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Question for Tour Planners

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The AACA was able to plan and execute two Meets with great success. They were able to do this with social distancing and eliminating formal gatherings like the Banquet. What can we do to pull off a tour with the same conditions. Good food and coffee stops are a big part of a successful Tour. Most of the hotels have eliminated even basic breakfast.

Looking for ideas. Is a Tour worth having that ends up being just a drive everyday.

Bob Giles


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Guest Mark McAlpine

Hello Bob,


    A belated Happy New Year!


    You raise some good questions.  I look forward to seeing what other members have to say and suggest.


    The first tour on our 2021 schedule is the Southeastern Divisional Tour in Florida on 19-21 April.  So far it's a go.  The Vintage Tour that you're hosting is 11-16 July.  I would hope we'd be through the pandemic by then (we'll see), able to return to some degree of normality, and many of the restrictions in place now would be lifted by then and alleviate some of your planning concerns.  (I realize hope is not a plan, so it's great that you're considering the situation and examining available contingency options now.)


    Many national and state parks & historical sites around the country are open, so they're possible places to visit (especially if you can get someone knowledgeable to lead a tour), although with various restrictions in place and restrictions being updated frequently.  (For example, the Yorktown National Battlefield near me is open, as is its gift shop, but the visitor center and rest rooms aren't.) 


    Restrictions on in-restaurant dining vary from state to state, and locality to locality, but possibly some places can be found to provide private, socially distanced seating for tour groups (although dining times may need to be split to comply with restrictions on the number of people allowed).  Alternately, maybe box lunches can be made for members to pick up and eat outside, at a roadside park, or--if they have to--in their vehicles.  Similarly, maybe coffee & donut stops can be arranged at local parks or--if need be--in a parking lot (such as at a church, school, etc.).


    And all things considered, after being restricted to home for almost a year now and unable to participate in the car-related (and other) activities we enjoy, I think most members would be happy to get together for a drive in our antique vehicles through beautiful scenery every day for a week and then socialize with their friends at the end of the day.  Being able to visit some nice places on tour stops and enjoy some group meals together would be icing on the cake, but just touring would probably be enough for many people.


    Again, you raise some good questions, Bob.  We have members considerably smarter and more experienced than me, so I look forward to seeing their suggestions.  I bet our other Tour Chairpersons will be interested in seeing the suggestions, too, while they consider the same issues


    Best wishes to you & Patti.  Be safe and stay healthy.  Marion & I look forward to seeing you on the Vintage Tour if not before then.  We know it's going to be great fun.


              Mark Mc

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Drives without social contact is something we've been doing since

last summer on a local basis.   We've done it both with food and without.   With Food involved participants bringing

their own lunch and eating at widely spaced picnic tables in a very large pavillion.

We had 18 tables and one family per table and were all more than 6 feet apart.   For those with strong voices,

conversations were  across the room.  After lunch we all went for a "follow the leader" drive in the Smoky Mountain


For the without food rides we just met in a parking lot before the rides and the rule was, "If you exit your vehicle, you

must be wearing a mask".   Which we all did, but stayed 6 feet apart and didn't talk long.

Logistically,  our large pavillion couldn't accomodate more than the 18 families.   This would be a problem for national


With national tours involving $1,000 +++ in expenses to register and secure lodging, I don't think the effort and

expense will be attractive to many tourists, just to go wave to people we've known for years.  

Seeing the sights and the cars is good, but it's like a wedding  without the reception.   Maybe the wedding industry is

suffering for the same reason.

We sent for tour information packets, but the decision to actually go is dependent on the Covid threat at the time.   I'm

afraid that 2021 will be much like 2020.  We're awaiting the vaccine now and are threatened by the non-masking public

who beleive it's all a hoax.



Edited by Paul Dobbin (see edit history)
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  • 4 weeks later...

Hello Bob;  Bev and I plan to attend the Vintage Tour.  That being said I do not see how it is possible considering todays conditions and restrictions.  We are hosting an AACA Snapper Tour in August and I am not making any plans until May with the exception of arranging a host hotel, final banquet site and taking names.  I'll send you a PM with some thoughts from the Snappers and HCCA with some possible work arounds.


We live in hope,  Gary

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Hi Gary, you are right about todays conditions, it would be impossible. But I'm counting on things getting better. So far we have been able to provide a breakfast in places like a fire hall where we can spread out. It's somewhat weather dependent, but coffee stops and  lunches will be out doors like under a picnic pavilion.  Maybe even the closing Banquet will be outdoors. No venue has given us a hard no, just a maybe. We plan on making the tour group smaller and maybe longer drives. I'm very interested in what you are planning.

Of course, anybody attending will be required to mask and social distance. 






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Hi Gary, Paul and all,

Like Bob I am still moving forward with planning for the Glidden in September.  There is risk of course but it takes a good amount of time to find and lock things in, arrange all the contracts and plan the week.  It is not feasible to wait until the last minute for an organizer to wait until the last minute.  In fact when I decided to redo the tour this year I had already lost one banquet venue I wanted as it had been taken for 2021.  We can only hope at this point that things will be better by September and keep trying.  I did not give in last year until the end of June when things became impossible to overcome. 

Hang in there Bob!  You seem tp have a better path forward with a smaller tour, my logistics are kind of frightening at times!


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