Planning a trip for two can be difficult and time consuming enough, with so much to consider and book. So try planning for a big group and add in the fact that everyone’s tastes are going to differ and this could become a whole lot harder.
Whether you are booking a hen party for your best friend before she says ‘I do’ or you are planning a weekend of team building for your employees, there are going to be a range of ages and, therefore, each person’s idea of a good weekend may be very different. So how do you plan a trip that everyone will love?
While ensuring that everyone will enjoy each minute of the trip might seem impossible, there are ways to ensure that all members of the group are talking about the trip for a long time to come – for all the right reasons.
In order to do this, before you even start thinking about what you are going to do you may well find that it is quick and easy to eliminate a few things you definitely won’t be doing. For example, if you are planning a hen party and the bride and groom’s mothers are going to be attending then a weekend of clubbing might not be the best idea. The last thing you want is for members of the group to feel uncomfortable and wish they weren’t there.
So, firstly, ask for input…
The best way to ensure that everyone is going to love the trip – and take some off the pressure off you – is to ask for their input. Send an email round to your employees or create a Facebook group for the hens and start by asking for their opinion. This can include the accommodation, location, activities, where to eat and so on.
Let them offer some ideas – you might find that this brings up a few ideas you would never even consider. Once you have their suggestions you need to work out which one you are actually going to do, so use these to provide them with options. Perhaps pick three of the most popular choices (or those that you think the whole group will enjoy) under each heading and then put it to a vote. You may want to use Survey Monkey to gather this information together quickly and easily in one place.
Now here are a few specifics you need to consider:
Location and accommodation:
The location and accommodation is a big part of the trip and you need to ensure that it is suitable for all involved. While a hotel in Magaluf might not be the mother of the bride’s cup of tea, a cottage in Cornwall could provide the best of both worlds. Start by making sure the location is easy to reach for each person going and that it provides what you want from the weekend. Once you know where you are going you can find accommodation that is suitable for the size of your party – self catering is perfect for larger groups and there are plenty of beautiful ones across the country.
You need to work out the best way to get everyone to the destination and then around once you get there. Do you need to hire a car? If so, who is going to drive and are they happy with this? Would you be better off hiring a bus with a driver? Or going by train? Will you go as a group or does everyone need to make their own way there? You don’t want to leave anyone stranded or they will be disappointed with the trip before it even begins.
Food and drink:
Start by asking those attending whether they have any requirements when it comes to food. Will there be any vegetarians or vegans? Does anyone have a food intolerance? Are there just foods that people don’t enjoy? You don’t want to book a seafood restaurant if half the group are going to struggle to pick something they will enjoy off the menu. Look for restaurants that cater for all tastes, and offer plenty of options for each member of the group to choose from. Perhaps even send the menu round beforehand so guests can ensure they will be happy with it. Likewise, if you plan to cook yourself, make sure you plan meals and buy food with each member of the party in mind. A BBQ with only a salad for the vegetarians to eat will leave those members of the group hungry and disheartened.
The activities you choose could make or break the weekend – so think carefully before you book anything. Asking for input will help you determine whether an activity is suitable or not. While you might assume some members of the group wouldn’t enjoy a night around the karaoke machine, they might just surprise you. Try to book a variety of activities to appeal to all tastes.
People can quickly become fed up when costs spiral and they are spending far more than they anticipated. Make sure you know, and clearly state, the cost for each part of the trip from travel to accommodation – and don’t forget to look for group discounts to keep the price down. Once you have worked this out, consider what else will be involved in the weekend so you can give guests a rough estimate of spending money required.
Finally, get some help…
Planning a trip for a large number of people and ensuring that everyone will enjoy it is a big job for one person. So, don’t be afraid to ask for some help. This might be from members of the group, by allocating out jobs. You might ask one person to look for and book restaurants or if you are preparing the food yourself to create a shopping list and perhaps do the shopping as well.
You could also ask a company to help you. They will be able to give you options to choose from to help you decide what to do and where to go and then they can book those all for you, to save you sitting on the phone for hours and long conversations with various places.