Are you going to go traveling with a bunch of your friends or your family? Look forward to some great stories and some wonderful adventures. At the same time, groups do work a bit differently and if you’re not used to traveling with a bunch of people, you need to think about some aspects that you otherwise don’t.
For that reason, here are some of the tips and tricks that you should consider before you head out as they’ll save you a lot of frustration.
The bigger the group the slower it moves
Just like with Newton’s first law of motion, the bigger the group, the harder it is to get it to move. Of course, it’s not for the same reason. You can’t move a big rock because it’s heavy. You can’t move a big group because while July might have just come back from the bathroom, now Tom has wandered off to get himself something to eat.
The effect is the same, though. The bigger the group, the longer it will take for everybody to be ready. Even worse, because they move so slow people will wander off to do something else ‘because we’re waiting anyway’ and then you’re left waiting for that person after that.
If you’re not ready for that, it’s very frustrating. So take a book. And whatever you do, don’t try to take charge. Leave that to somebody else because – believe me – it’s not a fun role.
Another fun fact about groups that should be self-evident but for some reason never seems to dawn on aunty Jill is that not everybody likes doing the same things. Yes, it is really strange that not everybody likes the handkerchief museum and would prefer sitting by the side of the pool, but nonetheless, it’s true.
For that reason, groups should be willing to split up. The best bet is to have everybody make a list of activities they’d like to do, then in the evenings, you decide on a couple of things that you want to do the next day. People decide which ones they’d like to take part in and the group has divided.
Even better, by having people decide for themselves what they’re going to do, they will be far more likely to take responsibility and make the best of it. It was their own choice, after all.
Groups are not only filled with extroverts. There are going to be people who will need to recharge on their own. Give them the space to do so. Besides, everybody wants to be able to relax and do their own thing, right? It doesn’t matter if they want to read a book, work on their dissertation abstract, or roast themselves like a piece of cod in an oven. For that reason, make sure there is a lot of downtime planned into your schedule.
That way people can make their own way, hang out with the people they want to, and actually recharge on your trip abroad. And as a bonus, if something interesting and exciting comes up, you can embrace it because you’ve got the time in your schedule built in to do so.
Rent a big place
The thing with splitting up is that you won’t get to see everybody during the day. To compensate for that, you should consider renting something big together. For example, on Airbnb you can now easily rent whole houses where you can fit a dozen people (or more). Even better, these places can often work out quite cheaply if divided by the group.
And that way you get to see each other plenty of time and hang out together in the mornings and the evenings too.
The more vehicles the more likely somebody gets lost
If you can, try to find as few vehicles as possible to get you from one place to another. After all, the more people get behind the wheel, the more likely somebody will take a wrong turn somewhere and not show up where you’re supposed to go at the time you’re supposed to get there.
The thing with bigger vehicles is that most companies don’t have as many of those lying around as they do of the standard family cars. For that reason, make sure you contact the companies in advance to reserve a mini-van or something even bigger.
You might even want to consider renting a driver. They’ll be responsible for the vehicle and will probably know it better – as well as understanding what the dangers are of the roads you’re driving on (people drive differently in different places).
Besides, who wants to be the designated driver on your holidays? That’s no fun!
Traveling with a group is about compromise. They want to this, but they want to do that. And not everybody can be happy. That’s just the way it goes. As long as everybody can accept that and everybody can approach the situation with that in mind, chances are good everybody will be okay.
So make sure everybody understands that! Make sure the people grasp that they can’t always have it their way and that the rest of the group would like a say in these decisions as well. Democracy makes for a far happier trip than a dictatorship ever does.
And that’s always useful to remember.