Group tour is always on everyone’s bucket lists and yet planning for them seems like an absolute chore for everyone. So short of ending up spending a lot of money, how do you plan for that dream vacation that all of you have dreamed of since the first day you became friends? There is always a way and we are here to show you a step-by-step method that we at Pencil Voyages swear by-
C for communication
Find a common platform for communication. Whether it is Whatsapp, Email, Facebook, it doesn’t matter but a common thread of reference is necessary for a successful group tour planning. Make a virtual group, and send out updates on a regular basis to keep everyone in the loop. This way, you ensure that everyone is on the same page and decisions are taken much faster than otherwise.
Budget- The most important six-letter word of a group tour
A budget needs to be drawn beforehand in order to ensure that you do not overspend. Group tours can get chaotic if money is not handled properly. Therefore, you need to decide in advance how payments are taken care of and who handles the finances. Everyone needs to be comfortable with the arrangement so make sure you put forth enough options like these;
- One person handles the group finances while everyone else takes care of personal expenses.
- You transfer money to one person who makes the payments everywhere.
- All group expenses are split equally everywhere. (This will require everyone to carry cash at all times.)
- Use apps like Splitwise to keep a track of who spends how much and where and the calculations will be done easily.
What happens when you book a camping tent for everyone without consulting them? At least one of the group members prefers an AC hotel. So before you go ahead with making any booking whether it be transportation or accommodation, make sure that preferences of everyone are discussed and everyone comes to a common ground in order to enjoy the trip to its fullest.
DO NOT Split the bookings
With group tours, a lot of times due to bulk bookings, you get discounted prices, whether it be flights or hotels. If you decide to split them, owing to last-minute changes, there could be issues such as unavailable seats or surge prices. It’s best to buy all the tickets together and split the expenses accordingly.
Create your own itinerary for your group tour
Pre-made itineraries are available everywhere on the internet, and you might wanna wing it on the go. But having your own itinerary may actually come in handy. An itinerary provides some structure to the trip when you are in a completely new place, especially if it’s in a new country. You can conduct your own research beforehand and create an itinerary.
Go with the flow
We know it sounds contradictory, but the itinerary is for the structure. It does not mean that you cannot go a bit off plan here and there. Maybe you make new friends on the trip or decide to stay in one afternoon, it’s okay to change plans but it is important to have a plan in the first place. Having downtime to relax will actually make the tour much more enjoyable.
Don’t rely too much on the network
A lot of times in new places, with roaming and other woes, the network can be difficult to find. So your reliable Google maps may falter. Don’t make plans based on the availability of the internet. Carry physical maps if necessary, ask the locals, if possible, read the signboards. Old school is much more reliable than the network when traveling.
With these tricks, you are bound to plan one amazing student group tour. If you don’t want to spend time planning and curating all of this, you can always get in touch with experiential learning and student hospitality partners such as Pencil Voyages and our Coordinators will make sure that you have an amazing time the way you want. Got any queries? Let us know in the comments.