Feel the patriarchy in the condescending affectionate terms!

3. The compulsive shoppers
They don't care about the sights, landmarks or monuments, they're more interested in the (Chinese) souvenirs that you can buy there. They might skip the Taj Mahal altogether, buy a snow globe and just sit on the bus. (Yes, that happened.)

4. The guy who thought he was going on a singles trip
…or there would at least be some more singles on the trip. He was so hoping to have a cool story to tell his friends about where he met his new girlfriend. Shame.

5. The guy who claims to know more than the tour guide, has been to all the places on the itinerary before and is always adding his 2 cents worth 
Apart from the fact that I know enough to know that half your ‘facts’ are wrong, why not just apply for the job of the tour guide? He doesn’t seem to want it as much as you do.

6. The people who have ‘special needs’ 
“I have back issues so I have to have a window seat.” Umm, unless I’m missing something, I think your logic is broken too?

7. The antisocial
Some people are always off on their own mission, either because they don't like their group or they get frustrated with two-hour lunch breaks and excessive shopping stops, and they know they can see more on their own. 

What we were doing while you were having lunch:

Agrasen ki Baoli, Delhi
Agrasen ki Baoli

Galta Ji, Jaipur / Monkey Temple
Galta Ji, Jaipur

Travel toy at Feroz Shah Kotla Fort
Rodrigo at the Feroz Shah Kotla Fort

8. The newbies who have never left their small town before and think everything is amazing but also scary 
Often identifiable by their efforts to photograph or video even the most mundane things. They’re way too nervous to go off on their own or do anything that's not on the tour-organised itinerary.

9. The lady who is the self-appointed cruise director
She assumes that you are bored (you’re not, you’re trying to sleep) and takes it upon herself to ‘entertain’ everyone on the bus during the long-distance segments of the trip. When her attempts to turn your tour bus into a party bus by starting an acapella karaoke session doesn’t work, she just continues singing “hilarious” (in this case, South African) songs into the tour guide microphone, misinterpreting sympathy laughter as evidence that she is doing a good job. You know those earplugs you get on planes? You should always keep those.

10. The moms trying to prove that their husbands and children don’t tie them down
They’re not quite old enough to have proper mid-life crises and get an asymmetrical haircut or dye their hair pink, but give them a few more years.

11. The people who came to make friends not memories
They left their countries, travelled halfway around the world, to a land so different from their own so they can spend all their time with people from the same country and maybe even city as them. They will even bypass more exciting options to stay at the hotel and spend as much time as they can with their new friends. They can’t wait to add everyone on facebook and tag them in all of the many group shots that they took, even though they have no intention of ever seeing any of them again in real life.

12. The Instagrammers 
They wake up early to do their makeup and a lot of thought has gone into their outfits. “Now, please stay out of my shot, okay?”

Delhi traffic and bus driver
Delhi traffic

Have I missed anyone? If so, let me know in the comment section below?



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Welcome to the Sharonicles

The Sharonicles is a travel humour blog by a South African travel writer. With six years of experience as a cruise ship crew member, her travels on ships and on land have taken her to 57 countries on five different continents.  She photographs a plastic flamingo called 'Rodrigo' on her adventures because it seemed like a good idea ten years ago and it’s probably too late to turn back now. She also likes unicorns, carbs and referring to herself in third-person.

Here she shares advice, opinions and anecdotes revealing the funny side of travel from her experiences. 

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True stories about trying to find trolls in 
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