Summer is here, and we’ve all gotten our summer bods in gear and dusted off those sunglasses for some fun in the sun. With school out and vacation days stacked up, this is the perfect time of year to gather your gal pals for a bonding trip or get your family together for the most epic adventure. Group trips are fun and all, but we know planning them can sometimes come with its own set of drama and stress. There’s always that one person who is too cheap to split everything down the middle, oh and that person who wants their personalized playlists on blast the entire time and don’t forget the one that expects everyone to wait for them while they take two and a half hours to get ready. If reading this makes you want to stay alone in your house all summer, don’t fear, here are some simple tips to help you plan the perfect group trip.
You know how people say, “You never know someone until you’ve lived with them?” Well, the same applies to travel. We all have different traveling styles and personalities. Some people might be more relaxed and like to go with the flow; they don’t care if they don’t see every attraction or eat at every top restaurant. Others might be more domineering and want to plan every single detail from what time the alarm is being set to how many meals should be eaten in a day.
These things may not be something we think much of when we’re doing daily life together, but when you’re traveling, small things could escalate into more significant issues quickly and have the potential to exhaust you and ruin a trip. It’s essential that you choose to travel with people that you know you can rely on, have excellent communication with, and that you genuinely enjoy.
I understand the struggle of not picking your family, and in those cases, you just have to suck it up, but if you’re traveling with friends, leave the frenemies at the gate to keep your trip fun and relaxed. To avoid unexpected additions, tell those you’re going with your expectations upfront and ask that you communicate with each other before adding people to the trip.
Once you start putting your feelers out there to friends and family about taking a trip, gather and exchange ideas about where you’d like to go and why. Be collaborative, so everyone feels included. Maybe someone is thinking of a place that’s not even on your radar, or another has the hook up with an old colleague or long-time friend. Make it about the group and not yourself and don’t get too set in your ways that you’re not open to other ideas and possibilities.
Always be honest about how you feel. If there is a destination or an idea that you’re not down with, communicate that clearly and lovingly. So ppl know precisely where you stand. For things that you REALLY want to do, but no one else does, make some suggestions and talk about them with the group. For example, you may decide you’re going to get up early to explore or state that you’d rather forgo an event to see a different attraction that you’ve been dying to see. Let everyone know what you’re thinking and be open and flexible to change. There’s a solution to every problem.
You’ve chosen the right people, you’ve been open and picked the perfect place to go, now it’s time to get detailed and break things down into functional areas like transportation, accommodation, food, etc. A lot goes into a trip, and writing it down helps you see what needs to be covered and alleviates future stress. Once you’ve written everything down, delegate the list. The beauty of traveling with people you enjoy spending time with means there’s a good chance you know them well, including their strengths and weaknesses.
When delegating tasks, keep people’s strengths and skills in mind. If your BFF can live off of $100 a week and is a boss with a budget, ask her to be in charge of the budget, if there is one. Or if your brother has the organization skills of a high-level executive assistant, ask him if he could take care of the Airbnb or hotel bookings.
Work hard; play hard. When all the planning is done, there’s nothing left but to sit back, relax, and enjoy your trip and time with loved ones. Be patient with yourself and others and try to keep the stress to a minimum. Your flight may get delayed, or an excursion may get canceled due to the weather, these things happen. Traveling doesn’t always look like those glitzy Instagram photos we see, and the most important thing is that you enjoy your trip to the fullest with those you enjoy.