We all are used to traveling solo or with our partners but how often do we travel with our family and friends? Not often enough! And, there are definitely opportunities to explore the world with your loved ones, be it a bachelor party, a school break trip, group vacation with friends, or a family reunion. With these many opportunities to travel with a group, there is also a potential for it to be confusing, messy, and difficult when it comes to planning a trip.
Well, it does not have to be as with some planning, decision-making, and scheduling, you can have a fun trip with your group.
While traveling with a group is a dream to many of us, it can often turn into a nightmare. I say this because there are certain personalities that can spoil your trip but like I mentioned earlier, with a bit of planning, organization, and preparation, you can make sure that you have the most amazing time of your life with your close ones.
All these tips will allow you to bond with your travel companions, deepen your connections, and reminisce the trip for eternity. Therefore, to save you from all the disappointments and snarls, I have rounded up all the helpful tips and tricks that will allow you to plan your group vacation with ease. As a result, you will be able to focus on all the fun rather than the disappointments, tension, and chaos.
And in case you think that travel with a group is not your cup of tea, it is now time to abandon our preconceived notion. And, here are certain tips that will allow you to easily travel with a group and have the maximum amount of fun.
The first and foremost step of traveling with your group is planning it in your head. As a traveler, you know what you like and dislike in terms of places, things, and personalities. In case you are not a regular traveler and are traveling for the very first time in a group, even in that case you know what your choices are.
And since you are traveling in a group, if you are out of inspiration, you can allow someone else in the driver seat. Once in a while it is fun to listen to other’s ideas, let others decide the location, time of departure, and activities to do on the trip. This is one of the perks of traveling in a group so, plan it through.
2. Choose your companions wisely when you travel with a group
One of the most essential considerations to make when you travel with a group is figuring out who you want to travel with. That is why you must be realistic and practical about who your companions will be. Also, be very careful of the characteristics of the people you are traveling with. You do not want to travel with people with whom you might end up in a dangerous situation!
Similarly, you would want to travel with a group that you get along with. Well, you will anyway figure out a lot about your group on the trip but, it is just as important for you to have some information prior your trip as well.
3. Understand the dynamics of your group
Knowing our needs and ways to make the travel experience enjoyable is what we generally do however, when you travel with a group, knowing just about yourself won’t suffice. So in order to ensure a successful trip, you must get along with your group.
It is all the more important to understand and cope up with your group in case it is a multigenerational trip. In case it is, it get a bit more tricky as all the factors come into play such as, the comfort zones, choosing your hotels and accommodation, as well as planning your adventures. Since group dynamics can make your trip either a dream vacation or a nightmare so, understand the dynamics of your group.
4. Be flexible when you travel with a group
Being flexible when it comes to traveling with your group can prevent miscommunication, regrets, disappointments, and any differences in opinions. In short, be open to listening to other members of the group as well.
When you are traveling in a group, each member must consider being flexible in major travel factors such as travel date, destination, and all the travel activities. Travel flexibility will similarly minimize the chances of the differences being created during your travel period.
It is also a tricky situation because what if you want to go for a bungee and rest of the group members want to go for a paragliding? In this situation, you either go with the group or you are just left out. That is why, you must also prepare yourself for such situations.
5. Organize a pre-travel meeting with your group
Planning the entire trip surely destroys all the fun and excitement so, you would want to avoid doing that. However, you must plan all the major activities if not all the minute details. What you need to know is a sense of what everyone is seeking out of the trip.
To be precise, plan how you would want to reach your destination, where you all feel like staying, and also what to eat. Since you are traveling in a group, at times you might not be able to get the desired number of flight tickets, or the seating that you want in a dinner table, or even the desired apartment where you all can live together.
That is also why it is suggested for a group to plan and book all of these prior to the trip. Also, consider reserving your tickets beforehand if you want to see local attraction or want to go for some adventures.
6. Know that the trip is for everyone
Understand that the trip is equally important to all the members of the group. It is why one person’s idea must not overshadow the other’s. Similarly, everyone has equals rights to put forward the ideas and also state what they agree and disagree with.
In any case, knowing your group and getting connected with like-minded people with similar interests is how you gel in a vacation. You must similarly realize that once you get on board, you walk in lock step for the entire trip. And, you must make it clear beforehand on what to do if someone wants to split up from the group and travel on their own. This might hurt feelings and create a mess so, plan this as well.
7. Plan your finances
It is no rocket science that the most crucial part about traveling with a group is understanding the finances of the group. It is one of the most difficult parts of planning a group travel because people can have different ideas about how much money they like to spend on the trip.
Also, what one person considers affordable may not align with other’s thought so, be specific on what you think and want. In order to not let money come in between your trip, plan accordingly, split the total cost and contribute to the finances.
Some adventures can be optional so, the members must be able to decide whether or not they want to participate but, that should be made clear. Other than that, necessities like accommodation must be split.
Another nice practice is setting the financial parameters. This will not not make your trip easier for everyone, it will also allow your trip to function in a rather smooth manner. Therefore, money being a sensitive topic, agree beforehand on a budget to avoid conflicts later on your trip.
8. Appoint a leader when you travel with a group
Having a person in-charge generally helps in the smooth functioning of a trip. Appoint one member of your group as a team leader so that he can assign tasks to everyone. If your leader has the leadership qualities then, it won’t be a lot of work for the rest of the members. This way, you will also have a go-to person in case you want to figure out what is to be done next.
In case you think that appointing only one person as a leader is too much then, you can have two leaders. This is a great idea because this way, you could have different people in-charge of different aspects of the group trip. Simultaneously, play with the strengths of your group members for the better organization and to avoid wasting time on figuring out how to do things.
9. Have an itinerary when you travel with a group
Well, the fun of traveling with a group actually starts once you begin to make a plan and start working on your itinerary. However, you need to make sure that you seek some information with other group members and on social media. Also, check the reviews of the activities you want to do and the things that you all want to see.
While a lot of activities can be done on the spot, majority of planning on what activities to do should be thought before. This will also help in budgeting of your trip. To add, most of the time it is better to book such outdoor activities as it will give you a scope for bargaining. And since you want to travel with a group, you might have to make reservations beforehand as you are greater in number.
Similarly, while creating an itinerary, you must always have a spare day just in case because what if it rains and you can’t go out to see anything? What if the attraction that you want to see gets closed on a certain day? Also, do not plan all your tours at the very beginning of your trip rather distribute them because you do not want to exhaust your body from the very beginning. Therefore, allow your body to ease off a little bit once you reach your travel destination.
10. Choose a destination that everyone agrees on
The next step is to figure out a destination that everyone wants to travel to. You can make your decision based on any factor. It can be based on museums, attractive sites, natural wonders, wildlife, or other adventurous activities. You could either sit down in a group with maps or globes and literally start circling the countries or cities that you find interesting.
If this does not help and you are still struggling to find a location, find inspiration on social media. Instagram, Pinterest, and travel blogs can help you find attractions that might interest your group. At the same time, do not limit yourself because you must also consider how you all feel and also what you want to do, see, and experience.
11. Research on your travel destination and best group deals
Once you all on a travel destination, you must do some digging before you finalize the trip. How is the climate, temperature, and overall situation of the destination that you are planning to visit? You might want to avoid any unusual activities such as political unrest and riots. Another thing to consider is the temperature and the major role in influencing the temperature is played by the season.
What is the peak season and off-season in your destination? Is now the best time to visit your ideal location? If you are traveling in a group, are your group members free to join you at that time of the year? Is the destination apt for those who want to travel with a group? With all these points to consider, you need to take the right decision.
If you are visiting your preferred destination in its peak season you will have access to all the activities and attractions. However, be prepared to get bombarded by the crowd. On the contrary, if you decide on visiting your travel destination in its off-season, you might not have the access to all the activities but, the good thing is you will have fewer tourists and perhaps milder temperatures.
Another thing to consider is will it be difficult for you to get a hotel because it is the peak season? Will the prices hike up? Will the ticket counter lines be ridiculously lengthy? Consider all these points before you make that final decision!
On the other hand, you must also be able to grab the best deals for your group. Although it is difficult and a bit time consuming to get great group deals but, all the research can save you all a lot of money.
12. Book your flights and look for an apartment
If you are traveling internationally, now is the time to book your flights. Well, the research is not yet over because you need to know which city to fly to and what airlines to choose.
One of the most essential point to consider is to know where and when to buy your tickets. The earlier you book you flight and accommodation, the cheaper it gets. If you want a much cheaper flight then try breaking your flight with layovers. Another great way to get cheaper flights is signing up for price alerts.
In case you are traveling locally, do all that you need to like renting a vehicle and getting ready all the additional resources that you might need on the road.
Now, is the time to book your accommodation and the best thing to do when it comes to traveling in a group is to look for an apartment or Airbnb as they give you an opportunity to hang out together and also cook your own meal. This will result into a lot cheaper trip for you guys so, consider this point. Hotels are not your best option when you travel with a group!
When it comes to booking an accommodation, try planning it as per the length of your trip. Also, try booking them earlier because unlike when your traveling long term, you cannot wing it and walk around the city once you arrive at your destination and, you can definitely not do this if you are traveling in a group.
Similarly, when you book your accommodation ensure that the location is not that far from the central, a breakfast is included, the place has an air conditioning, and the elevators works absolutely fine.
13. Decide on what activities you all want to do
While all the factors influence our budget, outdoor activities and sightseeing will cost just as much and the tricky part is it does not feel like we are spending much (unless you are visiting expensive theme parks). Museum entrance fees, guided tours, concerts, excursions, and other outdoor activities such as surfing, snorkeling, paragliding, or zip-lining can instantly influence our budget so, keep that in mind when you are traveling in a group. You would want to have a prior discussion on this with your group before you leave for the trip.
Another dilemma of budgeting for activities and excursions is you don’t really know what you feel like doing until you reach the destination and discover on your own terms. However, also ensure to not fall victim of doing absolutely nothing just because you want to save the money. Always remember why you decided to travel with a group in the first place.
You must also remember to do all that you want to because it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and you do not want to regret later. Don’t stress so much and if you want to break off from the group for a day because you feel like snorkeling, go for it even if you have to go alone.
14. Be kind enough to compromise at times
Practice the fine art of kindness, patience, and compromise when you are traveling with someone. You need to get in mind that traveling with a group means taking longer everywhere. You will have to wait for your friends to check in, get ready, and of course stand in a line while visiting popular tourist spots.
Similarly, focus on creating the kind of memories you will look back on fondly even if that demands a bit of compromise to hold the group together.
There are other aspects that you need to focus on when you travel with a group
-Know the reality that to travel with a group is a lot more demanding and challenging.
-Avoid overscheduling if there are people who aren’t as energetic and fit as you. They will appreciate the loosely planned trip.
-Do not split too much from the group because you decided to go on a trip together for a reason.
-Standing in a line while waiting for your friends to get done with their check-ins can be frustrating so, prepare yourself.
-Plan your outfits accordingly for outdoor activities as you do not want to be the odd one out.
-Flow all the details of the trip to every member of the group for smooth functioning.
-Consider all the safety measures as well-being of all the members is the number one priority when you travel with a group.
It’s a wrap!
So that is it! I hope you understood how to travel with a group. What do you think of the ideas? Also, do let me know in the comments below if you have a favorite tip that you think should make it to this list.