It’s hard to shake the stigma attached to group travel.
Indeed, the very name conjures up images of some sort of bright pink flag tied to a stick, leading a legion of semi-conscious people in their late 70’s through immense crowds to the next rehearsed factoid dispensary at any of the world’s biggest monuments.
It doesn’t have to be that way does it?
Let’s buck the trend.
Here are the top tips to travel in a group.
Don’t Be Afraid to Break Up
Yes, it sounds like some cheesy relationship advice column but this suggestion is just as valid on holiday as anywhere else. Learn to let go. Setting a rule that the group doesn’t have to stay together at all times adds flexibility and general well-being since you darn well know it’s impossible to like everybody 😉
Divide the Responsibilities
Like any workplace or sports team a travel group will be stronger and more efficient if each member is able to play to their strengths.
You know who is good at what. Let the most well traveled person take charge of accommodation, the most social or language savvy person ask for directions, and the foodie and party animal of the group handle food and drink respectively.
Don’t Give in to the Control Freak
It’s a sad reality but every group has one. There’s no easier way to start conflict on a trip than having the feeling you’re living someone else’s travel fantasy.
Don’t be passive: agree to bring major decisions to a vote in advance and roll democratically or you run the risk of living under a dictatorship.
Imagine yourself lugging a big suitcase down some busy road in a city you don’t know and attempting to get on a crowded bus. Then times that by eight.
Travelling heavy is the kryptonite of the group trip and it’ll slow all those great plans you have to a halt. If you’re on a city break pack a rucksack or light trolley – you can even double up with a friend if you’re really close.
Don’t Forget the Tip
OK, so advice suggesting people spend more money isn’t the best way to attract a blog readership, but the restaurant business wants me to tell you this: big groups require an enormous amount of effort and coordination.
If all big groups left a 10-15% percent tip it would ensure a more prompt and efficient service for the next group… and on and on.
Scour the Web for Group Discounts
Many major attractions offer group discounts especially when groups start pushing 25-30 people. Your best bet is to check online in advance but it never hurts to simply ask at ticket windows: you’d be surprised what you might find.
Be Patient and Smile Through It
Its simply unrealistic to expect simple things like settling a bill at lunch and walking to a museum next door to run smoothly. It’s going to take twice as long as usual.
Accept it, find a way to soak up the moment or distract yourself (take some pictures, text an old friend), and move on with your life 😉