Hello folks! Anne, your global guru here and if you haven't checked out Part 1 of the definitive group travel guide — what are you waiting for? Outside is still closed, and for the more conservative COVID-19 surveyors, we would have been locked up for over 6 months (winter included). Sprinkle onto this mix a heavy dash of the Tulum bandwagon, and you have some new folks hopping on that "text me the travel info for that group trip" train that comes around anytime people get to wanderlusting hard. Even if you DON'T fit this description, you may be ready to be social again when traveling next year. So be sure to save, share, and read part 1 before diving into more of my tips on group travel etiquette. 1. Respect the trip chat! Respond to the chat. Post all pictures to the damned chat ASAP (I have to say I did really well on my last group trip because Lord knows I always have 1000s of pictures that get sent way after the fact). But group accountability was real with my travel team, and I admittedly suck at this rule. The chat is also important as the central place for key information, updates, and decisions...so reading is always fundamental and replies are equally required!
2. Respect everyone’s mood swings, crescendos, peaks, and valleys. It can be a lot to be together for more than a few days, and some small slights are bound to happen. However, CALM communication is key. If you need a minute, take one. If you aren’t feeling well, say so. If you feel a way about something with one person just pull them to the side if need be, but please don’t kill the vibe of being somewhere dope with extended periods of in-your-bagness.
3. Be flexible, and know that group travel is like teamwork. At different times, different skills and attitudes will be necessary. For example, I am not really a morning person. But everyone I travel with seems to be early rising chatterboxes. I’ve learned to enjoy my friends in those moments and get my quiet time at other times. If you typically go to bed early, plan to be out with the group for at least one night. Try and be out your comfort zone for a little bit.
4. Go to all group bonding time activities. I know that all the references above advocate against thinking everything is group time. To some extent I agree that there should always be room to be free and explore on your own - if that’s what you want. However, please do not be THAT petty betty who doesn’t go to the final dinner, the group beach day, or anything that if photographed would certainly make you have FOMO when your ass was right there with these people. Get your life in time to be in group shots and at group bonding events please and thank you.
4a. Be okay if someone wants to be alone or venture off. As long as the person as created a plan to meet back up with the group, or has a return time, it should be fine if someone wants to do their own thing for a bit. I think being wedded to groups makes certain people (read: me and other people who travel alone often) apprehensive of group travel. No one wants to be beholden to a group, and no one wants to feel bad about wanting to do something on their own either. 5. Be aware of the traveler you are and the group you are traveling with. I am an ACTIVE traveler. When people say they want to travel with me, as humbling as that is, I always get a tinge of anxiety because it isn’t always clear what people perceive my style of travel to be based on social media. I can tell you that only a small fraction of my adventures make it to the highlight reel. I also hate resorts. Like the thought of them internally ages me to retirement at the thought of being there for more than 2 days. So it is important to do some fishing and digging on who YOU are and what your limits are before agreeing to join a group trip with other people who may (or may not) have the same travel style. If you are planning a group trip, these discussions are also essential to have with the people contemplating traveling together in the spirit of managing expectations beforehand.
6. PUT THE PHONE DOWN & turn up! AKA Have quality time throughout your trip. Talk to each other, throw a house party, VIBE. That will require you to put the phone done and engage in real life with the people you are with. Egypt was the trip of a lifetime, but I think one of the best parts is that we all VIBED. That made dealing with one another so much better and we became a traveling family that lived to share many adventures.