Group travelling with a bunch of your friends can be a lot of fun. It can, if not properly organized however, become a nightmare that causes stress, tension, and, in some unfortunate circumstances, end friendships for good.
While there’s no way to guarantee that all of the possible wrinkles can be avoided entirely. Here are some tips to lessen the hassles of group travelling and make it a fun time for all involved.
Talk Money Early
Once you’ve decided on a place, it’s essential that you decide on a budget range. Money can be a highly sensitive topic and by agreeing beforehand on the level of luxury you’re willing to pay for, you can avoid potential conflict later. And do remember, what one person considers perfectly affordable may be prohibitively expensive for some. So encourage honest discussion from the start to avoid having people over-stretch themselves financially.
One issue that can arise when group travelling is that everyone is not equally prepared. Packing for a trip is the easiest stage to address and understand this. Make sure everyone is on the same page in regards to the following very important issues.
- Are you carrying on or checking baggage? It can be frustrating to wait around for one person’s bag when everyone else made sure to pack compactly into a carry on.
- Make sure that everyone knows the size and weight of the airline’s allowed carry on. If everyone follows these rules, you should have no problem getting through security.
- Discuss the appropriate clothing for the planned activities. It feels terrible to be the only one without fancy clothes when everyone else wants to go out to a nice dinner. Or, more importantly, some places won’t let you in if you aren’t dressed correctly (such as some churches and other places of worship).
- Does everyone want to do all the same things? One of the most difficult parts of traveling with other people can be making decisions. Activities have to be discussed and agreed upon. It’s okay if not everyone does everything together, but the group activities should be things everyone will enjoy.
Understand Local Customs
- If travelling internationally, everyone should know the country’s money situation. The minute you arrive at your destination, you’ll need to start paying for things (taxi, food, tips, etc.). So make sure everyone knows beforehand what kind of currency they’ll need, and the exchange rate so they won’t be shocked later.
- Also, it can be helpful to know the tipping expectations. Americans tip for pretty much everything, but in many countries tip is not normally expected or given. Lastly, be sure everyone has cash (changed into local currency) because in many countries credit cards are not accepted as frequently as they are in the United States. Bonus Tip: get a small change pouch to carry coins, many currencies have coins for the lower “dollar” amounts.
- Follow some basic safety tips. Being safe is always a big priority, even when you are travelling as part of a group. Making sure everyone knows some tips for being safe in the destination can make the trip much more enjoyable. Exploring a street market for some unique gifts is fun; trying to calm down your friend after their passport has been pick-pocketed is not.
Encourage Clear Communication
This is the key to having a successful group vacation and reducing much of the tension that can result from traveling with others. Whether you’re on a trip with your best friend or a new friend, establishing a clear channel of communication will benefit everyone. Something as simple as saying, “If there’s ever anything bothering you during the trip, please don’t hesitate to tell me. I know we can work it out and have a great time,” can really have a big impact on everyone’s attitude.
Get Some Help with Group Travelling
Often, planning group travelling experiences is just easier if you ask for some help right from the start. Turning to a travel agent specializing in group travel can save you money, score you extra perks and take a lot of the stress out of the trip.