Group travels are fun! Especially if you are one of those group members who just show up for the trip and doesn’t have to worry about what went into planning the whole shindig. That’s when group travels are REALLY fun. The problem is, someone has to plan these things and if all you decide to take part in the planning process you may never leave your homes.
What it Takes to Plan a Group Safari
Obviously, it would be ideal to have everyone input on where the group should go and what they should do. However, a myriad of project management courses says that there should be at least one or two people who act as “directors” and takes most of the brunt involved in the planning phase.
If you happen to be the “organised” one in your group of friends, apologies are due because you will probably end up as the one who has to plan your group safaris.
So what does it take to plan a successful group trip?
- Excellent organisational skills.
- Excellent communication skills.
- Exception Googling skills.
You might also need some level of “dictatorship” for when Tommy and Sheryl can’t agree on whether you guys should go travel in July or in December.
6 Tips on How to Plan a Successful Group Trip
Since the powers that be (mostly you) have decided that you are the one who will plan this thing, here are some tips that should help you get things underway:
1. Get a List of All Your Friends Who Will Be Going
Here is something you need to keenly consider- just because Sheryl is all excited about the trip doesn’t mean that she will come. There are some friends who love the idea of travelling with their friends but tend to flake out on your when the day comes.
You need to make a list of people who are committed to going on the trip. Heck, you can even charge them a non-refundable deposit as soon as you have the final budget just to make sure that they show up.
Once you have this list, take a survey on where all the travelling members would like to go and then head on to tip number 2.
2. Decide Where You Guys Want to Go
This is where your superhero-like Googling skills come in handy. It might sound easy enough but this is one of the most quicksand-like steps of planning a group trip.
Every single member of your group has their own idea of where they should go and where you guys will have the most fun. While it’s an excellent idea to take note of all the suggested places and put them on your group travel bucket list, you still need to pick one destination for this particular trip. Here is what you do:
- Make a list of all the suggested places.
- Do a bit of research on all of them?
- Qualify the best three based on time, distance, budget and barriers to entry such as lengthy Visa acquisition process and all that.
- Put those three up for a vote with your vote being the Veto vote if Tommy and Sheryl simply can’t come to an understanding.
3. Make All the Bookings Well in Advance
There are two main reasons for doing this:
- It will lock Sheryl in and make sure that every group member is committed (since they will have already spent non-refundable money).
- It will get you the best possible deals.
When it comes to things like booking your flights doing so long in advance gives you the best chance to get the best and cheapest ticket prices. Besides, you can then make sure that all group members are sited together for better synergy and just mad laughs on your way to the destination.
You also need to check out all the places you will be visiting and book those accommodations well in advance.
4. Plan Ahead for Things to Do and See at The Destination
Hanging out as a group of friends is a great deal of fun. No doubt. However, left to your own devices, there is a good chance that you guys will do the very same thing that you do when you hang out together at home.
If that thing is exploring new places, then well and good. However, for most groups of friends, this often involves sitting about and just catching up and sharing war stories with one another.
To avoid all that and ensure that you don’t miss all the beautiful sites that your destination has to offer, it’s best to create an itinerary for the group:
- Choose group safari packages.
- Find out what there is to do and see at your destination.
- Pre-book whatever needs pre-booking.
Be sure to ask for group discounts or special rates. This often works best when you book well in advance.
5. Have Some Clear “Rules of Engagement”
Even after you have all decided on where to go, what to do, where to stay and when to go, there are always going to be some contention once you get on the group.
Tommy will want to go swimming when Sherry wants to go wine tasting. You might want to go out to the club while the rest want to go camping. It’s best to have clear “rules of engagement” while you are on the ground. There are two efficient ways to get this done:
- Majority rules: Take a vote and do what the group decides.
- Split up: You can simply decide to take some time off for individualized fun but only for a short while.
6. Get People Excited About the Trip
It’s easy to forget that people have different lives, experiences and temperaments. Just because you have never been as excited about anything as much as you are about this upcoming trip doesn’t mean that everyone feels the same. You might have to keep people excited about it especially if it’s a few months away:
- Share videos and images of the destination on your shared platform.
- Send wonderful quotes about why travelling is a wonderful idea.
- Go shopping for your gear and share all that information with your friend.
To simplify things, you can use resources such as WeTravel to keep everything organized and conveniently in one place for all group members to access.
Do you have any additional tips on how to successfully plan a group trip? Share them with us in the comment section below.