If you have never travelled in a group, you may not have anticipated all the ways a holiday could go wrong. From deciding where to stay, what time to wake up in the morning, where to eat dinner or how long to spend shopping? The moments where conflict could creep in are endless. So how do you travel with the people you love without fallout?
Inevitably, the people you love, may be lovable in small doses and when travelling, they turn into complete strangers (and you to them)! Some may be anxious, bossy, controlling, moody, indecisive, a complainer or they could be super laid back. In the twenty years of travelling on industry junkets, conferences and trips with friends and family, I have seen a thing or two and there are a few great ways to stop the group from getting hot under the collar.
Tip 1. Let someone organise the group for you
You don't want to be the main point of contact for making all the decisions, booking individual items and chasing everyone for money. If you're out of pocket for expenses, you may break up before you have even left!
Mobile Travel Designers can come and meet with the group and give you all sorts of suggestions and ideas that the group may not have thought of. They can help steer the group in the right direction, make the bookings for everyone, chase the payments and gather all the travel elements so you're all on the same page before you go.
Tip 2. Work out a Budget everyone is comfortable with
It is no secret that we all earn different wages and have different commitments, so there is likely to be compromise with budget. Make sure you're aware of everyone's expectations and discuss a budget early in the planning before you explore options. That way you can achieve a holiday you can all be happy with and not come home with holiday debt and regret!
Tip 3. Lock down as much of the itinerary as you can
By pre-organising an itinerary, you will be able to avoid arguments about what to do and where and what time to do it. There are many companies who put together bespoke small group itineraries, whether it be families travelling, a group of couples, singles or a sporting/special interest group
You can also jump on an existing group tour departure or cruise. A pre-organised small group may be the perfect way to enjoy your trip together, taking the guess work out of the equation. Backroads Touring have organised and tailor-made itineraries with group sizes of up to 18 people. Cruise liners on the rivers and oceans will offer onshore excursions to choose from, so if your group has different interests, they can choose an option that suits them during the day. You can then meet up together at night for dinner and share your experiences.
If you're organising a beach getaway, a Travel Designer can suggest a resort that will suit all parties, be that families, couples and grandparents alike. A resort that is too kid focused could be a nightmare trip for 20 somethings or a resort that is too adult focused could cause a lot of stress for the family with rowdy kids under 10! Be sure to add in a few day tours and activities to your itinerary to ensure some of the decisions are made before you depart.
Tip 4. Give group members the time to explore independently
The whole travel experience is very personal. Add a few days into your travel itinerary for free time so everyone has the chance to explore the destination in the way that they want to. Make a pact before you go that on those days, no one is obliged to join in or feel bad for staying back at the hotel and reading a book (if they're in need of a 'down' day).
Tip 5. Book early and be organised
Getting a group together takes time and getting the right amount of seats, rooms or cabins is best achieved when you book well in advance. If you choose to go through a Travel Designer they will enquire on your behalf about any group discounts or added benefits you may be able to have access to when booking for large numbers.
Tip 6. Have fun and don't sweat the small stuff
Travelling in a group can be so rewarding. If you're in a family group, your kids have instant playmates! You can organise kid focused days, girl's/boy's days out, couple's nights, family reunion....the options are endless
Trans-generational travel means that grandparents, parents and kids will make long term memories together, something that will be discussed at family get togethers’ years after you return. Memories are priceless!
Like minded friends and groups will also get to build deeper social relationships, explore their interests in new destinations and will no doubt have lots of laughs and fun.
Travel is the ultimate bonding experience teaching you about yourself, others and the world around you. At the end of the day, I couldn't think of a better experience in life, but hey, I'm biased!
To enquire about your next group booking, check out our Kaleidoscopic Travel Travel Designers and contact one for a no obligation quote in person or via phone or email.