Posted on 04/22/2016
From family reunions to book clubs, like-minded social groups are redefining the travel experience – and having more fun than imaginable!
When it comes to an incredible travel experience, there’s nothing better than sharing it with the one’s you love or with those who have the same passions and hobbies as you. Group travel is perfect for those who are looking to get away on vacation with their family and friends while discovering new places and having a ton of fun. Whether it's for a family or school reunion, a company trip, book club, faith-based group, or just because you enjoy being with others who share your love of travel, group travel is the way to go. In fact the options and reasons for planning a getaway with your selected crew are limitless, as are all the great memories everyone is certain bring home.
Group travel can incorporate an entire travel package (flights, accommodations, cruises, and guided tours) or just one segment of a package. When you book as a group, there are many travel benefits, the greatest being significant discounted pricing. It is often possible to lock in exceptional group hotel rates, especially if you have a sizeable group. Most all travel providers offer great group rates and incentives that aren’t available to those just traveling on their own. Typically, the more people you have traveling in your group, the better discounts you will receive. For example, many hotels define a “group” by the number of rooms in a reservation. The minimum size group booking is often between five and ten rooms. Most hotels welcome group business, and depending on the size of group, a variety of upgrades or amenities may be available to travelers. The minimum number of people that constitute a “group” varies between hotels, airlines, cruise lines, and tour companies.
Before beginning your search for a destination, take some time to come up with a budget and what you think it will approximately cost each person who is taking the trip. You may find that if you try to pick the destination first, before coming up with a workable budget, that the destination is either too expensive, or, that you could actually afford a more exotic or longer trip.
If the trip is being decided upon by a majority of the group traveling, then it’s best to get a consensus on how much should be budgeted. Then, when picking your destination, come up with three ideas that everyone would enjoy and then take a vote – majority rules. This will give any potential participant the ability to back out if they are unhappy with the package before you get to far in the planning process, which could cause major problems such as incurring costly cancellation fees.
Now, on to the really fun part – group travel ideas. If you’re unsure of where to go or what type of travel adventure works best for groups, just use your imagination and think about what makes you most passionate when it comes to exploring the world. Do you have a particular hobby you want to further explore or is there a place that you’re just dying to see with your own eyes?
Are you part of a book club? Why not explore some of the places where your favorite authors and characters live? Are you a runner? There are many marathons and half-marathons across the globe that are waiting for you and your running group to earn their medals – can you think of a better souvenir! Are you a fan of The Sound of Music? Then a guided tour of the movie’s many settings throughout Austria is for you. Is country music, 80s music, bluegrass, jazz, classical, or rock more your style? Check out the many popular ocean and river cruises that headline some of the music industry’s most popular bands and musicians. For faith-based groups, there are countless religious and spiritual destinations and guided tours that provide an enlightening itinerary for all beliefs. And if you have a special group trip that requires a customized itinerary to meet your needs, no sweat. With a little planning, most customized itineraries can be created quite easily.
No matter what type of group vacation you choose or where you decide to go, be sure to allocate plenty of free time in the schedule each day so that everyone can have time to relax or explore on their own, if they choose. Couples and families go on vacation to spend time together as a unit, so they should be allowed to do so. Also, it’s always nice to work in a group dinner on one of the nights and maybe an activity or two during the course of your trip. This works out well for multi-generational group trips as well as for groups that include children.
There are oodles of travel companies that love working with groups and have specialized programs tailor-made just for them. If your faith-based group, school class, hobby club, social group, or extended family and friends want to take a vacation to an exciting destination together, there are many of hotels and resorts, airlines, that love to entertain the vacation needs of groups. Traveling as a group is one of the best and most enjoyable ways to experience new destinations around the world – whether half-way across the globe or close to home – because you already know everyone you’re traveling with and you all share a common and passionate interest. Best of all no one in the group has to handle all the tedious details! And that’s exactly where your local travel professional comes in.
Remember, our agents are your best assets when it comes to planning and booking a group trip, and utilizing their expertise will ensure an enjoyable and memorable vacation for all. By optimizing their existing relationships in the travel industry, our agents can often secure better rates and services than if you or anyone in the group booked directly with a provider. They can also help you navigate any cancellation policy’s a travel provider has. And should you face any unforeseen issues while traveling, they’ll be ready to help you get things back on track much quicker than you could on your own.
Finally, once everything has been planned and booked, consider dedicating an hour or two one evening to have the group meet at someone’s home or perhaps a restaurant to go over the details of the trip itinerary. This is great way to answer any questions or concerns the group may have and to allow trip members to meet one another (if they haven’t traveled together before), develop a bond, and get excited about their trip. If many of those in the group traveling are spread throughout the country, consider holding a webinar or conference call with everyone to discuss the trip – and just how awesome it will be!