Filipinos like to travel in groups. Whether with family, or a group of friends, we love to share special moments and discover new things with our tribe.
When we look through our travel photos, we don’t remember the planning that went into it. But every wonderful travel moment was born out of good planning.
Here are a few tips to make your travel planning smarter:
Assign person/s in charge
Having a point person on areas of your trip ensures that you’ve got that aspect covered. Agree to have that person know details that matter: dates, times, requirements, documents, options, etc. Someone could be in charge of accommodations and another for transportation. Don’t forget to have someone research activities in the area. It might be best to do advanced booking.
Create a chat group
It may be moot to mention this nowadays but here goes. Use apps like Viber, Whatsapp, or Facebook Messenger to post updates or poll for decisions. Make a new chat specifically for the trip. That way, it’ll easier to find things you talked about!
Agree on a budget
Have a budget agreed on early, to avoid surprises during the trip. The last thing you want is not to have money to buy that must-have souvenir or to pay fare for that last leg home. Some might be willing to spend on things that others are not. You might want to divide things equally or per family or per item (eg food will be shouldered by one, the other will answer for activities etc). It is best to have this figured out before the actual trip.
Popular places run out of space fast during peak season. If you’re a big group needing a sizable space, it would be good to lock it in early. Always check for group rates.
Use the perks of big group travel
Consider houses, apartments or villas instead of hotel rooms when choosing accommodations. Some of the most stunning accommodations like castles or heritage houses are cost effective for a group.
Same goes for transportation. A taxi might be too expensive if you’re alone or just for two travelers. But for four, it might come out cheaper than a train or bus ride. Consider also renting a van or coaster for bigger groups.
Don’t hesitate to ask
If the things you want are not mentioned explicitly in the website of the provider, drop them an email. You’ll be surprised at the possibilities when you ask. Among them: room or vehicle upgrades, free extra beds, discounts, children’s rates, early or late check in. Some establishments may be experiencing a slump or have extra inventory, or may have woken up extra generous! You never know what they can throw in a package. Specially for big groups
Plan the days as loosely as possible. Also put in free time to roam around. Best discoveries often happen this way.
Don’t feel bad about splitting up
No one wants to be forced to do things while on vacation. You don’t have to be together all the time. It’s enough to come together for at least one meal a day.
Do you have any tips you can share?