Whether you plan to travel with friends, family, or you want to meet new people and travel with strangers, group travel can open you up to a world of experiences. Weigh up the benefits of travelling in a group and decide on the best group holiday destinations to suit your needs.
What is group travel?
Group travel is essentially defined as an organised group of around 10 people or more, travelling together on the same itinerary. Agencies can provide exclusive group travel deals and discounts on airline tickets to group holiday destinations. The term also sometimes applies to companies arranging group travel packages for staff in their organization.
What are the advantages of group travel?
There are a myriad of group travel benefits to be enjoyed and travelling with others can be incredibly rewarding – and affordable! While travelling alone can also be exciting, there’s often nobody to share the experience with. Consider some of these benefits of group travel:
- Pre-scheduled itinerary
- Reduced travel expenses
- Opportunity to socialise
- Shared experiences
- Safety in numbers
- Exclusive group travel perks
- Escape your comfort zone
Is it better to travel with a tour group?
Some travellers prefer to operate on a solo schedule, without the constraints of a set itinerary or a tour that caters to multiple needs. Guided group travel tours are a popular choice for travellers too, and for good reason.
Tour guides can bring energy and entertainment into your trip while taking care of travel arrangements and schedules on your behalf. Depending on where you go, some activities may only be accessible to group travel planners or require specialised transport or equipment that is not easy to come by. It also helps to have someone around who is privy to insider secrets, spots and sights.
Meeting new people with shared interests may also be a priority and taking a group tour makes it so much easier to find that travel buddy, than if you were on your own. You’ll also have more time to connect with fellow travellers, with plenty of opportunities to get to know each other while travelling and sharing experiences on tour.
Whether you are looking for a solo travel group, youth special tours or a women’s travel group, there really is something for everyone. Add group travel discounts to that and you are good to go!
What is FIT and GIT in tourism?
You may have come across some rather confusing tourism terminology on your group tour Googling for flight specials and packages – including the terms FIT and GIT. So what do they mean?
The term FIT represents individual travellers. With interchangeable names in the industry, from ‘fully independent traveller’ to ‘free independent travel’, it’s relevant if you decide to plan your own trip with your own itinerary, versus a group tour.
The term GIT relates to group travel. Referred to as ‘group inclusive tour’, it applies to you when purchasing group travel packages where you will be joining others on a pre-set itinerary via a travel operator.
How do you plan a vacation with friends?
Part of the fun of travelling starts in the planning phase of the trip! And even better than that, is planning that vacay with your friends. A well-planned trip will take the pressure off of travelling in a group and avoid conflicts so that your holiday goes smoothly.
Choose travel companions wisely
Although you may be the best of friends in your day to day life, travelling can be challenging and often brings out an unexpected side of people. You will be spending a lot of time together, travelling long distances or enduring long layovers. Adventurous friends who will suffer jet lag and delays well, make all the difference. When travelling abroad, travel in smaller groups which are easier to manage.
Pick a date
Choosing a date range that suits everyone can be tricky, but it’s not impossible. Once you’ve navigated around taking time off from school and work schedules, pin down the dates you wish to travel – but be flexible to jet off a little sooner or later if needed. A good way to check ticket prices and availability is to search for flights in advance and get an idea of what is available and when.
Establish a budget
Whether you are looking to go local or abroad, there’s a holiday to suit every budget. The great thing about group travel is access to group discounts. While this is not always the case, it’s worth investigating.
Initiate an open conversation with your travel companions to establish what they are willing to pay and decide on an amount that everyone is comfortable with. Plan your itinerary around this budget, saving where you can and splurging where it matters.
Share responsibilities – or use a travel agent
Not everybody enjoys being involved in planning detailed itineraries and spending time researching. Book flights as early as possible to avoid fluctuations and share the responsibilities of arranging these key travel points. Once the basics are in place, you can designate group members to take over planning points of interest, daily itineraries etc.
Another option is to book your group travel via a dedicated agent, who will put together tailor-made packages, the best rates and provide flexible payment options. Take the stress out of arranging your group holiday and get in touch with our group travel agents, who will simplify the process so you can focus on the fun stuff!
Even the most well-planned holidays are susceptible to setbacks. Be it delays, missed flights or missing accommodation bookings, you just have to roll with the punches and be flexible about it.
When it comes to group travel, know when to compromise and when to stand firm – everyone (including you) has spent their hard-earned money to be there. Make sure each person gets a chance to enjoy the trip. Be flexible about restaurants, activities and schedules, and don’t be shy to plan solo activities or split up if need be.
Where can I visit with friends?
Looking for some destination inspiration for your group travels? Now that you’ve established all the nitty-gritty like who to take with when to go and what kind of budget you’re working with, the fun part is deciding on where to venture to.
You could explore the dusty pink medinas of Morocco or up-and-coming Sri Lanka, with its lush landscapes and intriguing temples. Endless shopping and brunching in Dubai is always on the cards and a summer of scenic road-tripping across North America sounds pretty appealing.
Luckily, we’ve prepared a complete guide on the best places to visit each month across the globe, so that you can plan your upcoming adventure with the best locations, beaches and local events in mind!
Once you’ve considered the benefits of group travel and shortlisted the best group holiday destinations, sign up to our newsletter for regular travel updates and deals to get you there.
Travelled recently in a group? Share your advice on how to make it work and where to go.
All information on this blog page was correct at the time of publishing and may change at any time without prior notice. Travelstart will not be held liable for loss or inconvenience resulting from the use of out-dated or incorrectly noted information.