How to travel with family and friends
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