You’ve planned family vacations and romantic getaways, but what happens when you plan a trip for a group of friends or colleagues? There are a million ways to go wrong when preparing for this type of trip, but these tips will help you avoid some of the most stressful pitfalls.
Match Your Companions to Your Destination
You don’t want to take children on a trip that will include multiple activities restricted to adults. If your grandma can’t walk for longer than an hour at a time, you don’t want to take her on a backpacking tour of Paris. Think about where you are going, and choose your companions accordingly.
Use the buddy system to ensure everyone has a companion and something rewarding to enjoy at all times. This ensures that everyone has a great time and no one is left alone unless they request some personal time to enjoy specific events. Compiling a list of all available day trips and excursions will help you match up group members with similar interests.
Keep It Centralized
Allow one person to take control of the planning. They can assign planning duties to other members of the group if they need the help, but the helpers should report their information back to the person in charge. This allows all planning to take place from one centralized planner. If you have someone with previous trip-planning experience, ask them to take the planner role.
The planner is responsible for making sure that everything is properly planned and reserved. This includes air travel, ground transportation and overnight accommodations. A detailed checklist will make it easier to get everything covered before your departure date.
Ask About Discounts
You may qualify for discounts that you don’t even know exist because they aren’t heavily advertised. This applies to any vacation you take, but some discounts are offered specifically to larger travel groups. Many hotels, camping grounds and travel clubs want to encourage group visits because they make it easier to fill their space and earn money.
You may also check for discounts offered through organizations or clubs that you have joined. Discounts are often extended to family and friends of members, so others traveling in your group may benefit. For instance, Bluegreen Resorts offers a discount up to 30% to family members and friends of club members. These discounts may seem small, but they add up when you accumulate multiple discounts over the course of your trip.
Double Check Transportation
The final tip for planning a group trip is to make sure your transportation arrangements are secured in advance. If this isn’t possible, have a detailed plan for transporting the entire group from one place to another until a planned ride is available. The larger your group, the more important this is because you don’t want to get stuck with transportation only available for part of your group. It may also cost more to travel as a large group, so you need to prepare for those expenses as a group.
What actions you take to prepare for a group trip will vary depending on your destination and the size of your group. If you follow these basic tips, you will eliminate some of the more common problems that come up on this type of vacation.