The idea of going away with a large group of friends or family sounds like a great idea in theory, until you realize that more people often means more opinions and more problems. If approached incorrectly, simple decision making can become tedious and time consuming. On the flip side if planned correctly, group travel can save you money and be more fun than you ever imagined. To help you get started, we have devised a simple guide to ensure that your trip goes without a hitch.
Workshop your plan
Start by making a public forum where you can discuss the basic details of your group adventure. I recommend creating a Facebook page, to keep everyone in the loop. Features like poll taking can make the decision making process go smoothly. Once you know where you’re going, discuss the budget for the big-ticket items such as transport, accommodation and planned activities are.
Look out for group discounts
The greatest benefit of traveling in large groups are the discounts. Often you can find amazing group deals for attractions such as theme parks, museums and so on. So have a chat and pre-book as much as you can – this will not only guarantee cheaper fares but it may also save you a lengthy wait in the ticketing line.
Accommodation – when picking a place to stay, consider looking for holiday houses and villas. They are extremely cost effective and unlike a hotel or resort you won’t have to share your facilities. Imagine sitting in your own private pool, enjoying a cocktail while your mates fire up the BBQ. Buying some groceries for the house and making some of your own meals can also save you a bundle. If you are traveling to a city, grabbing an apartment can provide you with similar benefits.
Flights & Transport – using a trip planning service can be a great alternative to using a travel agent. Either way bigger numbers usually mean cheaper fares… Just remember to get in quick!
Stay organized and informed
When you are traveling in a group, there’s always that slacker who forgot to fill out their departure form, or that annoying shopaholic who over packed their carry on. Keeping everybody informed and organized can save you time and keep your blood pressure from rising uncontrollably.
Don’t over-plan or be over-ambitious!
Yes, there is such a thing as over planning. If you schedule every second of your trip and something doesn’t go as planned – which usually is the case; you lose the plot and your perfectly planned itinerary goes out the window. It’s great to have a general idea of what you are doing, when, just be realistic about what’s possible in that time frame. Keep your plans loose and fun – almost like you’re on holiday… Wink!
Talking out any concerns or issues right away is like treating a cold before it turns into an all-consuming virus; infecting everyone that it comes in contact with. Sulking about will get you no-where, voice your opinions clearly, equally listen to others.
Break away from the group
Just because you are traveling together doesn’t mean you have to spend every waking moment together. Everyone’s an individual, so give yourself time to break off and do the things that make you happy.
Sometimes traveling in groups can make you lose sight of what ‘you’ want. Make a list of things you really want to do. If your group is not interested in some of them chip away and just do it. After all… this might be the only chance you get.
Avoid holding back and putting your needs in the back burner to guarantee zero animosity and zero resentment towards each other. Be prepared, stay organized and make sure everyone is on the same page. Take advantage of possible group discounts and benefits.
Stay positive, help each other out and don’t take things too seriously…. Most importantly have fun!
Have you ever traveled with a big group? Share your tips in the comments!
Campbell Bevan is Founder and Managing Director at Amazing Accom.