A shared journey is the best enjoyed journey. Anyone can relate to such an experience. When traveling in a group, everything is easy and fun. The most mundane tasks in the planning become easy to coordinate and plan.
Such a trip together is sealed in our memories for years to come, and most of us wouldn't trade the experience.
Friendships get solidified when sharing time and activities together. The energy within a group is always exciting and uplifting, and now we see every location through the lens of everyone else. It is priceless. There are more people now to share the responsibilities of planning, and so the dynamics may be a little different. Let's explore how to plan such a fun trip together.
It is decision time!
Make a list of all the people confirmed to travel. Maybe come together for dinner, or get onto a zoom conference from your home, to decide about the logistics of the trip. This is the time to decide upon the destination of travel, and the dates. Once this is out of the way, make a list of all the activities the group would like to do. This would help booking for those activities beforehand. Group bookings are a little more difficult just because of the size, so the earlier you take care of this, the better. Pick one or two people as the leaders of the group, who could make sure all bases are covered and facilitate communication within the group. Based on the strengths, interests or connections of people in the group, it would then be time to delegate tasks. Decide who will work on what part of the trip, and do not forget to consider any budget constraints or other necessary considerations like passports, little children etc. Take some time to figure out this part of the planning process thoroughly, this will ensure you have a considerable degree of comfort going forward. Involve everyone to do something.
Make all your reservations early.
Usually, there are group rates available when flying or lodging in hotels. This also helps keep your budget under control, and provides you with at least 10% in discounts. But reserving early is key. There are other prospects that are open to you in terms of stay, maybe you could look up a private home, or an AirBnb, that would be a better, and more fun option. You could save more, and still have much more fun buying groceries, and cooking at home together. Then again, everyone has different habits, and living together may not suit everyone's palettes, so make such a decision carefully. When eating out, some things should probably be done separately. Each family can pre-pay for their dinners, and that way if you only ate a salad, you don't have to split the bill with someone who ordered big meals and drinks. Look up something called dinner tours, if you are interested. If traveling on a cruise, again look for group rates, and you will be able to find some great rates, especially for drinks. Plan for any group activities in advance, like hiking, zip-lining, jet-skiing, parasailing, boating etc. It would also be a great idea to explore group trips. There are a lot of pre-packaged group dealers that take care of all aspects of your travel, right from boarding the airplane, planning your day and night activities during the trip, ending with your return boarding. So, if that is something you would prefer, instead of planning the whole trip yourself, that's the way to go.
Use technology to share information with the entire group.
With so many people working on all the different aspects of this travel plan, it is very important to communicate, so that everyone is on the same page. And, everyone knows everything. This is very important to maintain peace and transparency within the group, as well as make each member feel important that they are contributing. Technology has provided us with so many tools to collaborate. We would recommend creating a group folder on Google Drive, and sharing with the group. You can also prepare a table using Google sheets, and save this sheet in the folder. List all the tasks in detail, and include the name of the person responsible for the task. Since the entire folder is shared, everything within the folder will be visible to everyone within the group. Get on a zoom conference, and let everyone know about the contents on the sheet, and how to read it, and how to search what tasks are assigned to them. Everyone can go back to the list to update any bookings done, or any other remarks. Any reservation confirmation for flights, hotels, activities could all be saved in the folder, and be accessible to all. Create a group on Whatsapp, so everyone can text each other, this helps with quick communications. Going forward, as the group embarks on their journey, people start taking pictures. All pictures from all cameras can be added onto a common album on Google Photos. That way, everything is organized in one location and available to all. These are precious memories you will be creating, and organization makes it even more precious.
Trust us, your experience will be enhanced multi-fold when you travel in a group. Yes, many a times, you may want to travel alone, or just with your family, and that is perfectly alright. But, sometimes, traveling in a group allows for people to enjoy other aspects of togetherness. Kids in a group enjoy much more, than just with their families. Adults do too, and hence the prevalence of all-girls trips, and all-mens trips. If you haven't done it before, give it a shot. Maybe you might just like it.
You will never know unless you try.
Share on social
More from Wander
Subscribe to Wander newsletter and get our "Making new friends on the road" guide