When my friend Meredith and I visited The City Museum in March
, our first thought was “THESE ARE OUR DREAMS COME TO LIFE” followed closely by “We need to come back here with a bunch of our friends.”
I’m very, very fortunate to know a pile of smart, silly, incredibly adventurous people. I can round up 18 of them for a monster truck rally
and convince six of them to drive 8.5 hours to ride a Ferris wheel on top of a five-story building.
We spent 60 hours in St. Louis, not including almost nine hours of driving on either end. And we still liked each other at the end! If you want to travel with a big group, here are some tips to make it as awesome as possible.
1. Choose awesome people
Well dur, right? If it’s possible to not invite The Needy Friend, The Drama-making Friend, or The Prone To Sulking Friend – don’t invite them. The best co-travelers are good natured, adventurous, self-entertaining, and compromising. Even if they’re none-of-the-above, they should be independent so if you want to do something they’re not interested in, they’ll happily do something else on their own.
2. Make a private Facebook group
Coordinating the logistics for a large group can get a bit messy and email chains are The Worst. Make things a million times easier by creating a private Facebook group. And you can see who has and hasn’t viewed a post, so you can email or text them any important info you know they missed.
3. Make one person in charge of purchasing the lodging and another person in charge of transportation
In my experience, it’s easiest if one or two people are in charge for the big purchases. After the trip, you can post the final charges on your private Facebook page and your friends can PayPal you the money. For our trip, I booked the hotel and the two friends who contributed their vehicles for driving bought all the gas.
4. Assemble a (super loose) itinerary
I’m a firm believer in the open-ended travel plan
– enough planning that you won’t miss the important stuff, not so much planning that you feel smothered or can’t change things up. We planned when we’d see The Important Stuff and researched a barbecue place, but we left plenty of space for alone time and poking around.
5. Naps + snacks, dude
You know what makes people unpleasant to be around? Being hungry or tired. It sounds mom-like, but bring snacks and water to share and make sure you have plenty of down time. Walking around a new city in the sun is oddly exhausting.
6. Allow for unscheduled time and/or alone time
You know what else makes people unpleasant? Being in a group for 16 hours (or maybe that’s just me?). Make sure you all have time to spend however you’d like and don’t hesitate to opt out of stuff if you just want to read in the park by yourself.
Have you ever traveled with a big group? Share your group travel tips in the comments!