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Thinking about group travel? 3 pro tips for success
Travelling in a group, or if you want to use the sophisticated French term – ‘en masse’ - has its potential highs and lows. So is group travel a good idea for you? And how do you make your trip a bonding experience rather than a disaster movie?
1. Before you set off
Group travel can be great – the security, the friendship, the fun of sharing a new and exciting place. But you won’t always get to choose the restaurant you dine in, the place you stay, or be able to take a break from someone who’s annoying you!
Group travel is best when it’s organised and booked ahead. If you are working long hours or short of time, a detailed itinerary may be the best way forward. It can also save you money. Buying as a group can mean discounts on transfers, meals, accommodation and activities.
Even if your group holiday is organised by a travel agent, accept that some members of the group will play a more active role in the organisation and decision-making than others. If you are planning your own group trip, meet up before you travel, set expectations and keep communication flowing by email to avoid any surprises or unexpected expenses.
2. Be patient
Ordering in a restaurant, checking into a hotel or touring a site – all these things are bound to take more time. Travelling in a group requires a different mindset. In one word, patience. Getting to know your fellow travellers and embracing shared experiences are as much a part of the trip as the places you see.
Accept that even with a detailed itinerary, some people in the group may want to dip out of an activity or retire early for the night. Travelling in a group doesn’t mean you have to do absolutely everything together. In fact, it’s often best when you do plan for time apart.
If you are travelling with an experienced guide or tour leader, you will gain from their experience and knowledge of the local area. They will most likely have established contacts and be able to get you into cool places you may otherwise overlook.
Play to your strengths as a group. Someone will be good at directions, another at the local language, someone else at keeping the group together, another at telling jokes and seeing the comical side of things, especially if they go wrong!
Remember group travel is about sharing an adventure, you will look back and remember the characters in your group just as much as the places you visit!
So where should you go? Our next post has great ideas on the best group holidays and destinations.