How To Plan a Group Trip
How many times have you told your friends or family you must go on a trip all together? Traveling as a group means bonding but unfortunately it also involves a more rigorous planning. Are you the one in charge of the whole trip? No worries, we love group travel (and we’ve learned from our mistakes) so here are some useful and simple tips to plan a memorable group trip – without stress.
1. Assign a leader
Group travel doesn’t imply that every decision has to be reviewed by the entire group. Ideally you would organise the trip as a group but that’s not realistic. You better start by assigning one person or two who will lead the process.
Now, how do you choose the leader? Know the strengths of everyone. If someone with great organisation skills volunteers, then your problem is easily solved. If nobody is willing to take the responsibility, appoint an organisation team of maximum 2 or 3 persons. These people will take all decisions on behalf of the group, with their best interests in mind.
2. Agree on a budget
Now that you’ve got a leader, you can start planning your trip! The first challenge is to define a budget. Although a tricky point, it’s crucial to know the group budget before you start any further research. Be realistic (if you’re traveling in high season, you’ll need a slightly higher budget) and make sure everyone feels comfortable with the agreed budget.
Rely on technology to keep track of the group expenses. We normally use Splitwise for this. It’s very easy and intuitive and it saves a lot of time and headaches when it comes to splitting bills, tips and all sort of expenses.
3. Set dates
Finding a time frame for a (large) group is not an easy task so pick your dates as soon as possible. If it looks like a mission impossible, use the power of technology. We love Doodle, it’s a simple way to get to know everyone’s schedule and find the most convenient dates. Once confirmed, communicate the dates and make sure everyone clears his calendar for those days!
4. Choose location
Once your dates are sorted out, you’ll have to choose the location of your trip. Some groups already know where to go before they start planning so if this is your case, head to the next point.
If your group is open to ideas, you will have to research a little longer (just a little bit). What are the group interests? Do they want a beach vacation, a city trip, a mountain escape? How many days do you have? Just a weekend, a week or even longer? With just one weekend, you don’t want to travel too far from home. With a larger time frame, you’re more flexible to head further and take a plane.
5. Book transportation
Depending on the location, you will have to book flights or ground transportation. If you’re all traveling from the same place, look around for deals on car/bus hire or plane tickets.
Renting a minivan can be cool but it will leave you with only one car meaning that the group will have to travel together at all times. If you prefer more flexibility, rent two (or more) cars which will allow the group to split up if necessary.
Book your flight tickets as a group reservation. Most airlines offer a separate reservation platform for groups as of 10 people where you can get a discount and/or flexible tickets.
6. Choose accommodation
Location is set so next step is to find appropriate accommodation. No pressure but the accommodation can make or break your trip.
Don’t limit your search to hotels as they’re not necessarily the best option for a group, unless there’s a specific wish to stay at an all-inclusive resort. Think broader and add some villas to your list. Sharing a house isn’t just more cost-effective, it will also create natural get-togethers. You can share one kitchen, hang out together in the garden or in front of the fire with a bottle of wine.
If your group opts for a hotel, then contact the hotel directly as you’re likely to get a group discount (in case of a large group).
7. Organise (some) activities
Now comes the fun part! All is set in place, you just have to find things to do at your destination. Think about tours, activities, dinners, etc. The larger the group, the more important it is to book in advance.
Bear in mind any accessibility issues, special family needs and the age of all travellers. Schedule your trip and make some bookings accordingly (remember to ask for a group discount).
8. Find a flexible itinerary
Don’t get too excited about pre-planning the whole trip! You will need to book certain activities (or dinners) in advance, especially if you’re a large group or traveling in peak season. But leave some room for spontaneous activities and don’t plan every second of the trip! After all, you’re on vacation and you all want to unwind.
A group trip can only be successful if everyone gets a little bit of privacy from time to time. Especially if you travel with a large group, it might be wise to split up for some activities. A flexible itinerary will give everyone the option to find some time for themselves.
Contact us if you need professional assistance to plan your next group trip! Whether you’re traveling with your friends, family or colleagues, we’ll save you a heap of time and effort!