In theory embarking on a group trip means you’ll get to explore the world with some of your favourite people. In practice, it can devolve into fights over the itinerary, arguments about which hotel to stay in and bickering with your siblings in front of your parents even though you may all be full grown adults!
Luckily there are ways to avoid those situations and ensure that your group vacation results in a good time full of laughs. Whether you’re planning that long awaited family reunion holiday trip, bachelor party with the boys or a getaway with friends, there are two main rules to abide by: be patient and flexible.
In addition to those two mainstays here are a few extra pointers to avoid a group vacation disaster.
Renting a house
If you’re planning a family vacation or a bachelor party, renting a house can both save money and stress. This also means a more convivial environment, so there’s no chance of someone hiding out in their hotel room (works well especially in the case of family reunions). Renting a house has other perks too, like having breakfast together, cooking together and calling the shots on kid’s bedtime. Certain travel companies employ the ‘Home Stay’ concept, check out companies like Yoho Bed and lookout for the ‘Home Stay’ option amongst their other accommodation options.
Head to a resort
If renting a house isn’t an option, consider booking your next group vacation at a resort. Resorts are designed to have something for everyone to do, whether it’s a spa day or a day at the golf course or just a day lounging at the poolside with a cool drink. Most resorts offer kids clubs and activities, so parents can get some time to themselves and unwind as well. Plus resorts make meal time easy with large dining areas and tables big enough for everyone.
When it comes to group travel, the math is simple if there are 10 people and you’re only on vacation for 4 days there’s a good chance that not everyone’s going to get the chance to do what they want to do. The best way to avoid this is by voting. Have everyone choose one must do activity and one must see item and then vote on what takes place – majority wins. There’s also the option of dividing up the group into smaller groups. For example one group can go shopping and the other to a local theme park or just hang by the pool.
Don’t be overly ambitious
While being ambitious is a healthy trait to have, being overly ambitious might lead to a lot of disappointment especially in the group travelling context because herding everyone together might end up being a seemingly impossible task (Especially if there’s a lot of small children involved) therefore plan to do a big outing or activity once only per day, be it a visit to a museum or a wild life park.
Plan, plan and plan some more!
Need to rent a bus? Or employ a guide for one part of the vacation? Best sort this out in advance or even at the hotel you’re staying at. What if you want adjoining rooms? Best reserve in advance. Reservations are your friend. Why not delegate certain tasks to different people? This way everyone is involved and have a leader for each task. This way you’re preparing yourself for a smooth and fun trip without the hassle of impromptu organising which might tend to also be costly (Most places offer discounts to those who reserve a head of time)
In this day and age where one can communicate with the ease of just clicking on a button, one might imagine this to be the easiest of things to do, but believe it or not most times this detail is what’s missed out the most and thereby causing a lot of confusion and even the possibility of missing an important flight or bus! Consider initially setting up a group text (via WhatsApp or Viber, there are so many options now), however be mindful of the more senior patrons on board the group and be thoughtful enough to keep them update as to what’s going on with the itinerary.