6 secrets to planning the best group getaway ever
Planning a group trip is a different ballgame to organising a solo sojourn or romantic rendezvous. There are more people to please, more opinions to take into consideration and multiple schedules to work around. To avoid a case of too many cooks in the kitchen, all you need is some forethought and early preparation. Well, that and the six secrets we’ve listed below. Our tips will help make sure the planning process is smooth sailing, no matter if you’re a seasoned getaway organiser or if you’re about to embark on the first of many group trips. Happy travelling!
Who you travel with is just as important as the where and when. The group you’re travelling with has the power to make or break your getaway. You might not always be able to choose who you go away with (what’s that saying about not being able to pick your family?) but when you do, it all comes down to compatibility. Some people simply don’t make compatible travellers: culture-vultures might not want to spend the entire break in a remote country cottage; ski-bunnies could disagree with beach-lovers about hitting the sand instead of the slopes. Having a diverse bunch on your getaway can be a great thing, but clashing personality types or people rocking the boat could be less so. That said, look at the dynamics between who could be joining the group getaway action and consider addressing any would-be issues early on.
Establish the logistics early
Getting the nitty-gritty details out of the way early in the planning process makes way for the fun jobs – researching accommodation, planning would-be itineraries and deciding which swimsuit/kaftan/books to pack. One of the first questions to put to your group is asking what everyone wants from the holiday. Is everyone in agreement about wanting a relaxing break at a rural retreat, or is somebody looking for an indulgent weekend spent winery-hopping and feasting? Someone else could be up for an on-the-go getaway with a non-stop itinerary. Understanding what your group wants will help narrow down a shortlist of potential destinations. Next up, pick your dates and settle on a budget. Again, knowing when you want to get away and how much your group is happy to spend will create a shortlist of accommodation options and travel periods.
Divide and conquer
This is a group getaway, so everybody needs to pull some of the weight. Some people are more into organising than others, but having everybody’s input into the destination, where you’ll be staying and what you’ll be doing only amps up the group getaway vibes. Have someone who is laid-back and easy-going? Ask them to organise a playlist for the car trip, or have them pick out some local cafés that you could hit up when you’re away.
Be a planning pro
Become familiar with group chats, email threads and semi-regular meetings. This makes sure everyone is in the loop and guarantees nobody is left out of the discussion about booking a winery lunch, hiring a car or nominating who is in charge of bringing a chilled bottle of bubbly. You’ll also be able to keep track of when bookings have been made, if anyone owes any money and what still needs to be done.
Room for everyone
Space isn’t just for astronauts; it applies to group getaways too. As much as you love whoever you’re travelling with, staying in cramped quarters typically isn’t something anyone looks forward to. You might be on a group holiday but that doesn’t mean you have to live on top of one another. That’s where booking an entire house or self-contained apartment comes in. Generally, these types of pads are more spacious than hotel rooms and have all the functionality of your own home. You might have a kitchen, which is perfect if you don’t want to eat out for every meal, as well as a separate living area and multiple bathrooms. Some houses come tricked out with luxe extras, including swimming pools, movie rooms, Jacuzzis and direct access to the beach. Our Group Getaways guide is stuffed-to-the-gills with spacious stays, kitted-out houses and self-catering abodes. The pads in the collection can cater for tight-knit troops of six or entourages of 20 plus.
Stretch your legs
Travelling by car? A road trip is a classic style of group getaway travel. However, being crammed into a car for a couple of hours has potential to test even the most solid of friendships, especially if travellers have very different ideas about what music should be played or what route is the quickest. So, no matter if you’re driving for two hours or ten, raise the idea of making regular stops along the way. Breaking every 90 minutes or so will give everyone the chance to stretch, have something to eat and take some time out. Plan your stops around interesting things to do or particularly pretty lookouts, but make sure to look into the locations of petrol stations too. After all, your friends and family won’t be the only things that need to refuel.
The BA Group Getaways guide is filled with Australia-wide stays, from private beach houses to modern apartments and crew-friendly cottages. Some have city-centre locations and other have facilities that will keep your troop occupied all day long.
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