Planning a trip abroad in itself can be stressful, but when you add 9 others to your group it takes planning a trip to a new level. In this post you will find tips on planning excursions, booking accommodations, the to dos and definitely nots of a trip to Thailand.
Hire a travel agent Vs. plan yourself
If you want a stress free, agent take the wheel experience this is the right option for you. You can give your agent a budget and they will plan your itinerary. With groups your agent might have connections to get deals on better rates. However, the company takes a percentage of that so it might not be the best deal you can find.
Planning yourself can be to your advantage because you are in complete control of the budget, your activities and excursions and have the satisfaction of knowing you planned this trip. However, this can be stressful and you will learn you have to take more into consideration than you anticipated.
Create a Facebook group
Having a platform to share ideas, itineraries, and trip updates is very helpful. By doing so, you will have a open question forum so you aren’t having the same conversation with every group member. Adding updates will also keep your group members involved for no surprises.
Establish a budget
Being on the same page with a group and a budget is important. If you have a budget friendly crew mixed with high rollers you might have some clashing. It’s nice to have a budget target for each day to track spending.
Day of adventures vs. planning ahead
Planning spontaneous excursions, adventures, and experiences the day of with 10 people on a budget is going to be challenging. There will most likely be a lot of indecisiveness. Planning excursions ahead will help your group spend time efficiently opposed to wandering without a purpose. If you don’t want all of the work to be given to one person, give each person in your group a budget and a day to plan. Everyone will feel included, and less stressed.
Ask for a group discount
If you have a group, don’t pay full price for anything! There is power in numbers don’t be afraid to negotiate, or walk away. Negotiating is common practice in Thai culture. If one tourist booth isn’t going to accept your offer, another surely could!
Hire a driver for the day Vs. cab rides
With a larger group either will work for transportation, grab is comparable to Uber a good app to have, a card can be put on file so its convenient. Hiring a driver is also worth it if you have a full day of plans and won’t need to worry about having a ride when you want it. There are also red open back trucks and Tuk Tuks. They’re fun, but negotiations with them is needed. You may not think a few USD is a lot, but lack of negotiation increases the rate for the locals making it unaffordable for them.
Be okay with venturing on your own
Set an atmosphere that welcomes freedom to venture out and do your own thing. You’re traveling with a group, but you’re not required to stay with them (unless you are). It’s nice to have alone time.
Accommodations Airbnb Vs. Resorts
Most of my Airbnb experiences have been awesome, if there is an issue it’s corrected right away and if not Airbnb is helpful in regards to stepping in and correcting the problem. However, you can find ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ resorts for a very affordable price in Thailand. Be on the lookout for a post on accommodations mand where to stay while visiting Thailand.
Some people like to go full speed ahead 💯 of the time, but some live for those afternoon naps for their recharge. Scheduling time to be apart will allow those who want to continue adventuring do so, while allowing the others to recharge.
The phone game
Schedule time to unplug and be away from your phones. During all meals our group had everyone place their phones in the middle of the table stacked on top of one another. The first person who grabbed their phone had to pay for the entire tables bill. Choose to have meaningful conversations, and dive into learning about the people you’re with.
One persons mood can shift the feel of the entire group. Having a plan for conflict awareness and resolution will keep your group flowing cohesively. Remember, you’re on vacation!
Thank you to our Thailand crew for making this a trip of a lifetime! Can’t wait to see what’s in store for next year!
Please comment below any tips or experiences you have about traveling in groups! I’d love to hear them!