If you've been keeping up with my blog, you know that my family and I traveled together for the better part of a month. In all, there were 10 of us - 8 adults, 1 child and an infant. From road trips to long flights and train rides, we've had lots of fun (and also challenges). I thought I'd share some tips for traveling in large groups, based on our experiences.
1. Plan Way Ahead. I know some people, me included, like to take spontaneous trips. Especially these days when you can easily find glitches that reduce flight prices like crazy. But if you're traveling with a large group of people, it's a better idea to plan ahead. Getting tickets early will usually be cheaper. Additionally, planning ahead means you can work around everyone's schedules and get to travel together. You can get plane seats closer to each other that way as well.
2. Share Expenses. For our trips to England and Scotland, my sister did most of the planning and helped us secure a large house, and apartment respectively. Like I shared on Snapchat, the house cost each adult less than $200 for the whole week! Where will you get a hotel room at that price for a whole 7 days?!? Our house in England was spacious, very clean, comfortable and just a few minutes away from the train station, so we could get to London within 20-30 minutes. We booked the house on Tripadvisor, but you can also use AirBnB and similar sites.
3. Schedule Group Activities. There are experiences, sights, tours that most people will be interested in. If you have a large enough group - usually more than 4, chances are that you could get a group rate for whatever activity you choose. Additionally, some attractions require that you book ahead of time. Do your research early and get ready for a fun vacay! I was in charge of planning the activities, and created a Family UK Vacay Google Calendar that I shared with everyone - they got alerts everyday.
4. Schedule Alone Time. With a large group of people in each others' faces for days on end, it can be easy to get on one's nerves. Even though you all might be having a lot of fun together, have one or two days for everyone to go off on their own. Remember, you may not have all the same interests. Some of us wanted to visit museums and others were more interested in football stadiums. Or you might want to stay in and relax while the others go off adventuring.
5. Be Flexible. Not everything goes as planned and you may have to make changes. For instance, I had booked a sightseeing activity on a particular day, but we started the day late and didn't leave the house on time. Instead we decided to go walking around London, and ended up having a fun time anyways. It helped us get familiar with the transportation and rail/tube maps, so I would say it was a day well spent.
6. Work Together. Since we weren't staying in a hotel, we had to buy groceries, cook, clean up, etc. Don't leave one person to do everything. Split the chores up so they're not daunting and everything can get done faster. It doesn't just pertain to housekeeping. My brother and I took photographs while we were out, my hubby bought the train tickets, my mum and I took turns helping my sister with the children, etc. Designate chores that play to everyone's strengths and it should be easier to keep up with any tasks.
Those are my top tips for traveling in large groups. Have you ever traveled in a large group before? Have I missed out any tips?