10 Questions You Need to Ask Before You Plan a Large Family Vacation with a Group
So, you’re sitting around a holiday party and someone says “I miss seeing you all. Maybe next year we should take a vacation together.”
Great idea! But man, where do you start? Now what?
Many family or friend groups choose to travel as a way to make memories and keep people close during the busyness of life. Some groups have been traveling together for years, others may just be starting. When the group is ready to take a trip to the next level by exploring other countries, it takes a new level of preparation to make sure you are on the right travel path for the group. Asking the right questions at the beginning can prevent a lot of friction later.
As travel advisors, we specialize in working with groups to find and organize vacations to the best international locations. We can prep you, organize you, and design incredible moments that will become your favorite stories to remember. BUT, we can only do that when we know a lot about the group. Travel must be tailored to each group to fit just right. It’s important that each family in the group answers important questions that will allow us to meet everyone’s needs.
When is everyone available?
Families are busy and finding overlapping dates is crucial. This often means traveling over school breaks, which are popular times to travel. Starting early makes sure each family can block the appropriate dates ahead of time and have time to get passports, vaccines, and payments completed in time. We recommend at least 6 months.
What are the ages of any children who are traveling?
This is important information in making sure that there are age-appropriate activities for everyone involved. We can not emphasize enough considering what the children’s age, ability, and interest level will be during the vacation.
What activities does your family like to do together? When do you have the most fun together?
Some families love to hike. Other love zoos or museums. History, sports, food, swimming, and sand castles can all be great answers. What spells fun for your family? This is important to answer for both the individual families and for the group as a whole.
What kinds of limitations do individual members have?
Health conditions, physical limitations, allergies, seasickness, autism, and phobias all make the list of things your travel advisor will need to know.
How does everyone like to sleep?
Families vary a lot in what they need for sleeping. Some kids can share a double bed, some can’t. Some adults will sleep on a sofa bed, some won’t.
When was a time you really had fun together as a group? Why did you have fun?
Too often, a group picks a random trip idea that sounds good. But they never stop to consider when the group is at its best together.
Are there any destinations that interest your group? Any that are OUT of the question?
Groups come with opinions and it’s important that we know what you are thinking.
What is everyone comfortable spending?
Sometimes this can be a sensitive topic, but it’s important to make sure a trip is realistic for everyone. Sometimes choosing a $500 range helps people think that through. For a week vacation, that might be $1,000-$1,500 per person, $1,500-$2,000 per person, and so on. What range best fits the group?
Who is going to be the group spokesperson?
While groups benefit tremendously from using a travel advisor to organize and book the group, someone within the group needs to relay information and final decision from the group to the travel agent organizer. This person is also often the person that picks a date for travel and sees if it will work for the rest of the group.
Why do you want to take this trip?
This may seem like a weird question at first, but it’s probably the most critical question on here. Some groups travel because a grandparent is aging and they want precious memories. Some groups are traveling to celebrate a wedding/anniversary, graduation, or big promotion. Others are checking off bucket list experiences, finding time away from busy schedules to relax, enjoying a shared passion or hobby, or keeping relationships alive across the miles. The reason WHY you travel really directs the path your travel should go.
Ready to Get Started?
Once people have thought about the trip, getting started can be the hardest part.
We recommend the group spokesperson pick a sample date and see if it works for everyone. Most groups will never settle on a date if they wait for everyone to send in available dates.
Have the group spokesperson get answers for each family on these questions and schedule a consultation with a travel advisor (cough, cough….us).
Pick at most three possible ideas and bring them to the group to discuss for a trip.
Block the dates on the calendar and get booked early so that everyone has the chance to go.
Once a group is in motion, it gets a lot easier. Starting is the hardest part. But memories made by traveling together are so incredible and so worth it. Where will you go together?