So you want to go on a family vacation? What’s one great way to save? Invite a bunch of friends and relatives, and book group rates for travel! If you can lower the cost per person for the vacation, it’ll be much cheaper to take your family, let alone yourself, to that tropical destination or sight-seeing haven that you’ve been fantasizing about.
Group travel does more than save you money. It’s a great way to spend time with groups of family or friends, and the memories will last a lifetime. If you’re planning a family reunion, a destination wedding, or just a fun get-together, consider booking a group travel experience.
With different ages, different experiences, and different personalities, you can’t please everyone in your group, but you can sure try! Here are some suggestions for types of vacations you could take with your group that are likely to have a little bit of something for everyone.
- Cruises – With such a wealth of activities, cruises are the perfect place to take a large group. The more laid-back people can relax, and the do-everything types will never be bored. Cruise ships have everything from swimming, to theater, to buffets, to games – you name it, you can probably find a cruise ship that has it. And that doesn’t even include shore excursions which offer every activity from scuba diving to exotic eateries.
- House Rentals – In some cases, this can be a lot more economical than getting a bunch of hotel rooms. If you rent a house, you’ll have access to a fridge, a stove, and cooking supplies, so you’ll save money by being able to cook more meals for the group. It’s a much more laid back format which will allow everyone to go off and do their own thing.
- All-Inclusive Resorts – The pricing structure can be a great value option for meals, beverages and entertainment. If you’re all staying in one place with a variety of activities, group members will be able to visit with each other more than at, for example, a stand-alone hotel.
Once you and your group have picked and agreed on a destination, it’s time to book some flights and accommodations. It’s easiest to pick one organizer or “group leader” to keep the planning moving along. Here are some tips for saving money and easing the planning process for your group travel vacation.
- Look into group airfare. If you have 10 or more travelers, you should be eligible for some group benefits, which can include things like discounted flights, free air-fares, reserved seating, and package options. Call your airline to see what types of group programs are available, and shop around for the best deal.
- Schedule off-season. Hotels and airlines are always eager to book off-season, especially if you’re bringing a big group.
- Work with a hotel sales manager. If you let sales staff know you’re planning a group trip, you might be offered discounts, as well as good advice on the types of packages that will make your trip fun for everyone.
- Find a tour operator. It may be easiest to leave it to the professionals, and there are tons of travel agencies out there that will be able to book your vacation with ease.
- Plan in advance. If you start planning as soon as the group members are confirmed, you’ll probably be able to get some advance-planning discounts. It will also be less stressful and easier to get the accommodations you want if you’re not in a time crunch.
- Be flexible. Maybe your group wants Memorial Day weekend, but the next weekend is cheaper. Bear in mind that being flexible could be the key to an affordable vacation.
If you’re planning a group vacation, you could be in for the time of your life! By planning in advance, and asking around about discounts, you’ll be able to book affordable fun that your family and friends will talk about for years to come.