When you catch up with your mates and someone suggests a group holiday insisting that it will be a laugh, your instant reaction is to squeal in delight, and say hell yeah! But as time draws closer, do you start to worry about how the group might interact and get along, eventually leading to panic and hoping for the best? With the pros of going away together more likely to outweigh any potential cons, it would be a mistake to let the opportunity pass you by. Luckily, I’ve got a few tried and tested suggestions for helping you to survive your next group holiday.
1. Have a plan
When people are busy, they don’t have time to become restless and bicker. Make sure you have an outline of activities that you are going to do together as a group before you travel, and equally let others know what they can do to amuse themselves when there aren’t scheduled activities. Don’t dictate to the group, make sure you get everyone involved in making suggestions and the decision-making process when choosing what to do.
Remember it is just as important to have individual and couple time, as it is to have group activities together. So, give everyone an opportunity to come together and also spend some valuable time apart.
2. Stimulating facilities
When choosing the perfect place to stay, consider the facilities available to entertain everyone during their free time. It is often boredom and lack of stimulation that leads to irritation and disagreements in large groups. But by having lots of things to do, you minimise this risk.
3. Be inclusive
Even if you don’t like your best mates’ new boyfriend, it’s important to remember that you are travelling as one unified group. Welcome your friends’ significant others as you would guests into your own home. A good rule is to make sure that you treat others as you would like to be treated (no matter how much of a tit they are being).
4. Share the love
You don’t have to be besties with everyone, but spend a little time each day showing an interest in and catching up with each person staying with you. It will make them feel special and truly welcome and go a long way to creating a warm atmosphere and lasting happy holiday memories.
5. Hotel vs. villa/ homestays
You might like to consider the benefits of staying in a hotel vs. a villa/ homestay. Whilst it can be fun to stay under one roof, a hotel promises state of the art facilities and the opportunity to have some much-needed space making it easy to slip away, recharge your batteries and show up fresh-faced for meals and planned activities together.
6. Communication is key
Don’t assume someone knows what you are thinking or how you are feeling. If you are in the unfortunate situation of things not going to plan, and you don’t like the direction it’s going in, it’s important to speak up. It’s just as important to be empathetic to the other parties involved and try and understand where their motives and actions might be coming from. No one likes to be attacked with aggressive confrontation. So, remember this and make sure the delivery of your concerns is done so in a manner that won’t further antagonise or escalate the situation.
7. Splitting costs
It’s usually the nature of the beast when you travel as a group that the bills aren’t always going to be split evenly. This can put pressure on whichever parties are picking up the bills all of the time. Instead, consider having a group kitty for taxis and other go-to items and decide in advance how all other bills will be split. Will one party pick them up and then work out everyone’s share post-holiday? This might be an easier way than dividing each bill by however many people are with you for each meal you eat out.
8. Get involved
We’ve all been in a group when there is a lemon who sits back and doesn’t do anything. At the end of the day, we all lead busy lives. So, don’t leave the burden of planning the trip to a select few. Muck in, it’s your vacay too after all.
9. Avoid conflict and keep in mind not everyone will share your opinion
The best way to avoid having an argument is not to do anything to piss anyone off. Simple, right? Not always. We are different people and we all react to situations differently. But, I think it’s safe to say, it is pretty rare for your friends to go out of their way to say or do something to upset you deliberately. So, if you find yourself in that situation, remember this and go back to my point on communication – express your concerns, but do so in a non-confrontational manner and be open to the idea that not everyone will share your opinion, and that’s ok. Say your piece and move on. Don’t make the mistake of dwelling on it and making a mountain out of a molehill. You want to remember the highlights of the trip, not a throwaway argument you had in the heat of the moment.
And if you find yourself in a heated situation, it never hurts to hold your hands up. It doesn’t have to be a big deal. A simple things got really heated last night, sorry about that, will make people appreciate your effort, and may even have the UN calling you up to offer you a peacekeeping role 😉
10. Manners don’t cost a thing
Remember to be polite and respectful of everyone on the trip. If someone made dinner the night before, why not jump in and make breakfast the next morning? Manners don’t cost a thing after all and make others feel valued.
Hopefully, these tips will help you to get the most time out of your next vacay with your friends, to ensure that you have the most amazing time. I’d love to hear if they work for you or if you have any other helpful suggestions 😊
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