Imagine a spectacular vacation alongside all your friends and family, enjoying an enthralling new location amid laughs, great stories and fantastic food. It’s a dream we all have — and one we know would create a catalog of memories that would last forever.
There’s just one major problem: Who would ever want to plan such a thing? While it may seem like an insurmountable task, it doesn’t have to that difficult. By just thinking ahead and working out a few of the most common issues, you can be the one to put together the trip of a lifetime.
Whether you want to travel with just a few others or even few dozen, the following advice will help make sure everyone in the group has a grand ol’ time.
1. Understand Different Budgets
Before anything else, it’s important to understand who you’ll be traveling with and how much they each plan to spend. In general, most people will always want to enjoy the best vacation they can afford. But you must recognize different folks have different comfort levels when it comes to cost.
One friend may eagerly charge everything on a credit card, while some high-earners may balk at something you consider a great deal. This is fine! There’s no need to judge people as foolhardy or cheap. But as the organizer, you need to find the middle ground and set a budget everyone will agree with.
2. Count Twice, Book Once
As early as possible, you want to get a final number on the group size. If it’s just two families combining to travel together, this should be easy. But if there are several different sets of friends or family — plus one or two couples who may not even still be dating by the time the plane leaves — you are in for a more difficult ride.
But many of the logistics may depend upon getting the numbers right, including the overall rate of the on-the-ground transportation details. Lock into this as soon as you can (and get some money down to keep people from backing out).
3. Look for Broad Appeal
That said, there are ways to help minimize group-size complications. One of the absolute best methods — and one of the best vacations anyone can take period — is a well-run cruise. This allows everyone to be catered to individually in an environment where every service provider on board is accustomed to managing huge groups. Honestly, just ask around.
Everyone who has ever taken cruises to Alaska, in particular, has nothing but good things to say, lifelong memories they share constantly and phenomenal photos across their social platforms. If you plan it all properly — getting the right package at the right time — you’ll be locking in an unforgettable experience whether you go with six or 60 people.
4. Know You Won’t Please Everyone
Even though a cruise, or another universally adored trip, is the best bet, you should also go into this plan knowing not everyone will be ecstatic about everything. Even the ones who were 100 percent on board with the plan may end up complaining after you arrive.
There’s simply no pleasing everyone all the time. People get sick and have arguments. And misplaced expectations can make reality seem lackluster. So don’t beat yourself up if you get there and one Debbie Downer questions the idea. It’s not you — it’s them.
The More, The Merrier
The goal for the organizer should be to create an enjoyable experience for everyone involved. That can be an overwhelming feeling at first, but these days you don’t need to be scared off by a larger group size. Sure, additional people can present some particular challenges. But if you know how to plan properly and clear the biggest hurdles, this could be your best vacation yet.
Make sure you understand everyone has their own budget constraints, so try to lock in who will be joining you as early in the process as possible. Seriously consider going on a cruise that everybody can love. And recognize there will be some level of frustration expressed even on the greatest trip ever.
Just by sticking to these sensible tips, you’ll soon have everyone involved ready to be singing your praises for a job well done. And when you’re all enjoying this great getaway, you’ll be less worried about the group size and instead thinking the more, the merrier.