We all have fears and we hear negative talk about travelling as a group. As the founder of MsBee Group travel for me group travelling and organizing is amazing. Having personally travelled both short & long haul with over 100 amazing women in the last year alone I find this experience rewarding, amazing and bonding. However, Not forgetting the famous stereotype that as women we cannot be in large groups and have pure fun. I felt you would love to know my top 10 tips to help you, survive a group holiday/vacation.
For me, group travel is a great experience, you get to meet new people, come out of your comfort zone, be exposed to different characters, get to see the world with other like-minded people, let loose and that added safety in not being alone.
The following 10 tips are based on my experience with MsBee Group Travel, here we go:
1. Attitude: Yes your attitude counts towards how you interact or vibe with the group. One of the most common fears from those who have never travelled in a group or have had a bad group experience is they ” can’t do with other people’s attitudes”
My advice would be .. check yours first. Yes You, you can even take it from the, You: Myself & I concept. You see having travelled with over 100 different amazing women in the last 2 years alone, my number one advice is going on the trip with the right attitude. My attitude is, I am on a break, I am in a new country, I am gaining new experiences, I am not going to spend time on negativity, I am here now in the moment and so let the good times roll. Some might see this as being a pushover but trust me your own positive attitude will make your trip that much better
2. Friendships: Sometimes you don’t establish lifelong friendships in a group. Not everyone you meet in the group is going to be nice, your bestie or going to see things your way. Like in life generally.
We all come from different backgrounds, have different strengths and thus will have different attitudes and input. Some are naturally quiet and just being in the group is a milestone for them. If you are a natural take-charge person let the group know at the beginning of the trip and ask them to reign you in if needed. Be open to others as much as your personality allows. If a friendship should develop from a trip that’s great if not that’s still okay.
3. Speak: if there are decisions to be made or a change in itinerary occurs that requires group input speak up but also listen to others. We all have different strengths and this is what makes group travel worthwhile is you don’t have to come up with all the solutions yourself. Some people don’t speak out or let their choices be heard but complain about choices made by others if requested or require put in your opinion. If it’s taken great if not you have tried, you’re not the only one with an opinion there is always next time. I use the rule will it matter in 5years or 5mins what I’m about to say…then work my opinion from there.
4. Money: My simple advice is in addition to your credit or debit card have some loose change with you, this will come in handy especially at mealtimes or for tipping. This saves you owing others money or them owing you. Owing someone money in a group can cause un-necessary friction within the group if not handled properly or given back. Try to have enough money to pay for what you have used or ate. Avoid borrowing from other group members. If eating out take a picture of the menu and price of your meal, saves time in the end and helps the group not come up short. Especially if the menu is not in English or a language you all understand.
Remember to also keep some money for service charge and tipping, large groups command a lot of work and some establishments expect a tip.
5. Interaction: You might be a free for all person and some people are not, so be mindful of talk that appears to put another person/religion, race, sexuality down. Try to keep light conversations not depressing talk that brings the mood of the trip down, i.e. talking about plane crashes before departure, accidents, deaths etc can bring the group moral down. By all means warnings about a place are okay but be mindful this may be unsettling for others. Gossip is a big No-No for me as it says more about you than you would ever know.
6. To do list: I like to call it “me vacation time”. It’s me-time within a group vacation/ holiday. Take time to do some research on your destination and if there are areas/places you would like to see solo and you just look for some free time in your group schedule, let the guide or group know and get time to see this. Be upfront let the guide or organiser know on the first day that way it does not seem like you are sulking or trying to get away from the group. A good group organiser always leaves some one on one time. I usually create a WhatsApp group so pre, during and post the actual trip we can easily notify each other what is going on, changes, update and the most important our memories through pictures.
7. Time: Time is Money can never be emphasised more than when travelling in a group. Be mindful of time, some excursions are time-sensitive so if a group member is late this may lead to cancellation or extra charge being levied on the organiser.
Aim to be at the designated spot at least 10-15 minutes before the scheduled time, plus being early might help you get the best seat in your mode of transport. I see a lot of people being late taking pictures in the hotel or lobby etc, the hotel will be there when you get back – these can be taken in your own time or come down early so you don’t hold the rest of the group up.
8.Photos: Major perk of group travel – ditch the selfie stick. There is always someone on hand to help you take that perfect picture for your holiday memories. In addition to having your picture taken do offer to also return the favour and when you do try to take good pictures. Be mindful of time. If you are going to stop and get a group photo taken the likelihood of this being posted on social media is high so either doesn’t get in group photo if you don’t want this to happen or make it your best, strike a pose and smile be happy. Please look at the picture after you take it! With me travelling we at times wear the same colour clothing to help with the overall picture of the day and avoid colours clashing.
9. Patience: Some people take longer than others to eat, walk, make decisions, choose souvenirs etc. If it’s within schedule time and you are finished rather than roll your eyes or complain about this take time to engage with other members that are finished, or catch up with your messages on social media. I usually use this time to check on work emails, the kids, news. Patience is a virtue.
10.Differences: No matter how small or big group is there is going to be some differences. Remember different people from different cultures. Try not to let one person/s person’s behaviour ruin your travel experience. Be open-minded and talk out your differences in private, don’t cause a scene it’s not worth it. For a better understanding of personality type’s google DISC personality types, I find this tool very helpful in dealing and understanding personalities in a group environment.
Here’s hoping that these tips are useful for you in your group travels for more tips and travel info subscribe to our newsletter.
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