How many times have you thought, “Wouldn’t it be fun to travel with friends?” but it goes no further than that—a thought. Idea never becomes action. It isn’t that you don’t WANT to vacation with neighbor friends in Mexico or do a service project with a group of guys in Guatemala or take a couples trip to Italy…
but something always seems to get in the way. Schedule conflicts. Know-how. The hesitancy to take on planning a trip. Or just the more urgent things that come up in life.
When Carol and I first got married, one of our friends dubbed her the “tour director.” That’s because she was always putting groups together to do something fun. The adventure I remember the most was a trip with fifteen friends to Green Turtle Cay in the Bahamas. Even though weather didn’t exactly cooperate, the trip was still a hit.
What made that vacation a success can make any trip with friends a success. Here’s how you can find your tribe and travel.
Find your tribe…
Shared values and interests
Part of having a great trip is finding your tribe. Who are you comfortable with and can be yourself around? Who are the people who share your values and interests?
For our trip to the Bahamas, we invited four other families who were in the same season of life. We all had kids and had gone to college together. Even more important was that we invited people who enjoyed the same things we did—being with our kids, adventure and being on the go, and of course good food and having fun.
Set your trip up for success by inviting friends you have a lot in common with.
A core group
Your tribe doesn’t have to mean a ton of people, just people you like to hang out with. Putting together a big group can sound overwhelming. So don’t. Don’t feel like you have to start with a big group, or even start with a small group. Ask another friend, another couple, or a few co-workers. Then see where it goes from there.
One of the couples we invited to Green Turtle Cay asked if they could invite their friends. We’d met them a couple of times and thought, “Sure, why not.” And the core group grew to include people who would later become new friends.
People like to be asked. They want to know you’re not looking to fill up your group numbers but that you want them to be there. You enjoy their company and they add to the trip. Nothing communicates that like a personal invitation.
That invitation can be elaborate or something as simple as calling and saying, “I’m going on a trip to ____. I’d really like you to come along. Here are the details.” The most important thing is that it’s a personal, heartfelt invitation.
For our Bahamas trip, we ditched the idea of a traditional invite. The summer before our planned winter vacation, Carol bundled up in winter clothes in front of our fireplace. I filmed her dramatic plea to “please join us in escaping next winter’s cold” and we sent the video invite to each family.
A great destination and a few “musts”
The bigger your tribe, the more opinions and schedule conflicts will come into the picture. So it’s helpful to decide a few key things ahead of time.
For our Bahamas trip, destination and time of year were our non negotiables. I’d spent five years in the Bahamas when I was young, and Carol and I had been there for our honeymoon. We wanted to go back. We also wanted to go in November over Thanksgiving break. What exactly we did when we got there wasn’t as important.
Decide ahead of time what’s most important to you and make those “musts” clear in your invite. “We’re planning a couples trip to Mexico sometime next summer. It would be great to have you come too.” (Kids won’t be going; dates are somewhat flexible.)
There are a lot of benefits to traveling with a small group of family, friends, or co-workers. But some of the best are that you spend time with people you enjoy and come away with shared memories and experiences that can last forever. Find your tribe and travel!
Did you know Niteo Tours customizes tours for groups of all sizes? Choose your country, dates, and trip length and we’ll work with you on an itinerary. Give us a call!