How to not Only Survive Group Holidays but to Make it an Adventure of a Lifetime!
37 pieces of luggage checked in, 12 eager adults and 14 screaming kids later, you’re aboard a flight to take you on that long awaited and well-planned group holiday! There is nothing better than to watch the kids at the airport unable to contain their excitement as they chatter away with great anticipation. The smartphones are out and we all gather for at least one customary group selfie to plaster all over our social media, boasting about how much fun the next 2 weeks are going to be. Surviving group holidays over the next few days or weeks together takes some work. Here are some tips on how to have the perfect vacation:
SURVIVING GROUP HOLIDAYS TIP #1
Pre-determined Responsibilities. Everyone in the group should be assigned with responsibilities throughout the holiday. For us, we have found it highly useful for tasks to be divided in this manner:
- Flights/Airports. If you’re flying, have someone look after all things to do with flights, airports and how to get from the airport to their accommodation.
- Accommodation. Have one person be responsible for all the accommodation aspects of the trip to include contact details (especially if you’re going down the Air B’n’B route), organising check in for the whole group and making sure room configurations are correct and letting the hotel know who the go to person is if they need anything.
- Itinerary. You can split up the itinerary by day so one family is in charge of everything for that day. They send the reminders, coordinate the movement from A to B and ensure everyone is accounted for. You could also split up the itinerary by activity or attraction.
SURVIVING GROUP HOLIDAYS TIP #2
Be Considerate. Being selfish on a group holiday just doesn’t work. The whole idea of travelling together is to explore and do things together. Reserve your selfish endeavours to the free days where you’re free to do as you wish. If you agreed to stick to the itinerary, please do so and everyone should try and be punctual. All it takes is a late start in the morning and the rest of the group suffers as you would have to either cut something short in order to get back on schedule or you may even have to miss out on an activity.
SURVIVING GROUP HOLIDAYS TIP #3
Be Flexible. As much as you may all wish to stick to all the plans you had painstakingly put together, unforeseen circumstances do occur. It helps for everyone to be open minded and adopt a “go with the flow” attitude.
SURVIVING GROUP HOLIDAYS TIP #4
Book Your Dining. Should you all wish to dine together, it helps to make those decisions ahead of time and make a booking. Wondering the streets in a foreign place, looking for a restaurant that will take 26 people at a whim doesn’t do anyone any favours. Hungry kids loitering around waiting for a table is not a good idea.
SURVIVING GROUP HOLIDAYS TIP #5
Pay Your own Way. Always settle accounts individually and at every instance. Buy your own tickets, pay your share of the meal straightaway or buy those souvenirs on your own. This will avoid someone having to be responsible for keeping a tally of who owes who what. The notion of paying it back at the end of the holiday is always fraught with the dangers of agreeing on a suitable currency exchange rate.
SURVIVING GROUP HOLIDAYS TIP #6
Adult Time. Travelling as a group certainly has its perks when it comes to adults only time. We often schedule in a girls night, boys night and date nights as we offer to look after each other’s children. This is a great way to rejuvenate mid-way through the holiday and a breather from the kids.
SURVIVING GROUP HOLIDAYS TIP #7
Sharing the Same Space. Should you all be sharing accommodation during your group holidays, it’s important to respect how you use communal spaces. Villa scenarios where they can house a few families at a time can become claustrophobic. Clean up after yourselves, control noise levels when the kids have gone to bed and share expenses or replenish luxuries that may be associated with living arrangements. We love hanging out with each other 24/7 but that only works as we have learnt to co-exist harmoniously and being considerate of each other all the time.
SURVIVING GROUP HOLIDAYS TIP #8
Group Parenting. The best way to keep all the children in line is if all the adults parent cohesively. This reduces rogue tantrums or untoward behaviour if all your peers are on the same boat. Easier said than done but we have always managed to travel with like-minded friends who have the same values and beliefs. Should you however be travelling with friends who have very different parenting styles, you must be prepared to handle difficult situations.
In all the years of travelling with other families, we have never had nightmare group holidays or broken friendships. That is however a result of ensuring the dynamics are all aligned. We pick suitable companions that we know will travel well together, we select a destination that suit the travelling party and we plan meticulously. Amazing group holidays can happen! We promise!
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