Travelling with a group of people can be one of the most fun and fulfilling ways to explore the globe; particularly if you share a bond with the people you are travelling with. One thing that you do need to be mindful of when it comes to travelling in a group is the potential of difference in opinion as there are so many personalities that you are dealing with. To help you avoid any bumps in the road of your holiday, our team at Travel Sphere have put together the 5 secrets to successful group touring:
1. Plan in advance
Before anything, discuss the general part of the world you wish to visit. Do you want a relaxing beach holiday? Do you enjoy exploring and learning about historical sites? Do you love hustle and bustle and a lively nightlife? Shopping? Nature? Adventure? Once you have decided where you want to go, have each person travelling decide on the most important sites they want to visit or things they want to do. Make a list, perhaps in order of preference, of the things you absolutely want to see and those you would be willing to compromise on. Get your group together over a meal or drinks and firstly look at what choices match up, then plan the rest around those. Being organised and knowing what you want will be very helpful when you go to visit your travel agent to book your trip. Your travel agent will be able to suggest some organised tours that might meet your needs and will even be able to customise and book independent travel for you that will cover all your desires. A good travel agent is a must when booking for a group.
2. What are your goals?
Work out what your goals are for your trip, at the beginning of each day. Be organised - plan your day so that you can meet everyone’s goals. You may need to split up a couple of times and then meet up again for the next common goal. Remember, just because you are travelling as a group, it doesn’t mean have to do every single thing together. You won’t enjoy yourself as much when you know some members of the group are wanting to move on to something else when you really want to immerse yourself in whatever it is you are doing.
3. Making decisions
When travelling as a group, you will have a variety of different personalities to work with. Some of you will have strong personalities and have firm opinions, others will be indecisive, over-thinkers, some will be super-organised and like having things planned out and then there will be those that are happy to go with the flow. There is no right or wrong here, but consider having a ‘Decider’. When you can’t work out what to do first, where to go for lunch, which stop to get off, it helps to have someone whose role it is to be the decision maker. Some people are great at making decisions, others not so. Many groups find their trip is more successful if there is a designated person to break the tie when a decision can’t be made easily. Take turns making decisions if there are several personalities that would be happy to be the ‘Decider’.
Consider yours and your groups’ budgets. Some of you want the full, 5-star luxurious experience, some of you are happy to room share. Some of you want to go to a fancy, expensive restaurant while the other wants to only spend a minimal amount of money on food. You’ll have to be ready to compromise at times. Perhaps you can stay in a 5-star resort for part of the trip and a 3-star hotel chain for another part. You could go for a mid-range meal, or split the group; those that wish to fine-dine can do so, while
others that prefer to spend their hard-earned dollars on something else can opt for a lower budget meal. Be honest about your budget and your expectations.
5. Ban the electronics!
Minimise the use of electronics wherever possible. You organised this trip to be part of a shared experience, to enjoy your time spent with these people, whether they be family or friends or a local community group. Put your phone down. Upload your photos to Instagram or Facebook, Snapchat your friends, email your boss, text your mates – later. Perhaps either first thing in the morning or last thing at night, you can all spend a little time getting that stuff done. You don’t want to feel like you’ve missed things while looking at your screen and you don’t want to stare at the top or your fellow travellers’ heads all day. Be present, so you can make memories and really enjoy your trip.