As I have previously stated, my family has a deep and abounding love for venturing into the unknown! Our 10 year old daughter begins with the globe (even though most our travel is in the continental U.S. sigh…) and works her way through maps, atlases and the weather channel to plan her wardrobe. Our son (14) begins to Google search everything within the destination and my husband appears with the dreaded ITINERARY. Yes, our family travel plan includes a detailed itinerary with highlights and schedules. There’s no fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants vacation for us!
I used to resent the “I” word and long for a wildly impromptu three day weekend, until I remembered the vacations of my childhood. My parents were novice travelers (at best!), and planning our adventures ahead of time wasn’t even a consideration. As a result, you could find us driving all hours of the night in our station wagon searching for a place to sleep- usually a suspicious-looking roadside motel that my mother attacked vigorously with a can of Lysol! If we made it to our vacation spot, we wandered aimlessly, unsure of what to do once we were there! I vividly remember going to Cocoa Beach on a day that was raining and in the low 60’s because we didn’t know what else to do! I suppose these memories have made me more accepting of the “I” word, and frankly, we squeeze a lot of fun out of our excursions thanks to my husband’s planning and forethought!
Finding Stuff To Do!
The same fundamental principles apply to your group travel planning. It’s all in the research! When you plan on your own, you don’t have the benefit of a tour operator to do the work for you. You do, however, have access to an abundance of information at the click of a button! CVBs (convention and visitors bureaus) can be found in most destinations and are a great resource for finding group-friendly attractions, accommodations, dining and more. DMOs (destination marketing organizations) serve a similar purpose and can be very helpful when planning a visit to a location unknown to you. These organizations exist to give you a better understanding of all the destination has to offer your group.
Another exceptional resource is Group Travel Odyssey– a website designed specifically for those planning group travel directly online. Group Travel Odyssey has the best group-friendly entertainment, hotels, restaurants, transportation and shopping IN ONE PLACE! They’ve done the work for you! It’s super-simple to use:
Click on the destination you want to visit
Pack the activities, accommodations, dining options, shopping and transportation in which you are interested in your virtual suitcase
Go! Your group quote requests are now on their way!
The suppliers you want will then reply directly to you with availability and best group pricing within 48 hours- just like the pros!
Group Travel Odyssey is truly a unique and convenient tool for those who plan their own group travel.
GTO helps streamline and simplify the process, without a lot of “clicking around.”
There really something to be said for putting together a well-planned itinerary… Don’t you just hate it when your husband is right?
FINAL INSTALLMENT IN THE SERIES- SAFETY WHEN TRAVELING WITH STUDENTS