The politics of a group vacation are always difficult to navigate.
Despite the excitement of going on a trip, a little fear may be lurking in the back of your mind.
Dozens of questions can arise: Does everyone get along, is that one tight-lipped friend paying his fair share, or is someone’s partner cleaning up after them?
To avoid this tension when traveling in groups, FEMAIL enlisted the help of two etiquette experts, Elaine Swann and Jackie Vernon-Thompson, to make your holiday as smooth as possible – without the risk of losing friends.
The politics of a group vacation are always difficult to navigate. For this reason, FEMAIL asked two etiquette experts to comment (archive image)
Is this the right trip for you? Questions to ask yourself before agreeing to travel in a group
Think before you commit! What you should pay attention to before a group trip
FEMAIL’s etiquette experts have shared a list of things holidaymakers should consider before traveling with friends:
You eat together during your vacation and it really helps to bring people together, so don’t forget to book it in advance
Consider activity level
How active are your fellow travelers in private? If they are more of a spa person, they probably won’t want to do a walking tour
What is the budget?
Be aware of people’s different financial situations and don’t be afraid to talk about them. Be open and honest
What are the details of your trip?
Find out what the group has planned for the holiday – what types of hotels they’re considering, what restaurants they’ll be visiting – to see if it’s for you
Who else is invited?
Elaine says it’s “perfectly acceptable” to ask who you’re going on holiday with. If you are the planner, consider whether this group gets along? “Perhaps there is a personality that you cannot handle for 10 days,” she added
Before you even venture, Elaine, CEO of The Swann School Of Protocol, advises people to consider a few things during the planning phase, and the first is budget.
“It’s important to consider the demographics and budget of the invitees,” she told DailyMail.com.
“My recommendation is to make sure that when you invite people of different incomes, you find something that is more of a happy medium. For example, if you have people on a more modest budget, try to avoid too many luxury experiences.”
The second piece of advice Elaine has is to give people different options for each part of the holiday.
“You might say, ‘We’re doing this special sightseeing trip, that’s it, but what do you all want — do you want the three hours or the four hours?’ Here you have some control over it, but then give people options to make it feel like a collaborative effort.”
Other things to discuss are dietary preferences, how much activity will there be during the holiday and who else is invited?
Jackie, founder of From The Inside-Out School of Etiquette, also recommends finding out what’s expected of you financially and “having a solid understanding of what’s required for the trip” when it comes to dress codes and what activities takes place.
She reminded people to have the right travel documents before starting the journey to avoid fear or disappointment on your part and the group.
“I remember traveling with a group from Florida to England and then to Paris. We quickly arrived in England. But after a few days it was time to travel to Paris. One of our dear friends did not have the right documents to continue the journey with us,” explains Jackie.
She was forced to return to the United States alone. Some cried and were just disappointed. She was definitely in tears. This reality left the group a bit depressed and confused about the whole ordeal.”
Keep the peace: Be a considerate roommate when sharing a cottage or room
Think properly, warns Elaine, and that includes “everything from what we hang around the house to making love.”
Cleaning up after yourself is also “of the utmost importance,” she added, and make sure you leave a “small footprint” in shared spaces.
Before you even set off, Elaine Swann advises people to consider a few things during the planning stage and the first is budget
She said if you share the living room or bathroom, keep your things together and tidy up behind you.
“Don’t be afraid to take up something that needs to be done. Part of that is not just picking ourselves up, but being proud of where you live.
So if there is someone who is not as orderly as you, don’t take a stand and wage a silent war by saying that I am not chasing that person, but rather provide a calm and comfortable environment.
“If you have to go the extra mile because someone doesn’t have to, then so be it.”
As for who goes to the bathroom first thing in the morning, Elaine advises people to “try to be in harmony with the household.”
For example, if everyone tends to get up for breakfast at a certain time, incorporate that into your daily routine during the holidays, she said.
Another habit to avoid is “not spending time in the bathroom or in front of the TV.”
“Remember that you are sharing this space, so time must also be shared,” added Elaine.
As for the division of household expenses, “everyone must definitely bear their weight and pay their share”.
Think properly, warns Elaine, and that includes “everything from what we hang around the house to making love.” Cleaning up after yourself is also “of the utmost importance.”
“Find out in advance what is required of you. If nothing is set in stone, make a sacrifice to have a fair share of the house,” said Elaine.
“For example, you can say, ‘You know what? We’re arranging for breakfast today…or lunch or dinner…’ Find out what area you can contribute to if there’s nothing specific set aside.
“You can contribute to the groceries or make a contribution by paying the cost of everyone’s meal for a certain part of the stay.”
Jackie Vernon-Thompson also shared her insights on proper group vacation etiquette
When it comes to sharing a room, Jackie suggests discussing some ground rules with your intended roommate beforehand.
“Do they prefer the bed closest to the door or the window? Are you a night owl and a late night TV watcher? Find out if they prefer to shower first or last? And don’t be shy about sharing your preferences too,” she told DailyMail.com.
And if you happen to be staying with a stranger, the etiquette expert recommends reaching out to that person early and “forming some sort of relationship before the event.”
“That way you’re not complete strangers once you’re in the room,” Jackie said.
Also, be respectful of people’s time, Jackie added.
It is not good etiquette to be late to a meeting or event while traveling with a group. It’s rude to make everyone wait for you,” she said.
‘The situation [can leave] the group excited, frustrated and sometimes disrespected that you take their time for granted. Respecting each other’s time is very important.’
It’s a group vacation, but can you spend time alone? Yes, but it’s all about balance
When you go on a group vacation, you are expected to spend time with the people you are traveling with.
But it’s “acceptable” to get away or do something on your own “once in a while, within reason,” Elaine said.
“They don’t want to go on that group vacation, say hi when you get there and then not see you again until you agree to go, because that defeats the whole purpose of it. So find a balance,” she added.
“For example, the group may decide they want to go on an ATV ride or an elephant ride or something and you just don’t have the desire to do it.
“If there’s something you either can’t afford or don’t want to do, or maybe even too tired to do, stop doing it, but make sure you do your best to get back in touch with them as soon as possible to come.” to kick.” the group. short period.’
If you want to eat some meals alone, always let your group know, Jackie added.
“Check with the host if they expect you to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner with them,” she said.
“If you want to let the host know you can eat somewhere else now and then.”
“You don’t want to be a no-show and ask the host and other guests where you are.” Notifying the host prior to the experience is always appropriate etiquette.”
Regarding meal bill splitting, Jackie said if people are concerned, you should have a meaningful conversation and voice your concerns.
And when it comes to a mix of singles and couples on holiday, Elaine reminds planners to ensure that the activities they choose can be undertaken by either party.
If the activity requires people to work together, make sure there are enough in the group to do it, she added.
James is an author and travel journalist who writes for The Fashion Vibes. With a love for exploring new cultures and discovering unique destinations, James brings his readers on a journey with him through his articles.