Going on a group trip with loved ones can seem like the best thing to do. But with so many people wanting to do their own thing, getting on the same page can be quite troublesome.
This doesn’t mean you should scrap your plans, though! Here are some group travel planning tips that will help you have a gala time with your friends or relatives.
1. Decide When and Where
Yes, you need to decide when the trip will happen and where you and your loved ones will be traveling to. That’s because all of your relatives or friends will have different schedules and they’ll all want to go to different places. So someone will have to decide!
From all the discussions and arguments that you’ve witnessed, you will probably have an idea of everyone’s preferences. Take everyone’s schedules into consideration and finalize the dates. Choose a location that no one has suggested so far or go with the majority.
2. Research All You Can
Since you’re the one in charge of your group travel planning, you need to know all you can about the places you plan to visit. It is possible that everyone in the group has different preferences when it comes to lodging, activities, food, etc. Make it a point to research all options available.
If a friend likes to stay at a luxurious hotel every time he goes on a vacation, find out where he can have the best experience. Check out reviews of hostels for your backpacker friend too! Before you discuss your plans with your group, you should know if the beach destination you’re hitting has opportunities for snorkeling or scuba diving, and if the camping site you’ve chosen has ample facilities.
3. Make Your Plans Known
You need to let your friends or relatives know what you’ve planned. Get all of them together to discuss everything. In case all of you live in different cities, use a travel planner to keep everyone in the loop. You could also communicate by email, or social media groups.
Remember that some in your group travel party will have to make compromises, but if you intend to travel as a group, this is inevitable. Do explain this to your loved ones when you discuss your plans with them.
4. Have the Others Research As Well
You don’t want to force your plans on anyone so it would be best for you to decide only the location and dates when you’ll be traveling. If you’ve done an extensive research, share it with everyone so that they can make up their minds.
By researching the place on their own, they’ll all be able to find more interesting ideas and activities for the trip.
5. Discuss Finances
Regardless who is part of your travel group, make sure to be clear on money matters. You can consider setting up an account and having each group member pitch in an equal amount of money. Use this money only for general expenses like cab rides, tips for meals, and other shared expenses.
Don’t set up a common account for expenses such as food and drinks, shopping, individual tours, etc. That’s because no one wants to pay for someone else’s full meal when all they’ve eaten is just a salad. You don’t want finances to come in the way of enjoying your trip to the fullest!
6. Finalize Roles
Think of a group trip as a project that won’t go smooth until and unless everyone knows his/her role well. You might want to appoint a leader or planner for the trip. This way, not everyone will be shouting at the top of their voice when a quick decision needs to be taken.
Assign different responsibilities to different people so that it’s not just one person who has to bear the burden. You might want to appoint someone as a photographer or have everyone take turns to click away each day.
7. Book in Bulk
Wherever possible, book in bulk so you can take advantage of frequent group discounts. For example, if you’re all flying to the vacation spot from the same city, book flights with the same airline. Booking rooms at the same hotel can also help you save some money.
8. Keep Your Cool
This applies to everyone in the group! It is very easy to get frustrated with each other even if you’re traveling with childhood buddies or your dearest relatives. Identify what irks you and ask the others to do the same. Check out some tips on how to quickly resolve fights among friends.
Group travel is all about enjoying the company of your party. Try to keep gadgets like mobiles and tablets as out of the picture as possible. You don’t want to get on someone else’s nerve by being on your phone constantly nor do you want to keep reminding your pals to keep their hands off their toys. So make a ‘no gadget rule’ if you want to!
Harshal Patel is a globetrotter who enjoys meeting people from all around the world. He is also the General Manager of Dixie Hollywood Hotel.