The idea of gathering up all of your nearest and dearest and jetting off on vacation together is probably both appealing and terrifying in equal measures. With so many people to organise the potential stress factor is high.
There are so many things to think about: where will we stay? Where will we eat? How is it possible for everyone to enjoy themselves in big busy theme parks without losing people or having to compromise on activities that people want to do?
The truth is, there is a lot to think about but at the same time, a big group vacation can be great fun and even enhanced by having lots of people around you. There are some great tips and ideas that make the whole thing a lot easier to handle.
The first big question to address is where to stay. With a big group you might think that a hotel right in the middle of the action is the best idea, however it can work out cheaper and easier to rent a villa.
There are many advantages to hiring a villa one of which being that there is much more space for everyone to mingle around in and whole families are not confined to one room or suite.
There is often large dining areas and seating areas which mean that the whole party can hang out together if they like, or if they would prefer some peace and quiet it is also possible to retreat to your bedroom. The point being, in a villa you have the option to do what you like.
Staying in a villa can also be extremely cost effective if you are travelling in a big group with other adults with whom you can share the cost. The cost of the villa itself may seem steep at a first glance but when you look at the standard of accommodation and then work out how much it costs and split it amongst the adults travelling the cost becomes much more manageable.
There is also the added bonus that villas come with the opportunity to prepare your own meals which can make life a lot easier, especially if you have lots of children to organize.
When it comes to parks organisation is key. Bear in mind that the different generations will have different ideas about activities even within the confines of a park.
The best thing to do is to plan the day, and make sure everyone gets the chance to do what they want at some point, even if it means being patient for a while or allowing different group members to split up.
If you do decide to split up, for example, allowing teens to go off in a small group can be beneficial, remember to make sure that there are clear times and destinations for all meeting back up. It is also a good idea to schedule meet-ups throughout the day so that everyone can check-in.
A good tip for when you are all let loose in big areas is to appoint a team leader. This should be someone responsible and organised who can be the go-to person, they should have a cell-phone and organise the meet-ups as well as make sure all younger members of the group are with an adult at all times.
Another great tip for travelling in a large group is to organise meals in advance, if you are going to eat out then it is always a good idea to book ahead, even if you only call on the morning of the visit.
This makes life much easier for both the restaurant and the group as it can limit the amount of time you have to wait for a table to accommodate you.
The most important thing to remember when you are on vacation with a big group is that if everybody is patient then everyone should get to do what they want to do.
Also make sure that everyone gets their say and no-one is left out. Most of all, remember that it is a vacation and not work, so enjoy each other’s company and have as much fun as you can!
Josh Whiten is Head of Digital Marketing at The Top Villas, who specialize in providing luxury Reunion Resort villas in Orlando, Florida.