Create awesome Running Holidays for your friends!
As with any specialist activity, organising a running trip comes with some common ground, plus its own unique challenges. To make your holiday a success, you will need to plan carefully, expect the unexpected and keep your group fully informed throughout the planning stage. If you achieve this successfully, you will be free to also enjoy the holiday and your guests will not even notice the organisation, that makes it run smoothly.
1 Choosing the group
This is of particular importance on this type of trip, whilst a handicapping system can in some ways level the playing field. All participants will need to be of similar fitness. Watching as your group disappear over the horizon is not actively taking part in a joint experience.
The personnel can also vary immensely. Is this a group of close friends, members of a running club or people who have never met before? It is worth looking at personalities of your group if you do, know them well. There is no point in putting people together who are likely to not get on. If on the other hand it is designed as a company bonding exercise, bear in mind that this can have long term repercussions, both good and bad.
The main thing to remember is that once you have chosen the group, keep them informed at every level of the planning stages. Get their email addresses right at the beginning and start a GroupandPay.com collection. If, for example, you get special discounts, inform them. Let them see the good work that you are doing. The more information, the better their anticipation of the holiday. Looking forward to a trip is all part of the enjoyment.
2 Decide on the type of event
Once you have the group demographics sorted out, it’s time to pick your venue. No doubt discussions will have already taken place as to the type of event; whether it is to be hill running, street running or even which country you prefer. Nowadays inexpensive travel has opened up the World like never before. The use of the Internet makes planning a running holiday in a foreign country no more difficult that planning it in your own.
Remember that different personalities in your group will have different expectations of what makes a good run. It is not simply a case of measuring general fitness. Stamina and speed both have to be taken into account. Some people enjoy running shorter distances each day but maintaining a fairly quick pace. Others in the group will prefer covering much larger distances at a slower speed. Discuss this with the group and get a really good idea of what their expectations are. If you have an even split of two types of runners, either mix short and long running days or plan for the group to separate and meet up again; anything is possible.
3 Be mindful of your budget
This can and often is a tricky business. The best way to deal with it is to be open with all group members whilst at the same time being discreet if someone expresses financial concerns. Early discussions on a realistic budget will save a great deal of embarrassment later on.
Pick a budget, get the agreement of the group, then stick to it. Once the amount necessary for the trip has been decided, it is then up to individuals to decide whether or not, this trip is for them.
4 Location location location
This, of course, is everything for this type of holiday. The hotels are completely determined by the route that you take and in some ways are also superfluous to anything else. There is absolutely no point in finding a fantastic hotel, with the best facilities, if it is so far away from anywhere that it cannot be reached in a day’s running. That being said, the inclusion of a support vehicle on your trip can cover all eventualities.
Try and plan your route so that it gives the participants an enjoyable evening off. If they are running for a few hours each day, a nice hotel in a pleasant location will provide the rest and recuperation required. A good tip though is to try and make the last night special. If you have been running and resting for a few days or even a week, it is nice to spend the last night in a bit more comfort, with an opportunity for the group to let its hair down.
5 Think Outside the Box
Don’t let yourself be limited when planning this type of holiday. The only constant is running. For everything else, the sky is the limit. People who run are obviously of a certain level of fitness. Any activity that takes your eye can be included into your itinerary if the group like the idea. Look out for rock climbing, abseiling, go-karting or any other event in the area that can be built into a rest day. A great fun day out in the middle of a running trip can be a welcome break, and a great way for the group to get to know each other better. Why not stop at a theme park, or throw in a day at a luxury spa at the end of the holiday.
When the trip does, in fact, come to an end, send out a follow-up email to gather feedback. This is a great opportunity to thank the group for participating and also gather information, useful in planning future trips.
6 Use Your Group Buying Power
It is important to remember that at all times while making inquiries into the cost of travel, accommodation or activities, that you have the strength of your group buying power. Any business that can see a booking coming their way with upwards or 10, 20 or 30 people will definitely not want to loose out, and will be happy to offer incentives to win your custom.
If you take for example the many businesses out there that are offering up to a 80% discount on their services including administration fees, to post discount deals on some of the most renowned discount sites like Groupon.com and LastMinute.com and many other sites like these, to try and gain customers to promote their services. Bare this in mind if you’re a bit shy when it comes to haggling for discounts, go for it as you’ve nothing to loose, as all they can do is say no.
7 Choosing Accommodations
There are many options for choosing accommodation that need to be considered when considering the level of budget for the overall group. The first and most obvious option is hotel accommodation.
Hotel Accommodation is in abundance on many price comparison sites, but sometimes you already know where you want to go based on recommendations from others who have visited the area where you wish to travel. It is always best practice to contact the hotel directly to see if you can get your own discount for your group booking.
Recommendations from others are most helpful in deciding your accommodation, as you don’t want to be stuck in the middle of nowhere!
You can view many of the most popular hotel booking service providers on the Hotels Section of DIYHolidays.com.
Private Properties are also another great option for affordable accommodation with a twist. There are many fabulous private luxurious villas available for short-term rentals. Some of these villas are like those in which you would imagine movie stars living in. Some of These will have features beyond your wildest imagination, including private swimming pools, Jacuzzis, and a room for everyone in the group!
The cost of renting these villas can be surprisingly affordable when you divide the cost up among the members of your group. There are many websites that provide these options for you, but you can see them all in one location on the Private Properties Section on DIYHolidays.com.
B&B’s are also an option to consider as this might suit a smaller group traveling, especially if you are heading to an area that can be quite expensive for accommodation. This can also be an adventurous option as you are dealing with local people presenting their local hospitality, and local knowledge. You can also view a multiple of service providers offering B&B accommodation from all over the world on the B&B Section on DIYHolidays.com.
Hostel’s are a very cost effective option to consider as this might suit a smaller group traveling, especially if you are heading to an area that can be quite expensive for accommodation. Hostels do have rooms with a number of bunks in it that might suit the number of people in your group.
This can be a great solution as sleeping can be the last thing on the itinerary for your group, although it can be a noisy option if everybody comes back at different times with a little too much to drink! There are many Hostel booking agents available on line for booking Hostels all over the world and you can see them all in one location here on the Hostel Section on DIYHolidays.com.
8 Keep your Group Informed
It is always best to inform the people in your group of exactly what costs are involved, what is included in the trip and what, if any, discounts you have managed to squeeze out of service providers.
Collecting the money can also be challenging as this can sometimes create difficulty especially when deposits have to be paid. This is where you avail of the services of GroupandPay.com.
GroupandPay.com is a hugely popular online platform that is free for organisers to use when informing their group of what has been arranged for them, and it also provides an easy hassle free system for collecting the money. It prides itself on being very user friendly.
Watch this video to see how it works!
9 Travel Insurance
Many people overlook this, but it is so important especially if traveling abroad. Group insurance policies are readily available and do not have to be expensive. The peace of mind that it brings is worth it, especially for the organiser. Many companies specialise in this kind of cover. There are many service providers listed here on the Travel Insurance Section on DIYHolidays.com for you to choose from!
10 Need inspiration for Planning your Group Experience?
Check out DIYHolidays.com as they inspire individuals and groups to travel, especially around their interests and hobbies.
Here you will see a multitude of interests and hobbies for you to get inspired from and for each one you will see enthusiasts recommending amazing places to go. You also see them sharing their experiences through videos, photos, and blogs. You can participate in live surveys, or ask questions and partake in live discussions. You can also view all the most popular online specialists stores from all over the world for each interest and hobby, all in one location, and you can even play related online games.
And as you have probably guessed it, DIYHolidays.com is a sister company of GroupandPay.com, so we are all about Inspiring Individuals and Groups to do more Traveling and enjoy more Social Engagement!!!
11 Tell us about your Experiences and Offer Recommendations
If you have created a group travel experience for your buddies that turned out to be an awesome experience, then don’t keep it to yourself, tell us about it in the comments section below.
It’s all about sharing the love on #GroupandPay.com