This weekend my friends are coming round and we are going to plan our summer holiday for next year. We are a group of six school friends and we all try to go away for a week in the sun each year. Its hard work getting everyone organised and things booked so we try to start things rolling about six months before. Here are my top tips to have a great time away with your mates in 2017.
Allocate a holiday manager
So it’s hard enough to arrange a night out with the girls never mind a week away to the Costas. This year I am the ‘holiday manager’ – the main woman to book the holiday, get everyone’s deposits from them and arrange transfers and activities while we are there. A good idea is to start a what’s app group chat where everyone can get involved and see the conversations about the trip. So on Saturday we’ll toss around ideas of where we want to go and look up deals on line. We roughly know the dates we can work around (the week before the summer school holidays start so it should be cheaper).
Book well in advance
If you book six months to 10 weeks before you should get a pretty decent deal. This is because tour companies buy flights and rooms in bulk and need to sell off as many as possible. Leave it any longer and the travel operators will have upped their prices as the rooms become less available. Make a saving on your holiday and search online for discount codes if you are booking online or call up the tour operator to try and haggle ask for a group discount.
Make a joint decision where to go
Everyone has different tastes and not everyone will want a quiet resort and others will flat out refuse to go to Ibiza. So try and find a common ground, research resorts and get advice from friends and family who have visited them before. Try getting a large sheet of paper and get everyone to write on it what they want from the holiday – things like nightlife, boat trips, seeing some culture, lazing by the pool. This will help when you are reading up on resorts. If you are struggling to agree on a location, check out Club Med – they specialise in all-inclusive holidays and guarantee a fun packed time with groups of others, or you can chill out with your mates. Search for club med discount online and you might just get an exclusive saving off the total cost of your holiday.
Set a budget and stick to it
Next, you need to set a budget per person – this way everyone will know from the start what they need to pay. It’s not fair to agree a maximum limit and then go over it, as some will not be able to afford this.
If you are going away in a large group make sure everyone knows what to expect – if its self-catering accommodation everyone can chip in and bring the essentials for your apartment – things like washing up liquid, washing powder and soap can be expensive in resorts so tuck them in your suitcase to make a saving before travelling. Secondly, book your transfers before you go. No one wants to be stuck at a quiet Greek airport at 3am in the morning not knowing how to get to the resort. You don’t need to book transfers as part of the holiday package either – if you are in a large group search online for resort transfers and you could be better off arranging a group pick up for the girls.
Plan a trip
Half way through the six month countdown it can be fun to book an activity or trip to do while you are there. You’ll probably find that it’s a lot cheaper to book from Britain in GBP rather than the local rate. So you are making a saving already! It’s easy enough to research online from sky diving to water sports or booze cruises in your resort. Some of your friends may not want to get involved in activities so by pre-booking ahead it will save any awkward discussions while you are on holiday too.