Planning a Pilgrimage – A Timeline for Success

As part of our “FAQ Series” to help you in planning and promoting your group’s spiritual travel, this week we’ll focus on how long it takes to plan and promote a successful pilgrimage.

Some of the most common questions we are asked when working with a group in the earliest planning stages of the process are: “What timeline is needed for planning an itinerary, presenting the information to my community, and promoting to make this project a success?” Although some groups can be successful in a short amount of time, most groups need a year or more from start to finish.

Most pastors looking at planning a spiritual journey may have an idea of where and when they want to go. They can, however, benefit from talking to a pilgrimage consultant that can guide them through the complexities of itinerary planning. The more customized an itinerary, the longer it may take to make sure all aspects of the daily plan are not only possible but crafted in a way that helps lower cost and time in transit from one place to another. Knowing driving distances, nearby sites, hours of operation, and coach-driver time regulations are just a few of the things that will have to be considered.

Once you and your consultant have created an itinerary (either one of our commonly used standard selections or custom) that is exactly what you want for your group, we will put together a proposal, based on the information requested. The proposal will include a cost based on a few specific factors: Where you want to go?  (Some countries and regions are more expensive to visit.) When you want to go? (The time of year you choose to travel can have a great impact on the cost.) And, how many people will be traveling with you? (Although you may not know the exact number, a good estimate of the group’s size can help in determining the cost and lowering it, as participant numbers increase.) This can be done in a relatively short time frame. If you need more time to decide, just let us know.

Now that the proposal is complete and you are happy with both itinerary and price, it’s time to launch the pilgrimage to your community. Historically, our most successful groups first introduce the pilgrimage around 15 to 18 months from the departure date. We will work with you and prepare a presentation (usually done via webcam) to talk through the itinerary and to answer any questions interested people may have. Again, for best results, this presentation or “Roll-Out” should be done 12 to 15 months prior to the departure date.

By giving your community the 1+ year lead time for planning, they can easier plan for requesting vacation time off work (if needed), and can better budget for the periodic payments to Faith Journeys for their pilgrimage. (We will usually break the payments into a small down payment and two or three evenly divided payments, followed by a balance due/final payment at 90 days from your group’s departure.)

So, if you are looking at planning a religious/spiritual journey in the summer of 2022, time is running out. Call us today, and we’ll consult with you and help you plan the perfect spiritual travel experience to build a deeper faith within your community and to add to your offerings for the upcoming program year. If you’re considering the fall or winter of 2022, or the Spring/Summer of 2023, you are on the track to success for your next pilgrimage/spiritual journey.

Contact us and we’ll walk you through every step and guide you through the process of planning and promoting your own pilgrimage.