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Group Travel 101: How to Build Your Group

There are a lot of benefits to traveling with a group of friends. How do you begin rounding up group and getting a trip off the ground? It starts with identifying the people who are most likely to join you on the road.

 

Identifying Your Tribe

The social aspect of a group trip is one of the most appealing aspect of traveling with friends. So when you’re ready to start recruiting fellow travelers to join you on trips, it makes sense to start looking at existing organizations that already have strong social connections.

People who belong to an established club or group are already “joiners,” and if they already enjoy socializing with their fellow members, they are likely to be much more receptive to taking their friendships on the road. Since these relationships are already established, you might be able to get your friends who are members of those organizations to invite their social contacts from those groups to join you as well..

One thing that could also help you is if one of your friends recognized community celebrity (retired or current media personality, clergyman, sports star, etc.) whose name alone is enough to bring in fans or admirers attracted by the prospects of “rubbing elbows” with an established VIP. 

Traditions and New Ideas

Group travel has been around a long time, and many successful travel planners have built their groups based on traditional community organizations. These can include senior centers, church and faith-based organizations,  service clubs (Rotary, Lions, Kiwanis, etc.), social clubs, arts organizations, alumni groups, class reunions, garden clubs, ethnic/cultural organizations and more.

You don’t have to be a member of one of these traditional organizations to find travelers, though. Traveling friends can be found in just about any kind of group that has come together for common purposes: Civil War buffs, river rafters, hikers, photography clubs, culinary schools, wine lovers, movie buffs, book clubs, community theatre groups, golf and country clubs, gyms and health clubs, etc. 

Finding friends to travel with you may be as easy as identifying one of these common interests — the sky is limited to your imagination!

Recruiting Travelers

Once you have some ideas about friends you would like to travel with, you need to talk to these people, find out if they are interested in trips, and start to generate buzz for your idea. The worst thing that can happen when you ask someone about travel is that they’ll say no. And nobody will have the opportunity to say yes unless you ask them in the first place.

When you have these conversations, ask for ideas, input and objections from potential travelers. But don’t expect good decisions to be made by committees. And remember, that there is a very big difference between simply wanting to take a trip, and actually putting one’s money down to do so!

Brian Jewell

Brian Jewell is the executive editor of The Group Travel Leader. In more than a decade of travel journalism he has visited 48 states and 25 foreign countries.

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