Tips and Tricks on How to Successfully Plan a Large Group Trip
Planning a group trip can have its complications when trying to incorporate everyone’s ideas. So, it is best to plan a trip with those who share similar interests, have a passion for exploring the world, and are mindful of the importance of sustainability and social impact when traveling. Whether you are planning a trip with close friends or new acquaintances, you’ll want to keep our tips in mind during the planning stage.
Schedule a meeting to discuss travel dates and accommodations
If you’ve decided to take the lead on this group adventure, set up a group meeting. If you and your group typically get together on a specific day, then block out some extra time to discuss your upcoming trip. A good rule of thumb for international trips is to start planning four or five months in advance.
During the meeting, be sure to pick travel dates that work for everyone in the group, discuss trip expectations, set dates for flight purchases, and discuss any special food and room accommodations or preferences. Don’t be afraid to delegate tasks out to members of your group once these issues have been discussed.
After flights are booked, choose a lodging option that accommodates everyone traveling. Booking a house on a popular site like AirBnb may be a better fit for larger groups. However, staying with a local host or at a homestay is also a great idea to immerse yourselves in the culture and be apart of the community. Also, when booking your stay, be sure to take into account the proximity from the airport to your accommodation, as well as the distance to public transportation.
If you are unable to find a home that suits your group’s needs, look for an eco-friendly hotel for your stay. When you find a hotel you like, check to make sure it has a LEED Certification from the U.S Green Building Council.
Register your travel group
Once the above details are finalized, it may be a good idea to register your trip on an online platform that everyone in the group can access. This will allow you to keep track of all your group members, add your itinerary, and any additional details about the trip. Once your trip is registered, you group will have everything it needs consolidated in one place.
Plan your itinerary
Establishing the itinerary may be one of the most important pieces to planning a large group trip. For the organizer, it may seem like the most intimidating part as well. Keep in mind that everyone may not want to do everything on the list — and that is okay!
Research things like local festivals and farmers markets to add to the list. While it’s great to try new, adventurous things, it’s also a good idea to plan for plenty of downtime, keeping in mind that you may not get to every activity on the list. Be sure to do some research on group tours, places to have meals, and transportation!
Be more than a tourist
Plan a day, or carve out some time during your trip, for you and your group to give back to the country you are visiting. Whether it be a relief program or participating in a group activity with a cause, your group will appreciate being apart of something bigger than their individual experiences.
Prior to embarking on your trip, here is a quick checklist for the group:
Check with your cell phone carrier to assure that you have enough data to use. Or look up your destination’s travel SIMs in advance.
Check with your bank to see if they participate in currency exchange.
Check with the group to make sure everyone has all documentation necessary for international travel (ticket confirmation, passports, visas).
Share your travel plan with family, friends, and emergency contacts.
Download travel communication apps such as WhatsApp, Messenger, Line, etc.
Visit your doctor to discuss your travel plans and any vaccinations or medicines you may need for your trip abroad.
Above all, remember that traveling is about connecting — to the destination, to the people you meet on the road, to a new part of yourself, and to your travel companions! While planning is essential, be prepared to be flexible. And always prioritize the wellbeing of the people in your group over rigidly adhering to the itinerary.