Traveling in a group is not for everyone, but it is up to you to make that decision. For some, group travel makes your journey fun and memorable, you’ll feel supported, and it will deepen your relationships with friends. However, it is much different from traveling solo and you need to be prepared for those changes before you depart for your trip. Dataroam has put together 10 top tips to ensure you have the best group travel experience and that everyone is well prepared.
1. Assign Group Roles
This may seem a little pedantic at first, but you will soon realize its importance when you get into your trip. It means organizing group activities becomes much easier if everyone has different roles to fulfill. For example, someone might be assigned to be a group admin to look after all the passports and important documents, another might be assigned to booking excursions, another might be accommodation, and so on. Everyone still gets an input, but it means everyone has one duty that they need to manage on the trip, ensuring it gets sorted.
2. Team Votes
Voting on activities is essential for everyone to participate and feel like they have a say. We all have our preferences and opinions and not everyone will want to do the same thing. Voting allows you to go with the majority on activities, restaurants, destinations, or whatever it may be. It will sometimes mean the group may split up and you may do things individually, rather than causing disagreements that could affect the whole group dynamic.
3. Agree on a Budget Before You Travel
The budget and travel expenses can be the underlying factor that causes the most arguments on a group trip, some of you may be wanting to splash the cash on your travels while others are attempting to be a little more frugal. Working on a set budget before you leave for things like food, accommodation, flights, and other shared expenses means you should be all happy to spend a certain amount on these factors while out traveling. If you’re buying souvenirs, grabbing yourself a snack, or keeping yourself busy sipping cocktails for example, you can spend as much or as little as you like.
4. Look Out for Group Discounts
If you keep an eye out, you’ll discover that most places offer some sort of discount or special incentive for group travelers. Work to your advantage and look for discounts when you’re eating out, visiting museums or tourist attractions to uncover the best bargains and save some money!
5. Be Patient
Traveling with others means certain activities will take a lot longer than usual, patience is key in these situations. Before you set off for your trip, set realistic expectations for yourself and work on changing your mindset so you won’t get frustrated having to wait longer for the bathroom to be free or for others to get ready. The aim is to have a relaxing trip and not be frustrated by your other group members’ actions, let yourself go with the flow.
6. Create a Balanced Itinerary
If you’re in charge of planning the itinerary or even if it’s a group effort, avoid cramming too many activities into your day. Relaxation is key, as a group you need to balance down time and excursions to keep everyone upbeat and energized. One day you might go out doing water sports all day, and dine in for the evening, the next you may relax at the beach and head into the town at night, creating a balance that works for everyone to avoid additional stress.
7. Download Travel & Messaging Apps
There are loads of travel apps out there to make your group trip easier. You can keep track of bill splitting and who owes what, as well as flights and important online documents.
Another essential is to make sure you agree on a key messaging service to use when you’re abroad, whether than be WhatsApp, Snapchat, or whatever else, agree on what’s best for everyone and stick to that when getting in contact with each other. Data won’t be an issue with a Dataroam SIM card, roam securely while you’re away and avoid WiFi hackers.
8. Book Things in Advance
The last thing you want on your group travels is to have agreed on an excursion or place to eat, arrive and they turn you away as they don’t have space or can’t accommodate a large group. It’s key to call head, book online, or via apps like OpenTable to ensure you’ll get to enjoy the things everyone has agreed on. Plan things a few days in advance, this is where prior research into the areas you’re traveling to becomes very handy.
9. Travel with an Open Mind
The amazing thing about travel is discovering something new about yourself and being outside of your comfort zone. If someone in your group suggests trying something new or something you wouldn’t consider yourself, whether that be an activity you consider a little too thrilling or trying out a new food delicacy, just do it! The great thing about traveling in a group is the moral support, try things together or take things in turn and watch how your attitude changes.
10. Set Aside Alone Time
Don’t feel guilty for skipping a group activity for some time by yourself, it’s important to reflect and recharge so you can bounce back to the group setting feeling rejuvenated. Traveling in a group can be tiring if you don’t take time for yourself to mentally rest, otherwise, everyone will start getting on each other’s nerves. Agree as a group that everyone can have a day or two to explore places individually or assign a few hours every day for down time where everyone can do something for themselves. Everyone will respect your decision to remove yourself from the group setting every once in a while, so don’t feel reluctant to do so.
Group travel has something for everyone, tasks that may seem overwhelming to you might be a breeze for another, you’ll feel safe and become part of a little community. But it’s key to take on board our tips & tricks to aid the smooth running of your group trip. From Dataroam’s team experience, we know it can help avoid common quarrels, mistakes and allow you to fully enjoy your time traveling. Be sure you and your group grab a Dataroam SIM card before you travel to ensure a secure connection throughout your journey, it’s essential for group communication and emergencies. Find out more at www.dataroam.com.