How to Guide | Surviving Your Group Holiday
Contributed by: @DammiSherri
So after much trepidation, my friend just boarded a plane en-route to Barcelona on a holiday with a mixed group of 8 people, some of whom she knows well, others she doesn’t. Some of you might be like my friend above, with plans to go on more holidays this year, and you're considering trips with a group but not sure how you’d get through it! Fear not, here are 5 simple pointers to surviving your group holidays this year.
1. Start planning early and share information
You may not need visas, but somebody else might. You may be able to drop everything last minute, someone else might need to ask for time off work. Either way start planning early and share information promptly, DO NOT WAIT TILL LAST MINUTE. That way everyone knows what, where, how and when and everyone is able to make their own decisions.
2. Define expectations
Is it going to be a luxury holiday? or are you going to be slumming it? Is it going to be an adventurous holiday? i.e. are we going to be doing the utmost every day, rock climbing, parasailing, hiking? Or a relaxing one? i.e. are we going to laze on the beach all day and drink all night?
You need to clarify this with everyone in the group, to avoid arriving at your destination and having someone wake you early in the morning to go exercising or sightseeing where your toes literally fall off! This I find is number 1 conflict creator and can so very easily be avoided.
3. Clarify Money matters
Money is the root of all evils. And therefore the understanding of money is truly the beginning of wisdom - Anon.
That sounds made up! But I think it makes sense. You need to talk about money with the group prior to finalising, you see contrary to your belief, not everybody is actually ready to drop 500 bucks a night on a fancy meal (shocking right! I know).
Know what activities you’ll be doing and how much they will cost and ensure everyone knows too. You don’t want to arrive at your destination and realise not everyone can afford the 100 bucks charge to ride a Segway for 10 minutes, which by the way you have really been looking forward too! Are we splitting bills equally or are we going on what each person uses? And for the love of God do not pay for anything on behalf of anyone with the thought that they’ll pay you back on the trip. I kid you not, these are real issues people!
4. Avoid the heavy topics during conversation
Holidays can be a great way to bond, and catch up with people you might not have seen in a while. But is it the time to tell your friend that her boyfriend is cheating on her? Is it the time to announce your impending divorce? (mmm, I think not!) Leave controversial topics off the table, now is not the time to critique someone else’s faith, political views etc. Keep the conversations light, play games that wouldn’t end up with someone getting punched and landing in the hospital for a broken nose! It’s a holiday people, not an AA meeting!
5. Be Considerate
Yes you are on holidays, yes you’ve paid good money to be there, but no it does not mean you should have your way at the expense of everyone else. It’s a group trip, not a solo one. Of course you should have fun, but you also have to remember it isn’t all about you, if someone is annoying you, walk away, be polite, be patient don’t be the cause of a blowout and subsequently ruining everybody’s trip (no one will forgive you for ruining a good trip). Don’t be that one person that gets ridiculously drunk night after night and will need to be looked after by other members of the group.
Group holidays can be pretty interesting and fun, while some of them can literally make you enemies with your friends by the end of it. I’ve even seen group holidays where people leave before the end of the trip. However, with a few precautions and a whole lot of patience, you can get through your next group trip without so much grimace.