By Taylor Oddino
Traveling in a big group can be exciting—groups tend to have lots of energy and the group buzz can really make a trip special. That being said, more people means more possibilities for things to go wrong. Keeping track of everybody, and keeping everybody happy, can be a challenge! But these tips can help make everybody a group of happy campers.
One of the biggest challenges when traveling with a lot of people is transportation, meaning getting from place to place. It’s hard to keep track of everyone, some people walk faster than others and someone always complains about his or her feet hurting, especially if you’re on a family trip with kids in tow. The easiest way to remedy these issues is to pair the right kind of transportation to the group’s needs. If you’re a teacher with your French students in Paris, then use the Paris MÃ©tro. Or if you’re a group of families taking an annual trip to a theme park, take the trolley that traverses through the park. That way you’ll know that everyone is in one place and traveling together—happily and foot-pain free! Smaller groups may work well with taxis or van rentals.
Being flexible during travel leaves room for unexpected adventures, but some things are just better when planned, especially when traveling with children. For example, if there are two vans for everyone to ride in, have assigned seating to avoid the “But I want to ride in that van!” comments. Other things that should be planned ahead include who is paying for what. It can get awkward when you’re standing at the counter deciding how to pay—have that planned out ahead of time to avoid awkwardness. It’s also probably a good idea to have room situations planned out (who is rooming with who) to avoid conflict there too.
It sounds clichÃ©, but the buddy system works. Have everyone pick a partner for the duration of the trip. Being buddies doesn’t mean having to stick together 24/7, but it does mean being responsible for knowing where the other person is at all times. That way when everyone is wondering where Great Aunt Glenda went, you can speak up and say she went to the restroom. It’s a way to avoid separation, lost children (or even lost adults!) and wasting time searching for party members.
Exchange Phone Numbers
It doesn’t matter if it’s a giant group of 26 or a petite group of 5—everyone should have everyone else’s number. Travel can bring many unexpected events, so everyone should be able to contact everyone. You might think you’ll never need your cousin’s best friend’s boyfriend’s phone number, but you never know.
Pack a Bag for Unexpected Situations
Pack a bag with supplies to keep everyone in good shape: medicine for headaches, bee stings, stuffy noses and anything else you can think of, from food for those people who don’t do so hot with low blood sugar, to phone chargers to make sure everyone can always stay in contact, and maybe even some extra cash in case of an emergency or if someone is in need of something and doesn’t have the money on them. Make sure to keep your money safe along the way too!
Also check out: Packing tips for every situation