8 Tips on How to Make Group Travel Fun
Group travel is fun for many. This may not be your choice but with careful planning and a few tips, you can negate many of the negative aspects that go with group travel. A lot depends on you.
Enjoy Group Travel?
Have you ever travelled in a group? For a month? Maybe, you've spent a month in a tour bus with fifty flapping blue hairs and husbands in full Clevelands (white shoes, white belt). Or, on a cruise, with a thousand others? From Brownie camps to hockey team travels, to church groups or families, many of us have group travel experiences and tips to share.
Your memories must spark at least a few happy experiences. For us, to this day, we are still friends with some of the strangers we've met in the group. But deep down in memory lane, you must have some travel experiences that deserve only the delete key.
There are some people you just can't avoid traveling with. Hhhhmmm. When is the next family cruise with the mother-and father-in-law?
So, how do you enhance those positives and latch on only to the winners?
1. Learn from the group travel experience of others
Others do group travel once and vow never ever to do it again. Some just love being in the company of people and develop friendships with many of them. What has been your own experience of group travel? Did you enjoy it? What did you learn from the experience?
2. Do you know that you can travel for free when you have a group?
Yes, some companies give you one free ticket and accommodation when you have a group of 10. Explore other deals. During the non-peak times, tourist companies are more accommodating so when you are a group, ask for freebies and other upgrades.
This is, of course, aside from the fee you will be paid as the travel coordinator by your company. If you're organizing just for a group of your own or your family, take advantage of this offer from airlines and hotels. Enhance your negotiation skills and learn how to get good deals especially when you do this often for your family and friends.
3. Agree on the group travel itinerary and schedule
You want to see other places or visit someone in the area? Present this clearly to the group. You can always take a day off from the itinerary especially when they're visiting a place you've already seen. If your aim is to be with the group to share the experience, then button up and fit in.
Before you leave, review the itinerary and schedule with your travel group and get an agreement. Clarity saves a lot of headaches and hurt feelings.
4. Be flexible and understand necessary changes in the group itinerary
Understand that with groups, many things can happen. You have to accommodate many unforeseen changes. If this becomes too much for you, rest.
Take time off if exhaustion makes you grumpy. Back out of the morning or afternoon schedule and take a nap. Avoid being the tour's resident grump.
5. Be on time as stated in your group travel itinerary
Make it a habit to be early for the travel schedule. Ask for a wake up call. Go early for breakfast. You can always choose your table and the food has not been ravaged yet. You can also choose your place in the bus or the boat. Moreover, you don't delay the schedule.
Be also mindful of the time and the location of the meeting point when you are out on your own. Don't let forty other people wait for you because you got lost. Or you just had to buy that post card. This also includes checking in and out of hotels early. Chances are you don't get caught up in long lines and grumpy guests.
Travel Journal for your Group Travel
Have a journal for your trip and a guide on how to make this more meaningful. As you will be meeting people and interacting with the group, you will many interesting things to jot. Jot down that telephone, address or names. Jotting is easy.
Some friendships come from group travel. If you have your journal, you can record memorable things which you can share in the future. Handy as well for contact details. Make sure you bring one with you.
6. Plan for individual time off from the travel group
Make sure you take time off from the group. This is especially true when you are on a cruise or trip with your family. Decide to go off on your own and just meet the gang for dinner. This will give each one the freedom to do what they want. Waiting for each other is a waste of time.
This is a bit difficult if you have a schedule to follow as in a bus tour. Still, even in these ones, you can take time off. They usually give you an hour free to browse around. Go on your own so you recover some of that solitude.
7. Be positive to your fellow travelers
Or, travel alone. When you travel in a group, leave behind your negative baggage. Hone your social skills and contribute to the group's positive quotient. And if you are one of those who only see things to complain about, for heaven's sake, stay home or go solo.
There is nothing more unpleasant than someone stunting about this and that and saying all the time, "One would have thought....blah, blah, blah." If you are one of these, travel solo so you don't impact anyone.
8. Always offer help when needed by the group
Group travel offers many opportunities to offer help. There are often seniors in your group who will need with their luggage or to get in and out of transport or walking in some unfamiliar terrain.
There are always bags to be carried, pictures to be taken, people who are shy to talk or are not able to speak the language. Give more than your share to the group and don't forget, enjoy yourself.
The more you give, the more will come back. Experiences always seem to expand when shared. Sort out your attitude and get a self-management plan in place before you go.
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