5 Ways to Make the Most of Your Group Vacay
CJ Clemente | October 09, 2018
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Group trips, while fun, can be tricky. Aside from the scheduling that needs to sync with everybody else, the dynamics of the group will add a bit more challenge. Everything's well and good when you're talking about it on Viber, everyone's excited about all the ideas being thrown around—from the destination to the food, the activities, the possible OOTDs, but oddly enough, no one is taking actual notes.
Well, here are a few ways to make it easier!
- Majority wins
The first hurdle—pinning down a date. Not all holidays are created equal because some of them aren’t celebrated in other offices and also, not everybody has the same number of leaves allowed or have left for that matter. Some of you might only be available for an overnight, while some can spare 2-4 days.
The key here is acceptance. Accept that not everybody will be able to go. No guilt trips, no peer pressure. Be adults and take a poll. Write down all the possible dates and the time when most people can go wins. If you miss this one, there's always the next.
- Choose the destination
In choosing the destination, be open-minded and sensitive. It will be best if you do your research on interesting locations and suggest them to the group. It'll be good for everyone to know what to see there, what to do, etc. so everyone can make an informed decision.
Keep these things in mind:
There are different types of travelers.
While you may be the adventurous back-packer, your best friend might be a luxe traveler. That's not to say that you can't travel together, but it will require extra planning and compromise.
People have different budgets.
Not everyone can afford to travel by plane. Some can only allocate a bus ride or to carpool, so it's best to see where everyone's at financially and propose at least three options—a budget vacay, one that's in the middle, and one that's on a higher end. Sometimes it's also just a matter of getting different types of rooms in a resort or hotel that sets a big difference, not necessarily the destination. Be open to compromise!
TIP: Check out websites or apps that offer discounts for hotels and other things such as Booking.com, Klook, or even groupon sites like DealGrocer and Metrodeal.
3. Break down the days and list activities
Now that everyone's up to speed with the date and the location, it's time to plan the nitty-gritty. If your vacation is going to take a few days, it's best to break down activities per day. This does two things: 1) Some can only spare a day or two, while some might even have just a few hours, so if your trip is possible by car or bus, they might be able to follow on the days/time they're free, and 2) By breaking down the activities, you're giving others a chance to choose what day they can or want to participate in.
Let's face it, even your closest group of friends have different ideas of vacation, and it's been proven to be a bone of contention among friends when their ideas for a perfect day clash.
Laid-back vacationers might feel overwhelmed if they feel forced to participate in activities that are physically demanding or those who are never on time might feel rushed if there's an early call time, etc.
It's wise to first lay all the cards on the table just so everybody knows what activities are available, what things people expect on the trip, and which of those they want to participate in.
You can download the app GroupMe to be able to organize your trip with the friends involved, share photos, videos, itineraries, locations, and best of all, take polls. You can use this when you're deciding on activities, deciding on restaurants, locations, etc.
4. List down all expenses
Money issues should be handled with care.
Set a budget for the whole trip. Ask people what they're willing to spend for the whole vacation—accommodations, transportations, activities, food, and come up with budget options. Sometimes in a big group with a wide range of ages, people bring their families, their spouses, their plus ones, or just kids, so you have to come up with different packages for people to choose which suits them.
This may sound tedious, but it will make it easier to tally in the long run.
For example those who are bringing their whole family will probably get a room to themselves while the singles might want to bunk together to save up on accommodations.
5. Track progress
Keeping tabs on progress as you near your vacation date will be to everyone's advantage. Keep an excel file of the whole vacation that includes destination, transportation, a breakdown of expenses, etc. list down all the participants and log who has paid for what as soon as they pay (or put the file on Google Drive so everyone has access and can log for themselves).
There's also an app for this called Split Wise and it does the work for you. If you're dividing it equally or by percentage or what, the app will help you do that. No more debates on whether or not somebody has paid.
Hopefully, with these tips in mind, planning your next getaway with friends won't be a nightmare anymore and you'll actually have more time doing the most important thing-- having fun!