What could be better than travelling with all of your best friends or family members? Nothing if you all get on and it all goes well, but many people who have embarked on a group trip have found that things do go wrong and it can get pretty messy when they do!

But, if you’re planning a group travel expedition, don’t panic because, as someone who’s managed to survive (and even enjoy) numerous group excursions without losing any friends (or sanity), I’ve got some tips for you that will stop your best-laid plans becoming a hot holiday mess.

1. Embrace the Art of Planning (But Not Too Much)

If you are going to travel with lots of people, then you really, really need a plan so that it doesn’t end up like herding sheep, but, of course, not the sort that requires a clipboard and whistle. Have a general idea of where you’re going, what you’re doing, and who’s in charge of what. Pro tip: Assign tasks based on people’s strengths. Let the foodie handle restaurant reservations and the culture vulture book museum tickets.

2. Democracy is Key (But Not Always)

When traveling in a group, decisions by committee can be as painful as watching paint dry, and can even end up in a bun fight. Yes, everyone’s opinion is important, but sometimes you just need to make an executive decision. Find that sweet spot between running a dictatorship and letting chaos reign, or even better, give everyone a turn at being in charge on a different day.

3. Budgeting: The Necessary Evil

Money talks, especially in group travel. Be upfront about budgets to avoid any mid-trip wallet surprises. There’s nothing more awkward than planning a fancy dinner when half the group is thinking more along the lines of instant noodles.

4. Group Accommodation: To Share or Not to Share

Choosing where to stay can make or break your trip. Consider options like renting a large Airbnb where everyone can hang out. But remember, too much togetherness can be… well, too much. Sometimes having separate rooms is the key to maintaining the peace (and friendships).

5. Hiring a Coach: Rollin’ in Style

For larger groups, consider hiring a coach. It’s like being on a school trip, but with more freedom and (hopefully) less drama. Plus, it’s an eco-friendly and cost-effective way to travel together, especially if you compare coach hire prices before booking. Just make sure the playlist is democratically chosen – no one wants a 5-hour Taylor Swift marathon (or maybe they do, no judgment).

6. Downtime: The Savior Group Travel

Schedule in some ‘me time’. Constant togetherness can be overwhelming. It’s okay to split up during the day and explore different interests. Remember, absence makes the heart grow fonder – and prevents you from wanting to strangle your travel buddies.

7. Food Glorious Food

Food can be a contentious issue. Some might want to dine at the finest establishments, while others are content with street food. Mix it up. Also, snacks can be lifesavers during long tours or waits. Never underestimate the power of a well-timed granola bar.

8. Communication is Key (But Don’t Overdo It)

Stay in touch, but don’t bombard each other with messages. Create a WhatsApp group for quick updates and essential communication. And please, no 7 am texts unless it’s an emergency or there are fresh croissants involved.

9. Activities: To Plan or Not to Plan

While some love the thrill of winging it, others might have a panic attack at the thought, which is why balance is so very crucial. Have a few must-dos, but leave room for spontaneous adventures, and let people do their own thing now and again if they want to – you really don’t have to be joined at the hip.

10. Patience: More than a Virtue, It’s a Necessity

Traveling with a group requires so much patience; more patience than you might think you even have. Things will go wrong. Flights will be missed, reservations will be forgotten, and someone will always be late. Take a deep breath, count to ten, and remember: it’s about the experience, not perfection.

11. Photographic Memories (But Don’t Live Behind the Lens or Do it Without Permission)

Take photos, but also take time to soak in the experience. It’s easy to get caught up in capturing the perfect shot and miss the magic happening right in front of you. Oh, and when you’re travelling in a group, it’s always a good idea to get the permission of everyone before you snap them because not everyone wants to end up on Insta in their bikini.

If travelling as a group is the trip for you, or it’s a novelty you would like to try, even just once, then as long as you go prepared and take notes of the above tasks to make things easier on you all, then there is no reason why it should not be an enjoyable and rewarding experience for you all. Just make sure that you choose your travel companions wisely!

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