As summer is beginning to wind down, I'm receiving many requests for winter and spring break vacations. What a wonderful idea - and a great idea to plan early! Many of these calls are from people that would like to travel as a group -- groups of family, groups of friends, groups of people with the same interests... etc. Wouldn't it be fun to travel with the people you like the most?? YES... and it makes some great memories.
There are 2 things to know as you are beginning the process of planning a trip as a group. And, one of them tends to be hard to discuss, but it's important -- budget.
The first thing to consider when booking group travel is working with a travel agent -- like me! I have relationships with numerous suppliers and hotels to help get the best rate on groups -- and in some cases all it takes is 10 people traveling. Leave the hard work to me... I'm here to help. There are even some pretty sweet perks from time to time for groups traveling together. And remember -- if you see a price online, it might be the last room, or last 2 airlines seats at that price -- I can help make sense of the pricing.
The second thing, and probably the most important, is to discuss budget. Understand this before you get your heart set on anything. Everybody and every family has a budget that they are willing or can spend on vacation. And while they may be your best friends in the world, that budget may be different than yours. There are travelers that like a more upscale experience, some that don't care and want the cheapest accommodations even though they could afford more, or some that have a very tight vacation budget... and often this difference in budget expectations comes out when I start researching and quoting resorts or cruises.
As a group I'd suggest setting a reasonable budget before you begin your planning. I can help you set that budget based upon what your needs and wants are. Most people are willing to give up, or maybe even budget a little more, to keep the group happy as a whole -- but this really is something you'll want to know before you go into the process. Cruises and all-inclusive resorts offer many different room categories so that's helpful to accommodate a variety of budgets, but ultimately you need to determine the target. It can be frustrating after you've had multiple dinners together dreaming about the winter trip of your dreams only to find out you are not in sync when it comes to what your expectations are for the vacation.
It can be tough, but I can help set realistic budget expectations for your group. Don't let this worry stop your plans --- we can figure it out together!
Jill is a travel agent located in Prior Lake, MN. After years in the corporate world planning events and meetings, she decided to take those skills along with her love for travel research & planning and created It's a Snap Travel.