11 Tips for Organising a Group Trip on a Cooking Holiday

Introduction:

Cooking has probably seen more changes in both its form and the way it is viewed, than any other hobby or occupation in the last half century. In the 1960s few men cooked and few women cooked anything other than staple dishes from their own areas. The idea of a man cooking an Indian meal in Sheffield in the early 1960s would be seen as preposterous. Nowadays however, with immigration, broadened travel experiences and the proliferation of TV cooking programmes, just about everyone cooks just about everything. Culinary holidays and cooking classes are growing in popularity and taking a group of people on a cooking holiday offers the chance of excitement, travelling fabulous cuisine. If you are planning a holiday of this kind, these few tips will help you to make it a success.

1 Choose the Group Carefully.

This might sound obvious, but it is amazing how many people get this wrong. Obviously anyone wishing to take part in this type of holiday, will need to have a love of cooking. It is however, also important that the group gets along with each other. It only takes one domineering character to spoil the holiday for everyone. Choose the people carefully, then keep them posted right from the start with developments and any special offers that you find.

2 Choose the Type of Trip

This will, to a certain extent, be governed by budgetary and time restraints. These type of holidays can be anything from a short break with little travel, to a full-on two week holiday involving long-haul flights and other logistical issues. Don’t be scared to push for the latter. During the process of choosing the group you will get an understanding of what they are looking for. The world is shrinking and cooking holidays in far off lands can be an exciting prospect.

3 Be Mindful of your Budget

It is important with any trip to set a budget and stick to it. It is even more important when you are spending other people’s money. Make your planes early, make sure you check for any hidden extra costs and then stick to your plans. Discuss plans with the group and make sure that nobody is going to be financially embarrassed, it is better to disappoint early than have a friend embarrassed and feeling bad about things at a later date. This needs careful planning, it is for example sometimes more cost effective to spend money at the front end, and have less costs later, than to go for what looks like a bargain on paper only to realise that costs are spiralling when you get there.

4 Location, Location, Location

The sky is the limit with this type of trip nowadays. Top hotels, restaurant, colleges, and even cruise ships are offering cookery courses. Discuss with the group to find out which country’s cuisine captures the imagination, then balance that out with finances. Throughout the world, cooking classes are growing in popularity, here are some examples:

France

Possibly no other country in the world has had so much written about its cuisine as France. From the superb Provencal dishes, to the 5 star chefs of Paris, the glorious country cooking of the Loire Valley and the Farm food of Gascony. France has cooking classes all over the country.

For more information about the best of the superb cooking holidays available in France click here

Italy

Nobody effuses more about its food than the Italians. Just listening to an Italian talk about the food of his country makes you hungry. The pasta, pizzas and risotto alone could keep you busy for weeks. Making and eating your own pasta is a wonderful experience, and learning the delicate art of mixing sauces with it, is an interesting subject.

For more information about the best of the superb cooking holidays available in Italy check out the Flavours Website

Spain

Spanish food is a strong favourite of many. The wonderful Spanish dish of Paella is prominent all over but particularly in coastal resorts. The many varied dishes that make up Tapas and Pinchos are a challenge for any budding chef. Here again the regional classics are both varied and interesting.

An interesting site for cooking holidays in the Costa Del Sol is Cooking Holidays Spain.

Thailand

Many people would cite Thailand as the finest cuisine in the world. The freshness of the flavours combined with intelligent use of spices certainly is a delight. Many of the culinary holidays here, take guests out to the early morning floating markets to buy the ingredients ready for the day’s classes.

For more information about the best of the superb cooking holidays available in Thailand check out eFoodys.

Vietnam

The food of Vietnam varies tremendously as you travel from North to South. In the north the food is strongly influenced by its close neighbour, China. The national dish Pho, is from Hanoi and is a beef, noodle soup. In the middle of the country, the food is more highly spiced, whilst in the Mekong Delta in the south, it is the fresh herbs and vegetables that influence the taste most of all. Again ingredients are purchased from the floating markets, the one at Cai Rang is the most famous of all.

For more information about the best of the superb cooking holidays available in Vietnam, visit the Saigon Districts website.

United Kingdom

Here alone there are classic courses all over. Padstow has its famous seafood cookery classes, Ireland’s top celebrity couple Darina Allen and her husband Tom run classes at their school in Ballymaloe. Cordon Blue cookery classes can be found in London and week long courses are available right up in the Isle of Harris at Amhuinnsuidhe Castle.

An article in the Daily Telegraph suggested some good examples.

USA

America offers some truly amazing culinary holidays. From Barbecue boot camps, to the Mexican influenced food of the West Coast, the absolutely fabulous food of New England and the themed classes offered by the prestigious Culinary Institute of America. This is a country that likes its food and they have the classes to show you how to cook it.

For more information about the best of the superb cooking holidays available in the United States click here

5 Extracurricular Activities

Don’t simply rely on the cooking course to provide everything you need for your holiday. There is no point having delightful days in the kitchen learning new types of cuisine and cooking methods, only to be stuck somewhere in the evenings with nothing to do. Make sure when you are booking that you find out, what else is in the area. If there are nice bars and bistros in an area close to one cooking class, but not another, then that should at least come into your thinking. People who like cooking, generally enjoy eating. Allow space during your schedule for sightseeing and exploration of the local areas.

6 Follow-up

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.

7 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.

8 Choosing Accommodations

There are many options for choosing accommodation that need to be considered when considering the level of budget for the overall group, although most Adventure Camp Centers would have accommodation on site. If you need to arrange your own accommodation 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.

9 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!

[lightbox href=”#vimeo_lightbox” inline=”true” width=”853″ height=”480″]Create a Group Collection on GroupandPay.com[/lightbox]

10 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!

11 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!!!

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

10 Tips for Planning a Group Trip for an Adventure Camp Experience

Introduction

The boundaries are being pushed all the time on what people now consider simply adventure sports rather than extreme sports. There was a time when any outdoor activity centre would resemble something of a 1950s scout camp. Those days are, thankfully, well and truly over. As people go for the more extreme of extreme sports, things that were considered extreme a few years back now fall into the category of fun activities. All over the globe these kind of holidays are catching on as thrill seekers of all ages bid to join in the fun. With increases in technology, adventure holidays have never been safer and provide fantastic challenges and opportunities for people of all ages.

1 Choosing the Group

The personnel of the group will to a certain degree choose itself. Action packed activities are not everyone’s cup of tea. Though you may well get a few surprises when you start enquiring among your friends. The quietest grandma may be the one who dives in first, literally. It is advisable to, at least, make sure that if you are doing the more arduous types of activity that the level of fitness between group members is comparable. Nobody wants to be left in the wake as everyone else disappears over the horizon.

2 The Kind of Activities you can Expect to Encounter

Mountain Biking

One of the most popular activities is that of mountain biking. The sheer variety of challenges that it throws up is amazing. From gentle rides on sealed roads, to more rigours excursions off the beaten track, to exciting climbs up rocky mountain roads and finally the extreme biking where the riders take on seemingly impossible tracks. It is a great family activity also, taking families out of their city lives and into beautiful scenery with clean fresh air.

Zip Wiring

This is one activity that is really growing in popularity, probably the closest any of us will to the feeling of real flight, they are springing up all over the world. Some of the more extreme tree top ones in Asia are truly amazing. The Flight of the Gibbon in Thailand is a great example of this. Amongst other things it has the longest zip wire in Southeast Asia, carrying people for 300 metres, high above the trees.

Kayaking

Again this is a sport that has benefitted tremendously with improved equipment. Modern Kayaks, are safer than they used to be and easier to handle. Most kayaks have closed tops, although nowadays sit-on-top and inflatable kayaks are growing in popularity. Traditionally made from wood, fabrics, then fibre glass and plastic, the very latest ones are made of carbon fibre, providing a light but extremely strong craft. The sport can be simply paddling around a lake, shooting rapids or open sea sailing, it really covers a broad spectrum these days.

Archery

One of the oldest sports in the world, archery has been around for thousands of years. Modern bows though, show very little resemblance to the bows of days gone by. They are extremely accurate and this is a sport that tests the archers ability to the full. It is an extremely enjoyable pastime and hitting that bullseye is a very rewarding experience.

Hillwalking

Hill walking is both enjoyable and a healthy pastime. Getting out in the countryside away from the daily grind of city life is a great way for friends and families to get together. It can be a gentle stroll through leafy glens, right up to almost rock climbing as participants test their mettle on some of the worlds smaller mountains. The famous Munros in Scotland offer just about all types of hillwalking; from strolls suitable for the first timer, to arduous and difficult walks that should only be attempted by serious walkers.

Orienteering

Orienteering is a challenging outdoor sport that offers both physical and mental challenges. The aim is to navigate your way through control points marked on a unique orienteering map. You decide the best route to complete the course in sequence, in the quickest time. It suits young and old alike and people of different fitness levels. You can walk or jog the course and progress at your own pace.

Obstacle Courses

These wild and whacky races are gaining in popularity. It’s a great excuse to get deep down and dirty in some of the mussiest conditions imaginable. Participants have to complete a course in the latest time possible, through rivers, over high walls through tunnels and through mud filled ditches. Its all great fun and again, courses vary in degrees of difficulty.

Abseiling

This is also known as rappelling. It is the controlled descent down a rock face, artificial wall or even a building using a rope. Climbers use this technique when a cliff is too steep or dangerous to descend without using protection. It developed from climbing into an activity in its own right. Abseilers use a descender which is a friction device that allows the rope to be paid out in a controlled fashion.

3 Location Location Location

This really is a case of the world being your oyster. These kind of activity centres are now in operation in just about every country in the world. The only limitations will be your budget and your imagination. It is easy to combine this type of holiday with a few days on the beach recovering for the arduous nature of your adventure. They offer a very sociable holiday and quite often the centres have fun evenings with drinks and music in local bars.

4 Financing and Saving for your Trip

Once you have made up your mind what type of holiday your adventure will be and where it is going to take place. It is a good idea to start arranging a saving and payment method for your group. Check out the Group & Pay website for a great way to save up for your trip.

5 Think Outside the Box

Don’t be limited in your approach here. There are so many alternatives and so many locations that you can be as conservative or as adventurous as you wish. Why not throw in a balloon ride, bungy jump or parachute jump as well? Make sure there are night-time activities within easy reach of your chosen adventure centre. If the centre doesn’t have much to do in the evenings, plan in advance to get the group out and about.

When your trip comes to an end, send out an email to everyone to gather feed back. It is a good way to both stay in touch and also gain experience for future trips. You can’t expect everything to go perfectly, but making the same mistakes twice is a cardinal sin.

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, although most Adventure Camp Centers would have accommodation on site. If you need to arrange your own accommodation 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!

[lightbox href=”#vimeo_lightbox” inline=”true” width=”853″ height=”480″]Create a Group Collection on GroupandPay.com[/lightbox]

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!!!

10 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