How to Not Only Survive Group Holidays with Friends and Family 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:
TRAVEL TIPS YOU WILL FIND:
- #01 – PRE-DETERMINED RESPONSIBILITIES
- #02- BE CONSIDERATE
- #03 – BE FLEXIBLE AND ADAPTABLE
- #04 – BOOK YOUR RESTAURANTS
- #05 – PAY YOUR OWN WAY
- #06 – ADULT TIME DURING GROUP TRAVEL
- #07 – HOW TO SHARE THE SAME SPACE
- #08 – COHESIVE PARENTING
- BONUS TIP #1 – RELATED ARTICLES
#01 – PRE-DETERMINED RESPONSIBILITIES
As a frequent group traveller, I am often asked how to best organise a group holiday with family and friends. One of my biggest tips is to ensure that 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.
- Divide by Destination. If you’re travelling to multiple cities or towns, you can split up the responsibilities by destination. We did this for our European trip and I only had to research for 1 city out of 4. This meant I could relax for the other 3 cities without worrying about anything! Bliss.
#02- 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.
#03 – BE FLEXIBLE AND ADAPTABLE
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. Especially if you have younger children or a big age gap between the kids.
On our recent trip to Japan, we had 5 families of which the youngest child was 4 years old and the oldest was a 17! So we ensured there was plenty of “me” time so that everyone managed to get to do the things they wanted to.
#04 – BOOK YOUR RESTAURANTS
Should you all wish to dine together during your group holiday, 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.
#05 – 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.
Or you can use an app, like we do. Our favourite app is CostSplit where we set up a group and enter all our expenses. The app calculates all the paybacks automatically and you can even email through a spreadsheet of all expenses at the end of the trip if you’re wanting to do some family budgeting.
If travelling overseas, we always set up one group in the home currency for travel related expenses before departure and then a second group in the currency of travel so we didn’t have to worry about exchange rates. Works a charm!
#06 – ADULT TIME DURING GROUP TRAVEL
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.About to travel with groups of friends but are worried it may not work out? Here are 8 Tips for Surviving Group Holidays With Friends #grouptravel #travelwithkids Click To Tweet
#07 – HOW TO SHARE 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. For everyone to survive group travel, you have to be the sort of person that actually like being with other people on a constant basis. If you prefer plenty of quiet time, it would be best that shared accommodation be soemthing you avoid.
#08 – COHESIVE 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 travel can happen! We promise!
BONUS TIP #1 – RELATED ARTICLES
Disclaimer: The Family Globetrotter’s website contains affiliate links which help us to maintain this blog and assists us with our travels, at no extra cost to you. Family Globetrotters have also posted articles based on sponsored products and/or services, but all opinions are our own, truthful and unbiased.