I have not had the courage to up and go solo on a trip. Maybe it’s about time I consider it. Meanwhile, my girlfriends got my back.
So let’s shake the stigma attached to group travel with a few tips.
- Plan, Plan, Plan
I cannot downplay this. Planning is essential when travelling in a group. Reservations are your friend, especially if you want a dinner table for 10 at 7pm on a Saturday. Make sure you reserve them as early as possible. Also, consider making reservations for your group at a local attraction or historical site and set up a guided tour, hopefully with a group discount rate.
- Don’t Be Afraid to Break Up
Learn to let go. Setting a rule that the group doesn’t have to stay together at all times adds flexibility and general well-being since people might be interested in different activities.
- Divide the Responsibilities
Like any team a travel group will be stronger and more efficient if each member is able to play to their strengths.
You know who is good at what. Let the most well-traveled person take charge of accommodation, the most language savvy person ask for directions, and the foodie and party animal of the group handle food and drink respectively. Most times I find myself doing everything which can be very draining.
- Don’t Give in to the Control Freak
It’s a sad reality but every group has one. And in that group, it’s me. But I try as much as possible for everyone to be engaged in the trip.
The good this is I’m not passive. I consult and bring major decisions to a vote in advance and roll democratically. No one wants a dictator.
- Be Patient and Smile Through It
If there is something I’ve learnt in life is to smile to everything. It’s going to take twice as long as usual to engage as a group. So be patient.
Accept it, find a way to soak up the moment or enjoy yourself and move on with your life.
Do not travel with people who drain you because “Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you.”