GROUP GET­AWAYS

How to travel with fam­ily and friends

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - Escape - - FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS BIG OCCASIONS - TIANA TEM­PLE­MAN

Where travel is con­cerned, it’s a def­i­nitely a case of the more, the merrier. Multi-gen­er­a­tional travel, travel with im­me­di­ate fam­ily mem­bers and cel­e­bra­tion travel rank as three of the top five 2017 travel trends, ac­cord­ing to this year’s Vir­tu­oso Luxe Re­port.

A group get­away is the per­fect way to cel­e­brate mile­stone events, such as a “sig­nif­i­cant” birth­day, with fam­ily, friends, or a mix of both.

In­stead of trav­el­ling to some­one’s house for a group cel­e­bra­tion, it can be eas­ier, cheaper and a lot more fun to meet up some­where ex­otic and mark the oc­ca­sion with a truly mem­o­rable hol­i­day.

Multi­gen­er­a­tional trips have been grow­ing in pop­u­lar­ity for years and des­ti­na­tion wed­dings have al­ways been pop­u­lar.

New types of group get­aways have also be­gun to emerge. Many hens and bucks are now skip­ping the tra­di­tional pre-wed­ding night out in favour of a week­end get­away with their besties.

Feel­ing guilty about not keep­ing up to date with what your broth­ers and sis­ters have been up to?

A group hol­i­day with your sib­lings and their chil­dren could be just what you need to re­con­nect and catch up on things.

Plan­ning a suc­cess­ful group get­away in­volves tak­ing the ex­pec­ta­tions of dif­fer­ent trav­ellers and, in some cases, dif­fer­ent gen­er­a­tions into ac­count and com­bin­ing them to cre­ate a trip that is en­joy­able for every­one.

For­tu­nately, this is eas­ier than you might think.

WHERE SHOULD WE GO?

Choos­ing a des­ti­na­tion that is phys­i­cally and fi­nan­cially vi­able for every­one is im­por­tant.

Friends with sim­i­lar in­ter­ests can usu­ally agree on where to go quickly and eas­ily.

How­ever, it can be more chal­leng­ing plan­ning a group trip with ex­tended fam­ily. Trav­el­ling long dis­tances can be dif­fi­cult for el­derly rel­a­tives and par­ents with young chil­dren, not to men­tion ex­pen­sive. Keep this in mind, par­tic­u­larly if you are plan­ning a des­ti­na­tion wed­ding.

Cre­at­ing a wish list as a group and get­ting every­one to vote is a fair and fun way to choose a des­ti­na­tion.

Ask ev­ery guest to sug­gest three des­ti­na­tions which ap­peal and are fea­si­ble for them fi­nan­cially.

Make a short­list of the three most pop­u­lar des­ti­na­tions and get ev­ery fam­ily mem­ber to vote on where to go.

WHAT ABOUT AC­COM­MO­DA­TION?

Try to find a com­fort­able mid­dle ground when it comes to ac­com­mo­da­tion as every­one will likely have a dif­fer­ent hol­i­day bud­get.

What is con­sid­ered “af­ford­able” by some peo­ple might be com­pletely out of reach for oth­ers in the group.

“If you want to book your group’s ac­com­mo­da­tion your­self, con­tact the ho­tel or villa group and let them know the group size. Com­pa­nies love the idea of larger groups and will do the work for you,” says Leisa Brench­ley, founder and cre­ative di­rec­tor of The Bali Bride (the­bal­ib­ride.com).

“They can ac­cess dif­fer­ent room op­tions such as stan­dard right up to deluxe. A lot of ho­tels of­fer group book­ing dis­counts to get the en­tire group in the one lo­ca­tion.”

Villa-only re­sorts such as Pep­pers Seminyak cater es­pe­cially well for groups with ac­com­mo­da­tion rang­ing from af­ford­able two-per­son Stu­dio Pool Vil­las right up to five-bed­room Pres­i­den­tial Pool Vil­las which sleep 14 guests. Savvy groups book one of the large vil­las for hang­ing out to­gether and group din­ing, with smaller vil­las avail­able for those who are on a tight bud­get or pre­fer their own space.

If you are shar­ing a hol­i­day home or villa, opt for one which is a lit­tle too big rather than too small, with enough bed­rooms and bath­rooms to pro­vide pri­vacy for all.

AND THE PRAC­TI­CAL­I­TIES?

When you are trav­el­ling as a group, the abil­ity to agree on a few ground rules be­fore you leave home will make the trip a much hap­pier one for ev­ery­body. Chores can be a source of ten­sion, par­tic­u­larly for groups shar­ing a hol­i­day home.

Con­sider an in­for­mal ros­ter or look for al­ter­na­tives.

Of­fer­ing to pay for some ac­tiv­i­ties in ex­change for chores can help cash­strapped fam­ily mem­bers save face and feel like they are con­tribut­ing.

Those who hate cook­ing on hol­i­day may pre­fer to treat every­one to din­ner at a lo­cal restau­rant in­stead.

Even bet­ter, you could go on a cruise and let some­one else look af­ter the cook­ing, clean­ing, en­ter­tain­ment and chal­lenge of get­ting every­one from one des­ti­na­tion to another.

WILL I BE­COME A BABYSIT­TER?

If you are a grand­par­ent, make sure your grown-up chil­dren know that you want to en­joy the hol­i­day too.

Sched­ul­ing some “time off ” from the grand­chil­dren in ad­vance can help pre­vent mis­un­der­stand­ings.

Whether you are trav­el­ling with fam­ily or friends, book­ing a babysit­ter so all the adults can en­joy an even­ing out to­gether is worth the money when you have kids in tow.

Par­ents may also like to con­sider tak­ing their chil­dren out for the day oc­ca­sion­ally.

Ab­sence makes the heart grow fonder, es­pe­cially when you have a mix of adults and chil­dren shar­ing ac­com­mo­da­tion.

While the main pur­pose of a group get­away is to spend time to­gether, the key to keep­ing things happy and peace­ful is also hav­ing time apart.

Shar­ing your ad­ven­tures at the end of the day is half the fun.

TAKE THE EX­PEC­TA­TIONS OF DIF­FER­ENT TRAV­ELLERS AND GEN­ER­A­TIONS INTO AC­COUNT

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