They say, ‘the more the merrier’, but does the same apply to travelling?
A recent Facebook poll to our community revealed that travelling in a large group – even a family group – adds another layer of travel complexity.
Since solo travel only makes up 18% of the global holiday market, it’s safe to say most of us will travel as a group at some point in our holidaying life.
To help you manage multiple personalities, budgets and travel styles, we asked our Facebook community to share their insights to travelling in a large group.
Hint: we’ve even put them in order, because some of the best tips are before you even buy your ticket.
1. Only travel with people you want to spend a lot of time with
Brisbane traveller Julie Jackson sums it up in five words,
“Choose the right travel companions.”
Unless you’re travelling with a sporting club or chaperoning a school group (in which case there’s sure to be one or two people you’d prefer not to spend 14 hours next to), be selective with who you add to the invite list.
2. Set a budget
In every family or friendship group, incomes (and disposable income) varies. As the group size increases, so does the need to talk budget.
If you’ve been appointed CIP (aka Chief Itinerary Planner), ask everyone for their budget and expected level of comfort upfront.
BNE Traveller Jo-Anne Fulton hit the nail on head when she said, “communicate and compromise.”
There’s a big price difference between The Ritz and a 3-star hotel with shared bathroom facilities, so make sure you know what everyone’s expectations are and decide on a fair compromise for everyone.
3. Play to your strengths
If you’re the Type-A personality of the group, chances are you’ll be appointed CIP without consultation. Lucky you.
If no one has been ‘voluntold’ to be the group’s planner, BNE travellers’ recommended your group appoint one or two people who may be better skilled than others at managing the timetable, tickets and accommodation bookings.
Wearing the CIP hat seems to be one worn with pride by BNE travellers. Take Bart Edwards for instance who commented “I’m the itinerary builder” before tagging his travel companions.
4. Know your travel requirements
Take the advice of BNE traveller Allan Potter,
“Check if you need visas!”
When it comes to the legalities of travel, don’t make any assumptions - is someone travelling on a foreign passport that may have different travel restrictions to you? Do you need a foreign driver’s licence or insurance to hire a car? Does your destination need a visa?
Get to know the travel requirements of not just your final destination but stopovers too, visiting their relevant government’s border control websites before you take off.
Most importantly - make sure everyone has a passport with at least six months validity from date of departure, because nobody likes a last-minute trip to the Australian consulate and a priority processing fee.
5. Keep everyone informed
If you’ve ended up like BNE traveller Carol Troop as the “itinerary builder and accommodation finder,” you’ll need to find a way to keep everyone in the group informed.
No one wants to be the person who spends their holiday reminding everyone where they need to be.
Create an Excel Spreadsheet, Word Document or an online version in Google Drive that the whole group can access and include everything everyone needs to know while away – flight details, accommodation addresses, booked tours or planned events.
6. Go with the flow
By now your bags should be checked-in, glasses clinking at one of Brisbane Airport’s bars and posting the obligatory boarding pass photo, because #holidays.
Now comes the biggest test in keeping friendships and family ties intact while embarking on the journey together, because there’s no turning back now.
Repeat the following motto like BNE Traveller Triscina James
“Go with the flow.”
7. Schedule alone time
Remember, you’re not checking in to the Big Brother house – you don’t need to spend 24/7 together.
Travelling as a group doesn’t mean you need to spend ALL day, EVERY day together.
Don’t be offended if someone makes plans to do their own thing, even extroverts need some alone time every now and then.
8. Remember you can’t keep everyone happy
We’ve saved the best tip for last.
In the words of BNE traveller Allan Price,
“Best tip for keeping everyone happy…accept that you’re never going to keep everyone happy.”
As hard as you may try, when dealing with multiple personalities, holiday styles and tastes, there will always be at least one person that isn’t 100% on board with a decision.
If you find yourself in this situation, there’s only one thing to do. As shared by BNE traveller Peter Hutchings, “remain calm.”
Do you have any group travel tips that you live by? Leave a comment on our Facebook post: