Tips for Planning the Perfect Family or Group Trip
Traveling is fun. Traveling with people you love is awesome!
When you travel as a group, you get to share wonderful experiences with people you care about and make great memories together. However, planning a trip with lots of people involved can be rather stressful: 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 of a great group trip – whether it’s for your own family, a family reunion, a group of friends, club members or work mates. Here are a few things to consider:
Purpose. Ok, this may sound funny, 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 your business, or a retirement. Maybe you and your friends are tired and worn out- so the goal is wellness- you need to rest, learn some new cooking and eating strategies, exercise, spa treatments, meditation. 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.
Budget. Whether you are paying for all of the trip yourself or everyone is paying their own way, this is an important number to have. Remember to think through everything that will be needed for a great trip: transportation, lodging, food, entertainment, tours, etc.
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 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 in 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, 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 planning family and group trips and we’re very good at it. 😊
You gather the group.
We’ll handle the details.
You go have fun!