Traveling with friends is on the rise, with more people looking to their group of buddies to vacation together. According to Topdeck Travel, 40% of millennials prefer traveling with friends. Friends and group travel is also popular with Gen Xers. MMGY Global reports that 40% of Gen Xers travel to visit family and friends or are traveling with family and friends. Whatever your age, a friends’ trip offers the perfect backdrop to bonding, fun, and new memories.
However, it takes the right approach to planning to turn your friends’ trip into a success. You want to make sure everyone comes back from your trip still friends by avoiding the stress and focusing on fun. Here’s how to get started:
Set Your Budget
Setting the budget is the foundation of your friends’ trip that ultimately determines everything from destination to activities. It can be a challenge when friends have different expectations and incomes. Remember to consider these key areas of your budget as you get started:
- Airfare and ground transfers
- Meals, cocktails, and snacks
- Souvenirs and keepsakes
Choose Your Destination
Pick a destination that offers a balance of relaxation and fun for your next friends’ trip. A resort like the Hard Rock Resorts offer all-inclusive options in destinations like Cancun, Riviera Maya, Puerto Vallarta, Punta Cana, and Cabo San Lucas. Friends enjoy gathering for spa treatments, swimming in the natural cenotes, indulging in fine dining, and playing a round of golf in all-inclusive luxury along a tropical backdrop.
Dreams Resorts & Spas offer an upscale touch for beach-combing travelers in Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Panama, and Curacao. Guests spend their days swimming with the dolphins, lounging around by the beach or pool, and trying their hand at a round of golf with friends.
Of course, when it comes to a friend’s getaway, you can focus on your dream destination and then find the best resort to suit your needs. Some great destinations to consider include Mexico, Punta Cana and Las Vegas. Florida is a great option for variety. Enjoy the beaches and nightlife of Miami or visit the Orlando area for the theme parks.
Mix Things Up
Dream vacations can look very different depending on the person you ask, but there are still options for multiple-stops in one trip. Try a cruise that stops in a handful of tropical locations with on-board entertainment like Broadway-caliber shows, or shore excursions from swimming with the dolphins to exploring a Caribbean city. Not sure if cruising is right for your group? Click here for eight things everyone should know before cruising.
Schedule in Some Flexibility
Keeping a friends’ getaway flexible eliminates tension and gives everyone a chance to pick what they want to see, do, and eat. But remember the point of a friends’ trip is to spend time together. Avoid overbooking activities, dinners, and excursions, and leave some room to catch-up and make new memories together.
Keep It Stress-Free
A friends’ trip conjures up images of lying around on the beach, bonding, and trying something new together. You’re probably not focused on trying to agree on the restaurant or price point for each meal and evening out.
Keep your trip stress free by choosing an all-inclusive resort or cruise that packs in the dining options. You can find just about anything you want from Texas smoked BBQ dishes, a Hibachi Grill, Italian, or American fare on a cruise ship. Why not make it a mission for your friends’ trip to try them all? Rotate out restaurants by tasking a different person for every meal to choose their favorite option.
Pick an Activity
Your entire group doesn’t need to spend all day together, but your friends’ trip should still focus on enjoying each other’s company. Pick an activity every day like racing Go-Karts on the Norwegian Encore, navigating through an adrenaline-pumping Escape Room, taking a cooking class, or indulging in a wine tasting together.
If you’re not sure where to start, take a vote on one group activity per day. The rest of the day can be spent together at the resort or on your cruise ship, or your group can split up for a few hours to try new activities on your own. Designing your trip with a blend of togetherness and solo downtime can do wonders for your group dynamic.
Work with a Travel Agent
Friends often get so caught up in the excitement of a trip that they forget someone has to actually plan it. Chances are someone in your group is a pro at organizing details, but will it cause friction with the rest of your group? Will everyone’s budget and ideas for an incredible destination align?
Instead of tackling all of the planning yourself, work with a travel agent that can help walk your group through budget options and quote the best price possible for destinations like Hawaii, Aruba, Mexico, the Caribbean, and beyond. Here are just a few benefits of working with a travel agent:
- Travel agents have industry insights into destinations and activities that suit your group dynamic.
- Depending on the size of your group, a travel agent can look into discounted pricing and extra amenities.
- A travel agent takes care of all of the planning details, as well as anything that pops up during the trip.
Ready to start planning your friends’ trip and want to see how a travel agent can assist your group? Schedule a complimentary trip planning session here.