We recently chatted with a group of 30 friends planning a European vacation. Planning a vacation for two is lot of work, but planning one for 30? That’s a whole new ballgame, and their questions got us thinking, what’s the best advice we could give for planning group travel?
- Communicate. If you can, get everyone in one room. If that is impossible, start an email chain. Whichever path you go down, the goal is the same – give everyone a chance to share what they want to get out of the trip. It’s also important to talk about the details of the trip including arrival and departure times, activities, accommodations and any concerns. Once the lines of communication are opened, the planning process will only get easier.
- Have your thoughts prepared. Before having the group discussion, it is important to have a list of your must-sees or restrictions will help to make sure you have your talking points in order. This will also ensure that you get a chance to visit the sites on your list and enjoy your vacation.
- Don’t expect the trip to go exactly as planned.When going on a group trip, there is no rule that says a group that starts the day together must finish the day (or trip) together. Some of the most successful group vacations start out with one big group that splits up throughout the day. If part of the group wants to visit an art gallery and the other want to explore the city, go ahead and split up (just make sure you have a meet-up place for the end of the day).Bonus tip: It’s also important to get travel insurance. Many things can happen on vacation that you may not expect and are out of your control. Travel insurance allows you to have Peace of Mind knowing that you are covered against flight delays, medical emergencies, lost baggage and much more.
- Be aware of peak and off seasons. Check peak and off season fares for your destination. This can save you a considerable amount on plane fares. In addition, some destinations have a “shoulder” season in between peak and off seasons that can also provide better fares.
- Use a travel agent. Travel agents are always helpful when planning vacations, but they are especially helpful with large groups. If you have 30 people hoping to stay at the same hotel, the travel agent can help to keep everyone in your group on the same floor at the hotel. They also have extensive knowledge about a variety of destinations and can provide recommendations on flights and accommodations.