10 Tips for Group Travel

Group travel is stressful. When it works, traveling with friends and family can lead to some of the best experiences of your lives, but it can be a challenge. Here are our top 10 tips for getting the absolutely most out of your experience! Comment with other tips that we may have forgotten!

  1. Be flexible. ¿Por que no? Listen to what other participants want to do, and try out things you might not be the biggest fan of. New things is the whole point of traveling – try to say “yes (¡si!)” and “why not (¿porque no?)” as much as possible!
  2. Ask questions. Your trip should be two weeks that you devote to learning from the community. We promise that what you see on the surface is not all there is. Ask questions, get involved, dive in with both feet and don’t be afraid to look silly as you mime out what you don’t know in Spanish. And then, share what you learn with the group! Guaranteed you’ll be surprised at the diversity of things different people learn.
  3. Open up about diarrhea. The quickest way to break down the stranger barrier is to talk about your poo. Guaranteed everyone is going to have new poo experiences and keeping it quiet only makes it miserable. Have fun with your bathroom adventures and get to know your group through it (… this will seem less weird when you’re there).
  4. Split from your comfort zone (and friends). If you have groups of friends coming on the trip, encourage them to break up and get to know everyone! Try making up different work groups on the site so that everyone gets to know the group and you avoid cliques or drama.
  5. Divide and conquer. Everyone comes to the trip with their own strengths and weaknesses. Learn about them and play into them with the group! Who is great with music? Make him/her the music manager. Someone have a great eye for photography? Have them be the lead photographer! Trip Leaders shouldn’t try to do it all…
  6. Meet up before the trip. Everyone knows not to travel with strangers, so don’t let your group be one! Make sure you create a FB group beforehand (invite Lindsay) and lead the 4 Pre-Departure meetings. You’ll still have loads to learn about each other throughout the trip but, this is a good start.
  7. Take personal time. You are part of a group but you are not all conjoined twins. Don’t forget to take time to reflect on your experience, and to pursue goals that you want to accomplish.  
  8. Keep the dialogue going. We are constantly learning from these trips and your feedback helps us improve! During your trip if there are things you would like to change, speak up! Talk with the NGO leader about how you can make changes so that the rest of your time is more enjoyable and you get as much out of the experience as possible. And, keep notes for what to tell Head Office at the end of the trip… I want to hear it all.
  9. Prepare for the best, but plan for the worst. Have your emergency numbers and alternate strategies at hand, and keep tip #1 in mind! Things will most certainly deviate from your original plans.
  10. Bring Snacks. Avoid the hungry grumps. Hungry grumps are for sure the most common downfall of all travellers. You start to feel that rumble and your patience begins to wane. People suggest a snack break but you become stubborn and irritable. Prevent this

 

 

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