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Group Travel Management: Challenging to Plan, Rewarding to Experience

Whether you are organizing a family reunion for 150 guests or a church group cruise for 15, Carol's Travel Service has the experience to create a memorable travel experience for any size group. Our group travel organizers work closely with resorts and cruise ships that specialize in affinity travel, and we can help you with last-minute details, flight changes, and special meal requests.

Start Planning and Communicating Early

Organizing affinity group travel can quickly become complicated, especially with a large group, so planning should begin at least one year in advance. To ensure planning runs smoothly, give your group plenty of notice, so they can arrange their schedules, save money, and ask for time off work.

Your group may have guests with special needs or those who require special consideration. Disabled guests may need specific equipment or accommodations; others may need help arranging for pet care. No matter the circumstances, leave plenty of time to make appropriate arrangements for everyone.

Choose a Travel Date Early, and Set It in Stone

  • Finding a date that will work for everybody is one of the most challenging—but crucial—steps in planning affinity travel. Stay away from busy times of the year, such as major holidays or right before school starts or ends.
  • Your group may prefer to travel at a particular time of the year. Ask for date suggestions.
  • Announce your plan for group travel as far in advance as possible, even if you don't have a particular date set, so attendees can start thinking about the arrangements they need to make.
  • Avoid date changes. After you announce the date to the group, planning starts on their end, and changing the date affects everyone. It's better to take extra time on the front end to choose the date carefully than to quickly pick a date and need to change later.

Plan Activities Everyone Will Enjoy

The challenge in planning affinity group travel is also what makes it so special: people from all over, each with different interests, coming together in one place. To ensure a successful trip, think about the ages and physical limitations of the group. Consider whom you're planning for and what they will enjoy.

Cruise ships and all-inclusive resorts are the best venues for mixed groups, as they offer a wide variety of activities for all age groups, which takes some of the stress out of planning. Be sure to ask your guests what they would like to see and do—don't try to guess. Be open to suggestions outside the typical cruise or resort activity list, as the venue may be happy to plan customized activities.

Keep Everyone Informed

It's crucial to update people regularly, so they are not surprised or unaware of new developments.

  • Soliciting ideas from the group helps you plan and keeps them involved. Give them every opportunity to propose ideas for activities and menu options.
  • A group newsletter is a simple way to keep everyone up-to-date on the activity plans and who will be attending.
  • Email is an easy way to communicate with individuals or the group, and they can easily ask questions or offer suggestions.
  • If you're tech-savvy, remember that a forum, blog, or mini-site gives you more flexibility in asking for ideas and feedback. You can create polls or surveys, or ask questions and get real-time replies.

Enjoy Your Party: Celebrate Your Hard Work

After all the planning and organizing you've done, it's time to enjoy the festivities. Don't be shy about recruiting help whenever you need it, even as the date draws closer. The last thing you want is to be so stressed-out from doing it all that you can't enjoy yourself.

To lessen your stress, the professionals at Carol's Travel Service are happy to take care of the details. We know what needs to be done to make your group travel event a success, so let us help.

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