Organizing group holidays can be difficult affairs. Whether you are just going with your mates or taking the partners, wives, and kids along too, it can be filled with many nuances and facets you’ll have to consider to get it right. The good news is that everyone thinks it’s a good idea and you know it could be so much fun with many great experiences. However, now you are stuck with the actual logistics of it all. So, where do you begin? Here are a few tips and tricks for you to consider if you have taken on the task of organizing a group holiday:
It is probably a good idea to find out exactly how many people are coming, and how many children too. Understanding the group’s demographics will help you when you do your initial investigation into holiday types to work out a ballpark figure on costings. By knowing who is coming, you will have a rough idea of the type of holiday that is going to be acceptable as well as the type of accommodation you will need. For example, luxury hotels in midtown nyc could be a great option if you are going in a smaller group, but if there are quite a lot of you, you might be better looking at an apartment or whole house rental.
With a lot of children involved, a city break may not be the best idea. You need to think about somewhere which has something for everyone. It is also a good idea that at this stage to confirm the dates of the holiday, so everyone can clear their schedules. Dates quite far in advance is a good idea, so that everything can be organized properly.
Create A Group Chat
A group chats on something like WhatsApp is a great way to ensure that everything gets messages. Calling every individual can get a little tedious and long in the tooth, especially if it is a large group. So as soon as you know who is coming, create that chat. It is a great way to confirm the holiday dates, budgets, etc., and ensure that very little confusion can occur when people talk to each other. It is also a permanently open communication channel anyone can ask a question on at any time. With a written record that everyone can refer back to it makes the process a lot easier.
Not everyone has the same level of funds to play with, so unless someone in your group is rich and willing to pay for everyone, you need to be rather delicate when creating a budget. The best thing to do is have a look at a lot of different places that are suitable for the whole group and come up with a budget that everyone agrees with. Think about the cost of the accommodation, flights, transfers, etc., first, then think about some extra money that will be held back in a kitty which you can use to pay for excursions, or even meals once the primary cost has been settled. Once you have a set figure in mind, it makes the hunting about for a suitable holiday easier to navigate.
Having a specific budget in stone will definitely make this aspect a lot easier. The world is a big place, and there are a lot of places that everyone would love to see. First, consider the group. If there are a lot of children, are long flights the best idea? Also, if the duration of the holiday is only five days in total, that is another reason not to choose somewhere with long flights. Perhaps you could ask everyone on your group chat what kind of holiday they would prefer, a beach holiday somewhere hot, a rural escape and adventure, a cruise, a mountain resort, etc. It may also be a good idea to ask if anyone has any serious aversion to a particular location for any reason. The more information you can get to narrow the search, the easier it will be to create a shortlist of desirable locations.
You clearly have a lot of choices such as hotels and holiday homes. For the sake of convenience, you may go for the package holiday which will take care of everything for you. However, these can be more expensive, and you are generally tied into a particular resort, be it a mountain or beach. Also, unless you are all-inclusive, you are going to have to have meals out every night, which can prove to be expensive. You could choose a holiday home where you all can stay together or an Airbnb. Once you have arrived, it is a more personal affair. You can go shopping at the supermarket to save on costs. The kitty will do well here. You can even possibly acquire your own pool too, which is a bonus. However, this means that flights, etc., will need to be booked separately. If your group is a little bit more on the adventurous side and there are no kids involved, you could book a few backpackers or hostels. This obviously is rather a niche option and depends on the group. Again, find a few options and see what people prefer. As long as you are booking in advance, there is no reason why it isn’t as easy to book flights separately as it is to book a package deal. Time also allows you to avoid things like ESTA website problems, and ensure everyone is happy with the final destination.
Learn to Delegate
You may well be surprised to find that many people involved in the holiday will want to help out. If people ask you if you need help before you have delegated tasks out, don’t see this as an insult, and use help when it is offered. If the group is large, the process will get convoluted and confusing, and if you can avoid stress, do it. So, don’t overload yourself with too many tasks and delegate them out. Look at the team you have around you and ask whoever you feel will be best suited to organizing flights, hiring cars, etc. A foodie may well want to choose great restaurants, and someone who is a bit of a hiker may be the best person to locate walking routes close to your accommodation base. You could even consider a travel planner if that option seems like the best idea.
You need to make sure that something that will appeal to everyone in the group has been considered and the appropriate action has been taken. Although this may mean that there is a day or two for children, the group has to be a little bit willing to compromise. Perhaps you could advise people to take a book, and some music so that they can enjoy some alone time if they so wish. Group holidays will only work if everyone is willing to compromise a little bit. So, if the adults without children are happy to go to that theme park and watch the ridges with a coffee or beer, that’s a big bonus. Also, consider how happy everyone would be for a couple of days where the group splits into separate activities.
After everything has been organized and agreed, write down the itinerary and send it out to everyone. This is something that you all need to stick to. Everyone needs to know it has taken a long time to sort out and includes something for everyone. A set plan makes it far easier for everyone concerned. You could also include a few backup plans if plan A fails for whatever reason. A great example of this could be an alternative excursion idea if it is bad weather, or a separate hire car company if there is a problem with the cars.