5 Tips for Creating An Enjoyable Driving Tour
There has just always been something so romantic about the idea of a road trip. Packing up the car with the essentials, hitting the open road, and discovering quiet, quirky spots along the way just leaves us pining for more.
But because so many of us don't have the time required for a traditional road trip (or maybe have a few teenagers at home who are just not interested...), you can still help folks experience adventure, in an abbreviated from, with a self-guided driving tour.
Importantly, driving tours are also a great option for those wanting a break from their homes without breaking social distancing protocols.
Below we’ve gathered some of our top tips for creating driving tours that people will love. Keep them coming back to you for more of your self-guided tours!
1. Your Tour as a Story
Tour takers are looking to you as the storyteller. Not just a dry directory of information, weave the story of your tour throughout each of your stops. This is your chance to be creative, and artful! You might want to consider a minimum of 100 words of text at each tour stop, although adding extra content to engage tour-takers is always a bonus.
Showcase your expertise and demonstrate the value of your tour with the type of information, commentary, and tips that tour-takers aren’t likely to find on a cursory Google or Yelp search. What can your specific tour offer that taking a drive down this same route cannot? You're the expert, you can provide a more in-depth knowledge of your tours than what meets the eye!
Additionally, you can offer a deeper look into your destination points through high-quality photos or videos for an added dimension. Be sure to reserve photo or video assets to points in the tour when all parties are safely parked (no distracted drivers here!)
A great option for driving tours is offering an audio narration so that tour-takers can put away their phones and take in the full experience of their destination while never missing a beat on the story you’ve created for them.
2. Avoid the Lull
Reaching your destination, singing along to your favorite songs, bonding with your carmates, these are some of the best parts of any good driving tour. But we all know that depending on the length between stops, there can also be some lulls in excitement.
When catering to families with small children, you’ll want to include plenty of visually engaging stops with short distances in between in order to keep the little ones, who tend to have shorter attention spans, entertained. And while we recommend these activities for smaller children, let’s face it, older kids and even adults are sure to get in on the fun too!
A great personal touch is to add activities kids will enjoy to your driving tour. Preselect objects to highlight on your driving tour and add them as clues for an I-Spy game. Create printable Bingo cards with items families might encounter on their tour or a themed visual scavenger hunt. While small and easy to execute, these gestures will add a creative touch to your tours that are sure to keep families interacting with your tour.
Learn more on How to Create Safe Family-Friendly Tours During Quarantine.
3. Add a Soundtrack Suggestion
When analyzing the anatomy of a road trip, you’ll see that no one element is as important perhaps, as a proper playlist. This simple, yet powerful element, helps to create a sensory experience that elevates the driving tour and separates it from say, a simple errand-running trip.
While you are not exactly creating a road trip, your driving tour can benefit from the same audio augmentation. At the moment, you cannot embed a playlist directly into your tour, but you can suggest (or even create custom) playlists through services like Spotify or Pandora and recommend those to your tour-takers.
Fun tip: be sure to select songs that match your tour stops! Perhaps some Jimmy Buffet or Beach Boys for a coastal tour. A classical playlist for an arts or architectural tour. A salsa playlist for a tour of South Florida. Or better yet, spice it up by throwing in a few unexpected tracks that otherwise jive well with your tour.
When selecting song choices, just remember your audience. Children’s tours, for example, would benefit from family-friendly sing-along songs, while teen tour-takers may prefer a more "top 40s" themed selection.
Whoever your audience, it’s safer to err on the side of caution by selecting music that is, ahem, clean.
4. Promote Safe Driving Practices
You want your tour-takers to be enamored with, and entertained by, your driving tour. But more importantly, you want them to be safe. You can help to encourage this by promoting safe driving practices.
Driving tours, for example, are the perfect opportunity to include audio narration as part of your tour. This allows drivers to take in all of the interesting and important tidbits, fun facts, and commentary that you’ve added to your tour without having to constantly look at their phones.
Additionally, be mindful of the sightseeing spots that you point out on your tour. There may be an interesting home or building along your drive, but if your tour-taker cannot experience it safely – perhaps it’s in a busy intersection where taking your eyes off the road just can't be done safely – then leave this detail out.
5. Go For a Test Drive
Ultimately, the best way to know if your tour is going to provide a high-quality experience and that the logistics are all in order is to sample it yourself. Set a couple of hours aside to drive through your driving tour.
This will provide you with the opportunity to experience the full scope of your tour as your tour-takers will, joining the destinations with the stories you’ve created.
Drive through the routes of your tour to ensure they make sense. Is there any construction work or road closures? Are there tolls you can warn your tour-takers about in advance? Are the distances between stops too long? Too short? Did you see a great focal point that can be added to your tour?
Drive every road on your tour. Enter into each one of your stops and experience it as your tour-takers will. Is the information you provided still relevant? Are the costs associated with your tour locations, if any, up to date and accurate? Are the businesses still in business? Did you recommend any products or services? If so, are they still available? Is everything safe for the tour-taker?
Taking your driving tour for a test drive will give you an opportunity to gather immediate feedback and intel on your tour. But it’s not the only avenue for feedback.
Tour-takers have the ability to provide feedback through the app in the form of reviews and ratings, and share their images and Journal Entry posts on social media! Encourage them to do so by being open about welcoming feedback on their experiences.
Ready to take your tour on the road?
Follow these simple tips and your tour can be up and running on the road to success in no time! But while Built Story offers a beneficial and easy-to-use, one-and-done benefit of creating your tours and publishing them for tour-takers to purchase, you’ll want to check in on your tours from time to time.
Not often, but occasionally, a business may close down. A road may be blocked for construction. A destination may close for the season. Be mindful of these things, along with the feedback you receive, to refresh your tour as needed.