7 Reasons to Take Your Family on a Group Travel Holiday
We had never traveled together on an organized group package. I’m a new fan.
Travel planning takes time. Lots and lots of time. Sure, a reservation at the Ramada Inn for the weekend is a few clicks away, but planning a longer, more adventurous trip to another country can be a part-time job.
We didn’t have time for a part-time job several months ago so we bit the bullet and decided to pay someone else to the do the planning and we booked a 21-day jungle trip through Borneo with a group of 20 other people.
We knew there would be pros and cons to such a trip, but I didn’t expect so many upsides. Here are 7 to give some insight into the dynamics of group travel.
1. “Kids, we’re leaving in 15 minutes.” has a lot more weight to it.
When it’s just the four of us, it can take the gravitational pull of Jupiter to get the boys (10 and 12 years old) motivated. When traveling with a group, complete with other kids who are also going to be on that same bus, the parent doesn’t have to be the bad guy, the bad cop. In fact, you can even play good cop to the guide’s bad cop, “Whew, I don’t feel like getting out of bed either, but they’re going to leave without out if we don’t get out there.” Subtle, veiled threats disguised as understanding.
2. Instant “Friends”
Chances are good that there are others in the group you’ll get along with. Even if they don’t become life-long friends who speak at your daughter’s wedding, if you booked the same trip at least you have that in common. Plus, this group is all you have for 3 weeks, so be nice!
3. “Where should we go for dinner?” is already answered.
Depending on how fixed your schedule is, many of the evening meals are going to be pre-arranged. You’ve been traveling or hiking or sightseeing all day and you really don’t feel like figuring out where to go. No worries, you’re going where you’re going, no questions asked.
4. “Lummelen anyone?” There are usually enough players to start a game.
One of our group had the brilliant insight to bring all kinds of swimming pool toys: balls, Frisbee and even goggles. If you give a ball (or anything you can throw and catch) to a group of kids, it’s almost a law of science that a game will get started.
5. “Hey, I didn’t make up the schedule.” Easy to pass the blame and move on.
When your kids (or spouse … ) complain about the route or schedule or accommodation or just about anything, you can shrug it off and blame the tour company. Bonus Points: you don’t have to plan the trip at all.
6. “Did you know pythons aren’t poisonous?” Added perspective, knowledge and commentary.
When traveling with others, you learn what they know, see things how they see it and you might just broaden your own perspective on what you’re experiencing. Works great with kids who are excited about something meet up with kids who are excited about nothing.
7. Because you don’t have to do a thing.
Did I mention that this was one of our first group travel experiences? We’re used to planning, organizing, figuring out and taking credit (and paying the cost of a disappointed family) for when things go well–and when they don’t quite go as planned.
If your kids are at the age where they’re not quite thrilled with the idea of going on vacation with just the family, add in several other families to the mix and see how it goes. Our 3-week trip through the jungles of Borneo was a huge success and I can say with complete confidence that it would have been much less of a success had it just been the four of us.