The first thing you need to travel with a group is, well, a group! Who are the folks you want to spend time with? These could be people you see all the time or perhaps people you don’t get to see frequently at all. If you want to spend time with them, they’re candidates for your travel group. Our trips rose out of a desire to spend some time with people we weren’t getting to see often enough. And a desire to vacation!
Some things you will want to consider when forming your travel group:
What is the purpose of your group and your trip? Our group has always been very clear…the purpose of our trips is to have fun and spend time together. We will compromise on just about everything else. We adjust our budget, timing, or location in order to make sure our full group can join us. In our early years, we camped because it was budget friendly, and we tried to give one couple a break on travel expenses each year by vacationing near where they lived. Although this once led us to camping in the insane Kansas heat in July, we’ve always had fun everywhere we’ve been. Our shared purpose helps ensure that.
If you are very committed to seeing the Grand Canyon or hiking every national park in the US, you’ll want to choose a group that shares that goal with you so that you can all have the best experience. Otherwise, the folks who want to relax with a book and a chair at the nearby beach will be sorely unhappy with your destination activities. So getting clear on where you can and cannot compromise is important.
Once your purpose is clear, everything else can and should be negotiable and flexible. There are some things to consider and potentially plan for when forming your group, but with a shared goal and a cooperative spirit, most of the other things can be adjusted or overcome. Differing budgets? Find a destination with costs that make everyone comfortable. Some travelers have kids, some don’t? That can work; just ensure those traveling enjoy kids and some activities that are kid-friendly. And build in some adults-only time in your schedule, whether it’s with a babysitter or a partial group outing.
Your group may also have multiple generations, or some couples and singles…those groups can also be accommodated with some planning and flexibility. Although it’s impossible to cover anything your group might run across in one blog post, the key is to remember that you care about these people and it IS possible to travel together successfully. Talk these things through beforehand if they are big concerns for one or more group members.
Staying focused on your goal and staying flexible will ensure maximum enjoyment and memory-making.
Who’s in your travel group? How did you choose the group you travel with and what is your shared purpose? Where have you had to compromise to ensure a successful travel experience? If you don’t have a group, what’s holding you back? We want to hear from you in the comments below!