5 Guidelines for the Best Group Travel Experience
Diversity in travel groups cultivates insightful dynamics. If everyone thought and felt the same way, you would lose an important element of group travel. Within diversity, it’s okay to set standards for your group. Everyone who joins the trip should commit to working together and completing the mission. Consider these points as a code of conduct for group travelers. While recruiting volunteers, be sure to honestly communicate your expectations for volunteers. These are some great guidelines to keep in mind, though you can make whatever list of guidelines works best for your group.
PLACE Guidelines for Group Trips
For practical and safety reasons, you should establish a buddy system with your group members, whether it’s a youth trip or one for adults. Creating partners among your group will help keep everyone accounted for and inspire team bonding.
Pro tip: Looking for more ideas on how to keep your team safe? Check out these 8 tips for group volunteering in a big city.
Make sure your volunteers commit to fully listening to one another, even if they don’t understand another’s person’s point of view or agree. Many frustrations during group travel stem from miscommunication or not paying full attention to directions. By encouraging your volunteers to actively listen with an open mind, you can reduce the conflicts among group members.
Authenticity is so important on group trips. If you call for a vote on what activity to do next, let everyone know their voice matters! Encourage everyone to communicate fully and respectfully to you without fear of condemnation. If something bothers them during travel, make yourself available and approachable. Empathize with them and problem-solve the best you can. An honest group makes for healthy group dynamics.
One of the most challenging parts of planning group trips is getting volunteers to commit. Of course, you should engage with everyone interested in the group trip, but set a deadline to sign up. Know who’s serious about joining the tour so you can start budgeting and know how much you need to fundraise.
Volunteer group trips are incredibly fun–and lots of work. You’re volunteering, after all, but work can still be fun! During the heat of the day or not-so-fun tasks, your volunteers may get tired and feel discouraged, tempted to disengage with their work. Boost their morale and help them refocus their energies. Remind them to engage with every aspect of the journey. Whether they’re feeding elephants or working kitchen patrol, they’re a team. Their work matters. Commit to making the most of it.
Before you depart, create group guidelines everyone will agree to follow. Whether you use the PLACE Guidelines or use what’s most beneficial for your group, setting common standards will help everyone stay on the same page and foster teamwork. Download and share this group travel agreement for your next travel group.