At Operation Relax, we adore working with groups - from families to friends and even nonprofits, it's fun to put together a great vacation that will appeal to people of all ages. Often, these groups are open to the public which means that even if you are not a part of the organization, you can join in and enjoy the many advantages.
So, just what are the advantages of joining a group vacation?
First of all, there are usually perks or discounts. Everyone likes to save money or earn a free "something" on their trip, right?!? For our upcoming Bombshells in the Bahamas group cruise (which is open to the public and still taking bookings!), anyone who reserves a cabin gets to go to a special cocktail party and receives a $50 onboard credit. Travelers taking advantage of our clients Tina & Tim's wedding at Sandals Resorts next year not only get a discounted rate for themselves, but they help the bride and groom to earn extra amenities for their beach wedding. Other perks we've seen include free photo packages, special group activities, and VIP check in/ check out. These types of discounts and perks can really add value to your vacation and give you more bang for your buck!
Next, the trip already has an itinerary so you don't need to spend time figuring out where you want to go on your vacation. All of the details have been taken care of by the travel agent and group leader, so you can just dive in and enjoy everything! A lot of times, just because you are traveling with a group doesn't mean you have to participate in all of the same activities - there are often free times, or even groups where the entire itinerary is flexible other than the location.
Another great reason to join a group vacation is fairly obvious - you are traveling with other people, which means you have plenty of friends to explore with! These can be people you left home with, or brand new friends that you have just met and discovered also enjoy mid day Bingo games on the cruise ship or hiking on a land tour. Often, you can spend as much or as little time as you want with individuals within the group, but you may find yourself creating new friendships and even setting up future travel plans with some of them. If one person doesn't want to try out that little cafe on the corner, ask someone else in the group - you will usually find at least one or two other people who share your interest and want to join in!
Speaking of exploring, sometimes traveling with a group means that you will get special access to sites or attractions that you normally wouldn't be able to get into on your own. For example, a group of ours that went on a Globus tour in Europe was able to skip the lines at all of the attractions on their itinerary and were offered a chance at several to take a behind the scenes tour. These are the types of things that will give you pictures and memories that will blow your friends and family away!
Group travel isn't for everyone - some groups are very itinerary oriented, which can be hard for someone that wants more free time, and some groups may not offer enough activities for those who are particularly adventurous. Always look over group information and don't hesitate to talk with the group leader and/or travel agent to make sure you are a good fit for the group and vice versa. However, for those of you looking to make new friends or take advantage of discounts and/or perks, it's definitely something to consider.