For over 8 years now I have been responsible for organizing a vacation each year for a group of 18, the group has fluctuated in numbers a bit but the responsibility has always fallen on my shoulders for it. Because of the amount of time that I have been organizing these events, I have made many mistakes from forgetting about people, not finding accessible holiday accommodations for a disabled member of the group and even forgetting to pay for one or two things. I’ve learned a lot of things and I wanted to share with you some tips on how you can organize a group vacation that goes down a storm.
Money Up Front
The first piece of advice that I will give you is that when you are organizing these kind of trips, you must ask for the money up front from those who say they want to go. The reason for this is that people back out and if you have already put down the money on your credit card, you are going to find yourself in trouble. This happened to me in the second year of organizing the trip and I was left with three slots to fill, thankfully a couple decided that they would come but I was still $400 down after paying for things up front. If people want to go then make sure you get a deposit from them and don’t pay for anything until you do.
I made the mistake of trying to plan the vacation down to every minute on our first trip away and it quickly became apparent that people just wanted to do their own thing a lot of the time. There is nothing wrong with planning in events or days out, but make sure that you leave enough free time for people to be able to actually enjoy themselves.
Getting The Accommodation Right
Make sure that you spend a great deal of time picking the right accommodation and ensure that everyone is close to the people who they want to be close to if you are booking hotels. Don’t make the mistake that I made with the accessible holiday accommodations mishap and ensure that you fully understand the needs of those who are going on the vacation with you. In recent years I have found AirBnb to be the best choice for group bookings and we often grab a barn or a huge house where we can all enjoy our time together.
Remember that this is your vacation too and your only responsibilities are to book the accommodation, the location and the transport, once that is done, it is each to their own. If you try to manage people’s vacations then they will come to you with millions of questions and it could cause you to enjoy your break that little bit less. As long as people get there in one piece, have somewhere to stay and get home safely, your job is done.