Creating a Sporting Trip Experience for your friends made easy!
Getting a bunch of friends together for group sporting trips may, on the face of it, seem the easiest thing to do. After all, you are friends, you have the sport in common and everyone likes an excuse to get away for a few days. It does though require a bit of planning. Set the date early, invite the friends that you wish to spend your time with and plan every detail. When the weekend arrives, everyone gets the benefit of your planning and you are not running around like a lunatic, sorting out last minute hitches. It is your weekend as well, enjoy it.
1 Choosing the group
Whilst you may all have the same sport in common, there is every chance that different people will have different levels of competence, this has to be considered to ensure everyone has a great time. If you are looking to take part in a sport that you already play, then this should be easy. Teams can be picked that level out the playing field, whilst in solo games like golf, the handicap system can do that for you.
The dynamics within the group can make or break a weekend. Make sure that you are not throwing together two people who you know do not get on. Sometimes hard decisions have to be made for the benefit of the group. Choose the group, send out emails and keep them informed throughout the process. If you manage to negotiate a discount for any part of the weekend, tell them, you are doing the work, take the plaudits that come your way. It will help develop trust for future projects.
2 Decide on the type of event
In many ways this may be decided for you. If you are a group of F1 enthusiasts planning to take in a Grand Prix, then the only real decision is which one. All the F1 races carry a huge amount of glamour and excitement. Monaco and Singapore though, carry a lot more than Silverstone and Spa. Whilst Spa is better racing, Monaco is certainly better partying. If however, you are looking for a sporting weekend that provides new experiences and challenges for the group then the world is your oyster. There are so many sporting events these days to either watch or participate in, that your choices will be innumerable.
If you are a group of people who play sport and intend going away to enjoy a weekend doing what you love best, then the main things to plan for are competency levels of the participants and the venue. Golf can provide a superb weekend away and there are possibly more venues to consider here, than any other sport in the world. No matter which continent you wish to visit, your choices will be many and varied.
Sport camps are a great way of getting a group involved in a sporting weekend. Here a team of friends can pit their skills against teams previously not encountered. These camps cover everything from soccer to surfing, horse riding to yoga. They are very popular in America, and they are now also becoming more common in Europe.
The DIYHolidays.com website is a great source of inspiration, as they Inspire Individuals and Groups to Travel around their Interests and Hobbies, but we’ll talk more on this later in this article.
3 Be mindful of your budget
In many ways this can be the most difficult of your challenges. You have to be sure that everyone within the group is operating within their means, whilst at the same time ensuring nobody misses out on an important part of the trip. The only real safeguard you can provide here is to be upfront about all the charges from day 1. It is then up to the individuals to make the decision as to whether or not they can afford it. Planning a trip and adding an expensive addition at a later stage can cause embarrassment and disappointment.
4 Location location location
The sporting activity will decide this for you. Whatever you decide, it is the activity that decides the location and not the accommodation. At the same time, don’t be tricked into booking a superior hotel that is miles away from the action, in favour of a slightly less glamorous alternative on the doorstep. This weekend is about the sport, not 5 star hotel trappings.
When is comes to general sporting weekends the location is everything. A golf trip in freezing cold Scotland may offer a great golfing challenge, but a weekend on the Algarve in glorious sunshine, might offer a better memory.
5 The sky is the limit
Never has this comment been more true. The only restrictions might be in your imagination. The world of sport offers more opportunity now than at any other time in our history. Cheap air travel has opened up the world to ordinary people, in a way previously unimaginable. Think big, plan well and your weekend will live long in the memory for all concerned.
When your trip has been completed, ask the participants to give you their thoughts. This kind of feedback is invaluable and will help you improve with each trip that you plan.
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