These group getaways offer a perfect blend of time together and time apart.
Once you have figured out with whom you want to travel—whether your group is comprised of family or friends—here are five types of group getaways you may want to consider for your next trip:
A stay at a villa allows a group to remain together under one roof, with or without staff, in as many bedrooms as they want and can afford. This is one of my favorite options for family groups or friends. It is the only one that allows groups to have breakfast together while they are still in their pajamas. At night, each traveler can retreat to the privacy of his/her own room.
Some people are put off by the term “villa” because it hearkens back to Roman times when it was used almost exclusively to describe extravagant country estates. Although it still sounds chic, any condo apartment or free standing home for rent can technically be called a rental villa. With the popularity of internet rental sites like Airbnb, many of these properties can be viewed and booked online or thru a rental agent. Here are some tips to help find a villa for your group.
On ocean cruises, the number and range of activity and entertainment options is so vast that people of different ages can find things to do together and things to do apart—all of this, at almost at any hour of the day.
When families take cruises, parents can enjoy adult-only pools and spas, while their young children are supervised in a kids camp, or their teens find companions in a game room or disco. There are even board games and bingo for older grandparents. This makes cruising especially well suited for multigenerational groups. Even excursion options are varied enough to allow choices; additionally, some group members can leave the ship while others stay behind.
Since the heyday of Club Med, the number of all-inclusive resorts has been growing exponentially, particularly in the Caribbean and Mexico. Some of these resorts cater to adult-only groups and others are oriented toward families, even ones with very young children. Offering as much fun as a cruise ship on land, they are a perfect venue for girlfriend getaways or mancations.
When travelers stay at an all-inclusive resort, they pretty much know the price of their trips before they go; this makes it more relaxing than constantly having to worry about what charges will appear on their next credit card statement. Additionally, no one will have to pull out a calculator to figure out how to split a food or bar bill. At some resorts like Secrets The Vine in Cancun, even gratuities and international phone charges are included in “all-inclusive.”
Most hotel barges hold between 2 to 20 passengers, making them small compared to riverboats, which can hold hundreds of people. Many of these barges traverse the small waterways of Europe allowing them to dock right beside small towns and villages.
One family (not necessarily a very large one) or a group of friends can charter an entire barge for themselves, allowing them to personalize menus with the chef as well as day excursions. During evenings, they can enjoy time together in the lounge before they retire to their individual cabins.
Escorted River Tours
A number of tour companies like Grand Circle Travel, Viking Cruises, and AMA Waterways offer escorted tours that are also suitable for small groups of friends or family who want to explore new places together without the fuss of having to plan their own itinerary. Trained guides and program directors are invaluable in helping groups understand the culture and history of the towns they visit.