So lets get started!
It is worth remembering, when planning a trip of this kind, that early and concise planning will result in an improved experience for everyone. To do this effectively, you need to involve all participants and cover all the eventualities. Get this right and when the weekend arrives, your planning will seem invisible.
1 Choosing the group
This really is the starting point for any trip. Whether it is a reunion of friends who’ve not seen each other for years, or a group who already spend an amount of time together, it is this, that will set the dynamics of the group. It might be work colleagues or members of a local club; the type of characters involved and where they are based can make some of the decisions for you.
It could be friends that you know, but who don’t know each other. This can need managing and certain personality differences need to be taken into consideration. With work colleagues you may want it to be a bonding exercise. This will have long-term repercussions; these may be good or bad, for your company.
Whichever route you choose, you will need to look at the group and make sure that you are not throwing together people who will not hit it off. Some people simply do not get on and placing them together might require careful management. Decide on your group early, get their email addresses and keep them informed during the process, as this builds their anticipation and makes them feel part of the event.
2 Decide on the type of event
OK, you have chosen the group, now you need to decide on the type of event. If the people making the trip have never met each other, it could be worth considering a shorter trip, to see if they hit it off. Also, in this case, give people their own space if needed. If you are already close buddies, you are going to have a blast no matter what happens. For a reunion of old school friends, you need to ensure that there will be somewhere for your guests to talk. They will, let’s face it, have some catching up to do. Often the big plus on weekends of this nature is, that whilst it is planned as a one-off, the guys have such a ball, that it can become an annual event.
Remember that with different personalities comes different expectations of what constitutes a good time. Jack the lad types will have a ball, go-cart racing or paint balling, but the quieter more introvert guys in the group might hate the very idea. Choose your group carefully. At the same time, don’t be afraid of inviting 10 guys for only 6 to fancy the idea. If you are set on a certain type of activity, then state it up front and let them decide. When they see the photos, they may well be up for it, next time.
3 Be mindful of your budget
This can be a tricky one and again the answer in dealing with it lies, in early communication. Not everyone may be in the same financial situation. Friendships are important and the last thing you want to do is to make someone feel left out simply because you plan something that is totally outside their realistic spending power.
By not deciding this early on, you run the risk of embarrassing a friend at a later stage. Ask the guests at the start of the planning, what they think is a reasonable amount of money to blow on the weekend, then make a decision and stick to it.
4 Location location location
Whilst you will need to be booking accommodation, the hotel is, in many ways, the least important part of the trip. Most guys, whilst liking a few home comforts, are not bothered how many stars the hotel has racked up. Lets face it, arriving back in the early hours with more than enough beers inside them, the room’s decor is not going to be appreciated. It is more a case of finding decent accommodation close to where all the action is going to be taking place. Wherever you finish up late at night, it does not want to be miles away from the hotel; location is everything.
5 The sky is the limit
As for the type of weekend that you wish to have, there is simply no limit these days. Sporting activities like go carting, visiting a race circuit or watching a big sporting event are available just about everywhere. Adventure activities such as zip wiring, rock climbing, parachuting and abseiling are gaining in popularity all the time. Whilst less wild alternatives like a pub crawl or visiting a truly impressive city can be just as much fun with the right crowd. A weekend at a great music festival can be an amazing experience, there really are no limits.
After you have enjoyed your weekend follow-up by emailing all the guys and getting their feedback. This will ensure that future weekends are even better.
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. 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 a group of guys out partying, 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 for collecting the money. It prides itself on being very user friendly.
Then, when all is done and dusted, don’t hide your light under a bushel, you are taking the responsibility for organising the trip, take the pats on the back, when they come your way.
Watch this video to see how it works!
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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 online related 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