Group Vacations are becoming more and more popular and it is easy to see why! You can usually get a great rate and a flexible payment schedule. But where do you start to plan something like this? The following is some information on what you want to know about your group before approaching a travel agent. I obviously DO recommend a travel agent for every trip you take (it’s not more expensive – trust me) but especially for a trip where there are many different people contributing money to the trip. You don’t want to be responsible for collecting money from family or friends do you? If you would like to work with me, fill out my contact form and we can get started.
So here are the following steps to organizing a big trip
- Is there a set location or do you want to decide this with the people you are inviting? If the purpose is a family reunion or something like that you may want to come up with a few suggestions and get people to vote. Of course you can always ask for suggestions as well 🙂
- How long can everyone get away for? And what budget is everyone comfortable with? Here is where I think it is nice to provide a few options. I am planning a proposed itinerary and budget for both a one week trip to Germany and a two week trip to Germany. I am not sure a two week trip will be feasible for everyone but since airfare is a big expense the price difference is as much as you might think. Ideally people will see how much more you get out of two weeks for the price but not everyone will be able to get two weeks off work. You have to find something that will work best for the majority of the people in the group. Your travel agent (hopefully me!) can provide you with a base option and then everyone can customize their own trip as much as they want.
- What level of accommodation is everyone comfortable with? And do you want to book the accommodation ahead of time or book as you go?You might be surprised what people answer! If you are going with young friends everyone might be OK with hostel-style boarding. Families might have higher standard like private rooms/adjoining rooms etc. Also going with friends they may love the idea of booking as you go but usually families prefer a little more structure.
- Once these major things have been decided you can start working with a travel agent if you haven’t already! Most places will let everyone put a deposit down and then just pay off the trip at your own pace. A travel agent puts the money out of your hands so even if you are the one organizing the trip you don’t need to have any awkward conversations about money with your closest family and friends which is a major perk! Even if you decide not to book accommodation ahead of time you will want a third party to arrange flights for you. Also, you can still get your travel agent to schedule hotels that are strictly free cancellation, pay on arrival for your group if you don’t want to pay ahead but want the structure.