Quite often the term "group" conjures up the idea that you'll be stuck with hundreds of people, herded around on pre-packaged tours. Not so! Groups can be as small as 6 people and can be as custom designed as you want. Plus, traveling as a group is quite fun and beneficial. So go out there and create or join a group to travel with!
WHAT IS A GROUP? Let your imagination run wild! The underlying theme is a number of people who are affiliated in some way. Family, friends, hobby interests - do you belong to a group?
Let's start with a few examples:
WHY TRAVEL AS PART OF A GROUP?
There are great benefits to travel as part of a group, whether you create your own or book into an already formed group. Here are the top ones:
Group travel provides great value. A group package is better than what you can get on your own, and extra amenities are often included that are not available to the general public. For example, on cruises, both river and ocean, you may receive an upgrade, a discount, on board credits, gratuities, excursions or spa treatments. These little extras go a long way and are a nice touch.
Access to things you may not get on your own
Groups get special treatment. They get access to certain venues (excursions, restaurants, museums, skip the line, etc.) that you would never get on your own (without paying a pretty penny). This is especially true of themed travel. For example, if you have a group interested in wine, you may get special access to wineries not normally open to the public. River cruises and luxury lines are especially good at this.
Traveling with a group of like minded people is fun. Whether its a family reunion, a group of friends or a group interested in the same destinations or hobbies, people like to socialize with like minded people. Learn from others who share your interests.
Have someone to explore with
Being part of group, small or large, means you have other people to explore an area with. Not everyone in the group may not have the exact same interest, but usually at least one other person does, so you are not alone exploring a new place.
Meet new people
Groups are a wonderful way to meet new people who have similar interests and a great way to make new friends. Quite often people make new life long friends, and travel again in the future.
Reconnect with people you have not seen in a while
Getting people together these days can be difficult. Travel is a wonderful way to bring people together - the common interest is the key. Family reunions, major milestone celebrations and annual celebrations are just a few group ideas. Everyone has a reason to make plans to join in on the fun.
So many options. Love yoga? How about a group of yogis on a sail ship in the Caribbean? Love scuba? How about diving in Tahiti from the Paul Gauguin? Part of a cooking or wine club? River cruises lend themselves especially well to wine and foodie themes (and beer too!).
Some of the smaller ships, under 100 passengers, can be chartered. Wouldn't that be fun, having the entire ship just for your family reunion, your business or your affinity group?
So yes, sometimes more people is better. Groups bring a lot of benefits. And groups these days are different from ones in the past. Smaller, more custom, and flexible, allowing for free time people crave. Let's make it happen!
Laurie Marschall - Owner and Founder