It normally happens after a boozy night out, and more often than not, it’s around Christmas. After your fifth glass of fizz, you embrace your friends and say, ‘Let’s go on holiday next year. It’ll be no fuss - I’ll organise it.’ You are rewarded with applause and loving smiles. So far, so good...
The next morning, you wake up and remember your promise. ‘Maybe they’ve forgotten?’ you think hopefully. Then you start receiving the messages. ‘I’ve found a great place in Bali...’ says one. ‘Check out these cheap flights!’ says another. It looks like the idea has stuck, and you’re already close to a hangover meltdown. But you don’t need to panic - there are ways of getting these things done.
The first thing you should do is decide upon a location. It must be a democratic choice, and refuse to budge until you are all decided. You must be firm with people who aren’t best pleased - if there are seven of you going, and five want to go to Thailand, that’s the vote cast. If people start to whinge about it, put your foot down, and gently remind them that if they don’t like it, now is the time to bow out. Negativity at this stage is a premonition of things to come, and these people need to be weeded out for the good of the group’s dynamic.
At this stage, you’ll be left with a crowd of happy people who are set on a particular destination. Perfect. To book, and avoid money woes, pick an evening when you’re all in, and can do research online/communicate by Skype. This means that when you’ve found the perfect holiday, your friends can transfer the cash they need over to you in a flash - no more chasing people for cash, possibly going into your overdraft and letting resentments rankle. You’re all booked and ready to go.
As the holiday organiser, people will look to you for advice and help, so make sure you know th9e following off by heart: dates and times that you leave and fly back, flight times, how you’re getting to the hotel, where the hotel is and get familiar with local nightlife/places to eat. A few hours of internet research should tell you all you need to know about a particular area. You’re not responsible for getting people to and from the airport, though. Don’t forget that, and take on too much. They can also suss out the parking situation for themselves.
A bit like parenting doesn’t stop when your children hit 18, when you get to the resort, you’ll still be in charge as people will have grown accustomed to your organised ways. This means you may be asked to choose what you do for the day, whether it’s an ‘active’ or beach day, or where to eat. This is the point where you need to delegate if necessary; it shouldn’t be up to you to organise the entire trip. If you know a certain friend is a foodie, trust them with finding restaurants, etc. Use your friends’ passions to organise certain aspects, and you can’t go wrong.
It’s never a certainty, but due to increased levels of boozing, some groups of people find they bicker on holiday. To avoid any unnecessary rows, keep an eye on booze levels and without coming across as bossy, try to limit lunchtime drinking. If certain people can’t take their drink and are making the rest of the group feel uncomfortable, you can have a quiet word without coming across as a killjoy.
Safety comes first, so make sure that you have plenty of cab numbers written down, and that you know the tourist-friendly nightspots to head to. It’s not your responsibility to babysit your friends, so if they head off with a new squeeze, just make sure they know where the hotel is and they have a cab number. However, if they’re clearly past the point of tipsiness, attempt to put your foot down. As a rule, holiday harmony is ruined when someone comes home really hungover and missing all their cash.
What are your tips for organising a group trip? Would you ever volunteer to organise one? Maybe being the organiser has advantages too? We'd love to hear your thoughts on our Facebook page.