In a perfect world, an ideal holiday would be stress-free and all sunshine and rainbows. Realistically, however, that isn’t always the case. A myriad of unexpected things could occur during a vacation, exponentially more so when you’re traveling with a group. But that doesn’t mean you couldn’t plan for it. With some foresight and preparation, you can make the best out of any bad situation and still have a memorable time.
Here are eight common group holiday hiccups and how to prepare for them before you go and while you’re away:
From delayed flights to lost luggage, transport to your villa, and dealing with language barriers, travel can be a cause of stress during any trip, and more so with a group holiday. Make sure that every part of the journey is well-organized, with everyone arriving in good time before you set off, whether traveling together or not.
You might want to have a pre-arranged driver to pick you up from the airport if flying in, and for any excursions during your stay too. Meanwhile, make sure everyone has insurance for canceled flights, missing bags, and for their belongings as well.
2. Bad Weather Days
Even paradise has an off day at times. If you’re traveling through the monsoon season then you can expect downpours and sunny intervals too. Whatever the time of year, make sure you’re prepared for staying indoors.
Villas have spacious communal areas where you can lounge around in case you need stay indoors.
Plan a few things to do that don’t involve being outside, whether a show in Phuket or an art gallery in Bali so that if bad weather suddenly strikes, then you have optional activities to choose from. What’s wonderful about a private villa is that many stays have their own in-villa cinema as well as games rooms and open-plan living spaces where you can all gather, cook, dine, lounge together and still have a great time.
While you may get along with everyone you’re vacationing with, to keep everyone happy it’s really important to make sure that you’re all on the same page when it comes to what type of holiday you’re expecting; whether a relaxing break or a high-energy party atmosphere.
Downtime at the villa, where each person can do what they want and retreat into their own personal space is absolutely essential. You could also send around group messages to highlight general housekeeping points and cover any topics such as group expenses, expected daily budget, and activities.
4. Combatting Indulgence
Get a group of friends together for an amazing vacation and it’s easy to spend more time than usual enjoying the finer things in life, from sundowner cocktails to gourmet meals. Too much of a good thing can soon leave everyone feeling heavier and less energized though.
Break out a sweat and get those endorphins running with a workout in your private gym.
Many luxury vacation villa rentals have gyms so you can still keep fit. Booking a yoga class in the morning at your villa or swimming a few laps in the pool means that at least you can burn off some of that excess. You also have control over villa meals too, so add in healthy superfood dishes as well.
While Phuket is a renowned dining destination, Koh Samui and Bali are also home to some impressive restaurants too, from fine-dining feasts to seafood on the beach. Without a doubt, you’re going to want to eat at your villa too, and a personal chef can create a menu for an appetizing private feast.
Getting an idea of everyone’s food preferences, as well as what the general budget is for dining out before you leave can save a lot of time and headache once you arrive. Find some local eateries and check with your group for any allergies or special dietary requirements so your chef can ensure meals are prepared with certain ingredients.
6. Responsibilities Back Home Calling
While the intention might be to switch off and relax during your group holiday, the realities of life can sometimes interrupt, be that an urgent email from work or a call from family members who aren’t with you.
Some villas feature an office and study room where you can focus and get some work done. Villa in photo: Villa Padma in Phuket
Villas are well-connected and choosing one that has an office area where guests can sit down and deal with a work issue during their holiday is a good idea. Making sure relatives at home have a way to reach you and know where you are staying makes sense too. There’s a difference between taking time off and going off-grid.
Organize a massage on arrival at your villa to combat jetlag and make sure that you factor in downtime during your stay. Looking out to a beautiful view alone, taking a bath, even having a siesta during the daytime before regrouping at sunset; be sensitive to the need to take time out from the group so that you can all make the most of your time together.
Travel insurance, medical contact numbers, and knowing about any ongoing health issues with anyone in the group are also essential for peace of mind as well.
8. Finding Activities Everyone Wants to Do
Even with the closest of friends, there can be huge chasms between what you like to do. A dream day may be lying on a lounger by the villa infinity pool for one, while going jet-skiing might be for another.
Consider activities for all age groups and different interests.
Come up with an itinerary before you go and let everyone add their ideas and to opt-in or out of activities too. Make sure there is variety and do something totally different that’s a new, interesting experience for everyone.
What’s great about group holidays is that they’re fun, dynamic, and a fabulous way to really bond with others and immerse yourself in a fantastic destination. Not only is it a case of the more the merrier, if you are getting together to get away on vacation, then you should consider renting a spectacular luxury villa. These incredible stays can accommodate small or larger groups, whether four bedrooms are needed or nine. Each villa features a unique ambiance from chilled out, chic retreat to traditional sophistication with a modern, minimalist vibe.
A luxury villa in a tropical destination such as Phuket or Koh Samui in Thailand, or perhaps on the paradise isle of Bali in Indonesia, is a dream group holiday waiting to happen.