The best memories, stories, and bonding moments are made when traveling together! Whether it’s a group getaway with friends, or a big family reunion; traveling as a group can enhance your summer adventures and enable so many incredible shared memories! It’s fun to recall the highs & lows, successes & inevitable mishaps, and most importantly, all the adventures that bring people together and create stories that last a lifetime.
Now that traveling beyond our own backyards is once again possible, you may feel a bit “out of practice” when it comes to leaving your homebase, we're here to help! Here are our top five tips for traveling as a group that will make your adventures as great as they can be this summer!
1. Going off solo is totally ok
Traveling in a group means a bunch of individuals, each with unique wants, preferences, and travel styles. At some point, people will likely differ in how they wish to spend their time and money. This is natural and completely ok! Acknowledge that the whole group doesn’t need to do every activity together. Starting this from the very beginning of the trip is important so expectations are realistic. Ensure that there is that open communication and understanding, so that members of the group may opt to do their own thing and spend time alone without any negativity or misunderstandings.
In a similar vein, communication is vital for group travel. Pick a single form of technology/tool for communication in order to touch base, vote on activities, communicate prices, times, itinerary, etc. This tool helps everyone stay in the loop and is able to get in touch with one another.
Before you venture out, make sure everyone’s on the same page on what form of communication the group will be utilizing. If you’re traveling abroad, consider WhatsApp for messaging. Does everyone prefer Groupme in order to vote on various activities and times? Would using regular text messages be easiest? If the group decides to unplug and go phone and internet free, maybe some good old walkie talkies are the answer?
Additionally, think through how the trip is going to be documented, along with how photos and videos are going to be shared. Would it be best to create a shared Google Photo Drive, a Shared IOS Album, Drop Box, Quilted Group Travel Package (an obvious yes), etc.? If applicable, communicate with the group necessary packing essentials, and/or delegate who is responsible for bringing what in order reduce any redundancies.
3. Plan ahead
Maybe you're the type who loves to do last minute travel and vacations and play it by ear as you go. This is 100% an exciting and legitimate way to travel. But, with a large group, it’s far less doable to be spontaneous and forgo planning. Obviously the larger the group the less ease there is in finding a restaurant, hotel, activity that can accommodate everyone in a pinch. Make sure you are planning ahead of time and booking campsites, hotel rooms, vacation home(s), tours, and excursions. Conduct a bit of research into the area you're traveling to and find out if there are specific restaurants the group wants to eat at together that take reservations? What kind of fun destination activities are conducive for a large group that need to be reserved in advance? Wine tastings, tour guides, high ropes course, etc.
4. Hold plans loosely
As counterintuitive as this may sound, what is equally important to making plans, is holding those plans loosely. In all travel, there will inevitably be something that goes wrong or unforeseen obstacles/events that cause plans to change. For example, a train will be missed, weather will restrict activities, or you’ll get terribly lost. After this past year, the whole world has become far more aware that some things are far beyond our control. However, when plans get changed, trust that it is all a part of the adventure and beauty of experiencing a different destination.
5. Capture & Share Your Group Travel Stories
Traveling is incredible because it pushes us outside our comfort zones, gives us a chance to grow, and provides us with some truly unique experiences and stories. Traveling with a group enhances the experience, as each individual has their own set of stories, impressions, and enjoyment of the very same trip. Sadly, unless recorded in some way, these stories and memories fade with time. Without an effort to gather each traveler’s perspective, you never get to truly hear from the different people about their time, experiences, and takeaways.
Luckily, Quilted’s Group Travel Journal is the perfect way to capture stories from everyone's unique perspective! What better way to commemorate a trip with your travel buddies than with videos recounting all you experienced and getting to walk away from a trip with something tangible to remember it by.
Throughout your trip reminders are sent out to each person in your group asking them to record a video response to prompts about their adventures, mishaps, favorite moments, successes, and everything in between! At the end of your incredible trip you have cherished travel stories from each person’s perspective in the form of a final video. It’s truly the best kind of souvenir because it's deeply personal and unique to your trip!
After this past year it is impossible to take the gift of traveling for granted, so as the world begins to adventure into the unknown again, make the most of your time and apply these 5 tips to your next group trip!