Travel

5 Ground Rules for Better Group Trips

Created with Hyatt’s Wellbeing Collective

Written by: Kelly Martin

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Published on: June 6, 2024

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Photo courtesy of Carmel Valley Ranch

The easiest way to satisfy a group—whether you’re traveling for an annual family reunion, a bar-hopping trip for your friend’s bachelorette, or a great escape with your long-distance friends—is to pick a resort where everyone’s needs are met.

Hyatt’s Wellbeing Collective properties, for example, are designed to do just that. Each one comes with resort amenities—restaurants, spas, bars, pools, gyms—plus a ton of special programming. Like: traditional Costa Rican coffee making at the Andaz Costa Rica Resort at Peninsula Papagayo and Reiki in the redwoods at Alila Ventana Big Sur.

If the plan starts to tip beyond that territory (“Puerto Escondido!” one friend texts; “Paris!” says another), expect things to get more complicated. Planning a group vacation is—at its most functional—a lot like a collaborative project at work. Which got us thinking about the guiding principles we apply to our own work and how they might apply to our friendships and families.

Think of the following as a business agreement: Modify these guidelines as they make sense for your crew, and have everyone sign off.

1. COMMUNICATE WHAT YOU WANT.

From the earliest hours of the group chat, it’s important to understand what everybody wants out of the trip. If you’re all on different pages from the jump, figure that out ASAP. You won’t be able to swing, say, an all-out spa getaway and a rigorous adventure on the same trip—but you might be able to fit in a morning of ocean kayaking followed by afternoon massages.

Once you’ve arrived, this rule matters twice as much; if you don’t say what you mean, you can’t complain when your friends don’t know what you want. One grounding ritual you might find helpful: Once you’ve settled in, gather as a group to set and share intentions. At the risk of feeling formal or a bit cheesy, it can be a sweet moment that roots the trip in gratitude and purpose.

2. SOLVE YOUR OWN PROBLEMS.

Even if you do your best to prepare—snacks, check; sun hat, check—it’s impossible to anticipate every desire. And even harder for a friend to figure out what you need and fix the problem. Take responsibility for your side of the street: If you’re hungry, get something to eat. If you need shade, find it. (Of course, if you’re at a Hyatt Wellbeing Collective property, solving your own problems can be as simple as telling their concierge what you’re looking for.)

3. RECOGNIZE AND APPRECIATE.

If the trip makes it out of the group chat, it’s likely because one person has taken charge, from booking the hotel all the way down to finding restaurants that can accommodate your gluten-free and vegan friends. If you’re that friend: Bless you.

If you’re not: It’s okay to be the one who shows up with a passport and no clue—as long as you’re willing to roll with the plan and recognize the organizer, earnestly and often, for the time, thought, and effort that went into it all.

4. HONOR YOUR COMMITMENTS.

If you said you’re going on the trip, you go on the trip. If you said you’d wake up for a sunrise hike…congratulations, you’re hiking. Nothing breaks the group’s spirit like broken commitments (and the perceived betrayal that follows); only make promises you can keep.

5. REMEMBER WHY YOU’RE THERE.

The whole point of a group trip is to enjoy one another’s company. Which means it can’t be all about you—even if the trip is in your honor, like a birthday or a bachelorette. Attune to that energy and resolve to go with the flow.

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