Pro Tips for Planning your Family Reunion or Group Trip
Traveling is awesome. Traveling with the people you love is the BEST. When you travel as a group, you get to share wonderful experiences with people you care about and make great memories together. We do a great deal of business with large families traveling to celebrate milestones, clubs that like to travel to enjoy their sport or hobby together (pickle ball anyone? How about a Wine Lovers tour?) and church groups. While traveling together is wonderful, planning a trip with lots of people can be rather stressful. There are so many decisions to make, details to keep track of, deposit dates to meet, not be mention all the different opinions about what people like to do, special dietary needs, mobility issues, etc.
John and I have developed a system over the years that streamlines the planning for a great group trip – whether it’s just for your own family, a large family reunion, a group of friends, club members, church members or work mates. We are trained, certified and experienced in group travel which is important because coordinating group travel requires a totally different skill set than just planning the travel for a couple or a family.
Here are a few things to consider:
Purpose. Ok, this may sound obvious, but you need to start with your purpose. For example, is the purpose of this trip to see and learn as much as possible about a certain destination? Is this trip a chance to reconnect with those you love and make some memories? Maybe it is a time to celebrate a major life event such as a graduation, significant wedding anniversary, a recovery, selling a business, or retirement. Maybe you and your friends are just tired and worn out- so the goal is wellness. You need to rest, maybe learn some new cooking and eating strategies, have time to exercise, enjoy spa treatments, read or just be quiet. Think through what your overall purpose is for this group trip.
Timing. Life is so busy that just trying to get everyone together at the same time can be complicated! It’s helpful to use something like Survey Monkey to find dates that work. Once you have an idea of when people can travel, you can then decide the length of the trip.
Age of all those traveling. Having the ages of everyone in your party upfront is very important because some destinations and cruises are not appropriate for all age groups. Some are adults only. Some will allow children, but not infants. Some destinations may allow children but they don’t really have any programs or appropriate food for them. You may also have people in your party who have children and others who do not and are not interested in being around children on their vacation. They prefer the adults only type vacation. Are there options for a group where some want to bring their children but others in the group want the adults only experience? Yes, thankfully, there are.
Interests. What do the members of your group want to do on this trip? Have them list everything they would like to do. Answers may vary from: sleeping, laying by the pool, walking on the beach, sightseeing historical sites, water sports, hiking, biking, eating delicious food, taking a cooking class or wine tasting. Give your group a list and have them check off what they want to do. You may not be able to do everything, but knowing everyone’s interests will help with prioritizing.
Mobility. Does anyone in your group have mobility issues? If your group is a large family reunion, will your grandmother need a wheelchair or motorized scooter? Is having accommodations that include a walk-in shower or is a handicap accessible room (less furniture and wider spaces to accommodate a wheelchair or walker) necessary for someone in your party?
Special Considerations. Does someone in your party have unique health considerations? Do you have any travelers with special dietary needs (e.g. vegan, gluten free, food allergies) that will need to be accommodated on this trip?
Choose a Leader. The leader will need to gather all the information, collect payments, suggest and organize activities, communication with the entire group, etc. You could divide the job – have one person handle lodging, one person handle transportation, one person collects payments, one person suggests and organize activities. Or, you could just call us.
If all of this sounds a little daunting, don't stress! Call us! We love coordinating family and group travel. 😊
Traveling is fun. Traveling with the people you love is awesome!
You gather the group.
We’ll handle the details.
Until your next great adventure....