Everyone goes through a lot of stress while planning any holiday trip. And if it’s with a group of people – friends/family, the stress is greater! Considering everyone’s interests and avoiding fights in between would all be a huge factor to consider.
But don’t worry, we have provided few tips that you could consider while planning your next holiday.
Whether you’re planning a wild stag do or rounding up the family for a multi-generational trip, we have tips and advice on how to plan, book, and get the very best out of a group holiday – you super-organised travel wizard, you.
For A Holiday with Friends –
Case 1 – Planning
- Choose your friends wisely. Tommy’s here to hit the strip and party all night, while Sarah wants to sample the best museums and wine bars. Save yourself upset and arguments down the line by making sure you’re all on the same page right from the start. Ask yourselves, what kind of trip is this? If half of you want a cultural city break and the other half want a fly-and-flop beach holiday, then it’s better to plan different trips.
- Elect a leader. Some people love organising, while others are happy to sit back and go with the flow. When it comes to group trips, too many cooks, or, in this case, self-appointed travel agents, means nothing gets decided. Often, it’s easier if one person takes charge. That doesn’t mean it’s a dictatorship, though! The leader can research and send a list of possible options for the group to choose between.
- Keep in touch. While group chats might have you reaching for the ‘mute conversation’ button when everything kicks off, they’re are a great way to keep everyone in the loop, discuss ideas and share links while you’re researching destinations and hotels. Once you’ve booked, set up a shared online document (like a Google doc), where you can add trip information and keep tabs on who’s paid who.
- Share packing lists. If you’re trying to save on luggage space, or just like travelling light, sharing your packing plans in advance can be really useful. Lots of items can be communal if you’re all staying at the same accommodation, so you only have to bring one set of hair straighteners or a travel iron between you.
Case 2 – On the ground
- Don’t split the bill. We’ve all been there. You’re in a restaurant, half the group are throwing cash in a pile and negotiating change, while the other half toss cards toward the frazzled waiter clutching a card machine. After all that, there’s still 40 euros mysteriously missing. Avoid these stressful situations altogether, by setting up a ‘kitty’ and giving it to the most responsible person in your group. Everyone puts in a certain amount of spending money at the start of the trip, and then this money is used for group meals and travel.
- Book in advance. As a large group, you can’t be as spontaneous as a couple. It’s harder to wander into a restaurant for an impromptu dinner or just jump in a cab. While you don’t need to book everything beforehand, simply calling ahead a few hours before you plan to eat/travel will save a lot of aimless wandering trying to find somewhere that can cater to a large group last minute.
- Split up. Can’t agree on what to do? Don’t feel bad about dividing up into smaller groups. If some of you want to go shopping but others want to lounge by the pool, there’s no need to force everyone to do one or the other. You can all meet up for lunch afterwards to catch up – and you’ll have plenty to chat about!
More Insight –
For A Pre-Wedding Holiday –
Case 1 – Planning
- Travel together where possible. It’ll be easier for you all to come on the same flight. Not only does the fun start from the moment you meet at the airport, it’s also easier to transport everyone together (not to mention it’s cheaper to split the cost of a mini bus or transfer in large groups). You’ll also all be subject to the same delays or changes to travel plans, rather than trying to negotiate multiple flights and landing times.
- Embrace the list. If you’re the organiser, firstly, well done, you brave soul. Secondly, it’ll save you a lot of stress if you send the group a packing checklist and a rough itinerary ahead of time. The checklist should include anything they’ll need for the activities, including any fancy-dress requirements, sportswear, or swimwear.
- Plan something for everyone. While the trip is all about the stag/hen, make sure there’s an appropriate activity everyone can get involved with. For example, if the Mother of the Bride or younger siblings are coming, consider an afternoon tea or spa day, in addition to any booze-filled, ‘adult’ activities you might have scheduled later on…
- Limit the guest-list. If you’re the hen or stag, approach your invites the same way you would for your wedding. Your close friends won’t mind spending money on a group trip, but more general acquaintances will. Plus, smaller groups are easier to organise, so you may find you have a better time with fewer people.
Case 2 – On the ground
- Break the ice. Unlike other group trips, some people may be total strangers on hen and stag dos. Factor in some time for a few non-cringe ice breakers on the journey, so work mates can meet school friends, and it doesn’t end up with everyone splitting up into their cliques. Think Mr & Mrs quizzes, or maybe presenting small gifts for the bride / groom based on a shared memory.
- Leave enough time. Plan in contingency time between every activity. Traffic is unpredictable and someone will always oversleep or need to stop for the loo. Plus, it goes without saying, don’t plan activities too early in the morning if you’ve been out the night before. It’s unlikely anyone who got in at 4am will be ready and raring to go paintballing at 9am…