Private, hosted group travel has its perks! What you should look for.
It’s a common dilemma; you have a group of friends, family or couples who want to travel together. Group travel may even be a group from your social club, your country club or a business organization where you work. It could also be a group of bachelorettes or a sorority. Everyone is excited and ready to sign up but there’s one problem. One person is in charge of organizing the entire experience, collecting payment and spending hours and hours researching a place that maybe she has never been. Ultimately, after hours and hours of research, the person can only hope she’s put together an authentic experience for the group and ends up so exhausted, she doesn’t even get to relax and enjoy the trip.
There’s no doubt that the benefits of group travel are clear. You have time to spend with those you love and may not be able to see very often. You can explore a new culture or a favorite city together. It’s a family reunion of sorts where everyone is sharing in the same experiences and creating lifelong memories. Sharing perspectives throughout the journey is one of group travel’s major benefits. When you have a variety of personalities and senses of humor contributing to the dinner conversation (or cooking class), it’s a lot more fun!
Experiencing other cultures and other people together is exciting. You bring those new experiences and perspectives back with you and you’ll be able to reminisce for years. Group travel doesn’t have to be so stressful and exhausting. You can hire boutique companies that offer fully hosted, vetted and curated experiences so everyone can enjoy their trip.
What should you look for when your group is ready to travel? Here are some tips you may want to consider:
First, if you don’t want one person to be saddled with being the group leader and missing out on the experience due to all the planning and executing, look for a company that hosts the entire experience. A hosted experience is different from an escorted experience. When you’re escorted, you only see your escort for the excursions you paid for—a few hours a day.
Second, you should make sure that the company you hire is expert in the area you are seeking to travel to. Guesswork or simple online reviews won’t do. It’s about living like a local so firsthand knowledge is critical. The experience should be curated, vetted and executed by those in the know.
Third, if you don’t want to travel like a tourist, avoid companies that utilize the services of large major tour buses. Nothing feels more like a tourist experience than boarding an enormous tour bus to visit a site. Choose small group methods of travel so you can live like a local.
Lastly, choose a company that will work with you to customize the experience for your private group. Flexibility is key. For example, if you want your morning off or a little more time to appreciate a site, you shouldn’t be forced to board the tour bus and miss out!
Keep in mind that group travel is a lot of fun. The factors to consider when hiring a company for your group trip should help you make an informed decision. Outsourcing the experience to experts who not only vet, curate and plan the entire experience but also fully host it will allow everyone in the group to relax and enjoy la dolce vita.
Please contact A Toast to Travel for any of your group travel needs and ideas. In the meantime, safe travels and live well!