Let’s get the whole crew together! This is an ideal place to start when your ideas of group travel, with friends, family, or even solo but with a tour starts to brew. From my own experience, these are some guidelines at the beginning, middle and end of planning and going on a trip with your all your people.
Stay on the same budget page
There’s nothing like you ordering a hose salad while someone else tucks into a huge steak, then asks to split the bill. Travel with likeminded people in similar situations, or be clear about expectations up front. Trying to budget while everyone around you is splurging is tough. And vice versa, trying to indulge a bit of luxury while your travel partners are counting pennies is not ideal either.
Make big group travel decisions first
It’s tempting to start looking at northern lights tours as soon as you and the crew decided on a trip to Iceland, but that’s not the main thing to ponder over. Especially when coordinating a group travel experience. Book those flights as soon as you are ready to commit. Often the earlier the better when looking for deals. If you have a fairly large family or gaggle of friends, give the airline a call for a quote on discounted rates. Agents or certain third party sties can also help you. Then look at blocking off some accommodations, whether it be a holiday home or hotel rooms. After that, tours, food and everything else will be easy peasy.
Triple check important plans
Although it turned out just fine in the end, there’s a few mistakes I’ve made when traveling in groups. In Sanibel Island, Florida, I did not double check a boat tour reservation the day before for my extended family of seven. When we arrived at the deck, they had no record of us. We were lucky and they could fit us on the tour anyway, but the situation could of turned disastrous. I now know my planning and check-marks not just affect me anymore when I’m with a bunch of people on a trip. It’s better to be safe and call one more time to make sure reservations are set in stone.
Realistic, yet fun
Not planning lunch when traveling with kids under eight years old and hoping a trip for ice cream holds them over? Bad idea. Lett your group choose between a whale watch or a horseback ride on vacation for a little spontaneity? Much better. You want to leave room to breathe, but keeping everyone healthy and comfortable can make or break a trip.
The number one thing when experiencing a group travel trip is to know how to adapt. The point of bringing along others is to enjoy the company of your crew in a thrilling new place. This can mean you won’t do everything on the itinerary in your head, but you’ll be able to share some incredible travel memories with those you love most. If you need a plan, take 10 minutes of your time every day away from the crowd to decompress and have a moment. Breathe deep if you feel your pulse rising when disagreements happen. Being on the road in a group setting has it’s challenges, but the rewards are often unforgettable.