Wednesday, July 6, 2016

10 Tips for Group Travel

Just a coupe of weeks ago, I finished my fifth student group trip to Europe. Pretty amazing, huh? While I certainly don't have all the answers, I think I might be able to offer some advice for those of you who are thinking of leading or joining a group for travel. As such, here are my 10 tips for group travel.


1. In most locations, you will only get a taste of the place before its time to move on to the next destination. Group travel is about tasting, not savoring.

2. Everyone will know you're a tourist most of the time. Ordinary people not travel in packs of 30 or 40 to go to dinner.

3. Pack light, lighter than you think you want or need. I hated lugging my bags to 9 different hotels in 14 days! And I had help with my bags exactly twice...really need to work on this one myself.

4. Build in some alone time. When you're with a group for 24 hours a day for two weeks, a few minutes alone in the bathroom or some time on the bus with headphones can be a sanity saver.

5. Say yes as often as possible. Try some new food? Yes. Go to a new venue? Yes. Dance at a disco? Yes. Stay up until 4 a.m.? Yes. Buy something totally frivolous? Yes. Have that third glass of wine? Absolutely.


6. Interact with different aspects of the group. Try to avoid just angling with your roommate or those you already know well. Venture out into the larger group. Make friends. At least make an effort, even if goofy selfies are all you manage yo snag from the experience.

7. Train your body to function on someone else's schedule. This is so hard to do, but it makes group travel much easier. I can pretty much pee on command now. Eat when food is offered. Carry a water bottle everywhere. Sit when the moment arrives to wait.

8. Practice your patience. Other people won't necessarily be accommodating or generous or kind or positive. Your greatest challenge will be maintaining your patience when everyone else is tired and hangry and frazzled, but I promise you'll be happier if you can manage it.

9. Document the memories as they happen. Keep a journal, save your receipts, sketch, the photos, share on social media - whatever your preference, document the great things you see as well as the experience of traveling with a group.


10. Remember why you're doing this. Group travel is giving you something you wouldn't get on your own - better value, more learning, a safer experience, etc. Don't forget why you decided to travel with a group in the first place.


2 comments:

  1. Amen sistah! The "pack lighter" tip is something I learned the hard way. Never again will I take so much stuff. On the bright side though, I actually learned how to cat nap on the long bus rides, something I could never do before. I don't think I could have managed very early mornings without them

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  2. Amen sistah! The "pack lighter" tip is something I learned the hard way. Never again will I take so much stuff. On the bright side though, I actually learned how to cat nap on the long bus rides, something I could never do before. I don't think I could have managed very early mornings without them

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