Getting Everyone on the Same Travel Planning Page

September 18, 2019

Planning a vacation with extended family and friends can provide both a wonderful opportunity and a stressful situation if everyone going on the trip has a different agenda. Whether it’s just the two of you or a big family group, finding a mutually-agreed-upon destination can be difficult if everyone has diverse interests and wants to glean something unique from the getaway.

If you're trying to plan a vacation for a group with diverging interests, take a few considerations into account during the planning stages and while you're on holiday.

  • Choose a destination that provides activities that all (or at least most) can enjoy
    Take a poll of different destinations. Have each family member make destination suggestions and reasons why each destination is desirable. In addition to stating why you’d like to visit this destination, have realistic reasons why everyone else would have a good time too.
  • Make a list of activities each person enjoys
    If the goal is relaxation, for example, list how you’d like to relax––on a beach, in a spa or laying poolside on a cruise ship, for instance. If another family member wants non-stop action, have them list their preferences. That way, you'll all be able to come together at the end and see if all the differences can be accommodated in one go.
  • Hold a vote
    Based on each list and the widest possible choices being available, decide on the best destination for everyone. Create a list of the top five or even 10 destinations and hold a democratic vote. If it’s just you and your spouse going away, choose a location you can both agree upon.
  • Do something together at least once a day
    Plan a mutually interesting activity every day. Even if your activity is that you meet for dinner every evening, followed by a stroll on the beach, make sure that you come together as a family every single day. Evenings can be a great time for everyone to share one activity.
  • Be OK with doing separate activities sometimes
    Plan your separate activities to occur at the same time. If some family members want to learn scuba diving and some want to go hiking, plan the adventures during the same time of day. That way, no one is just hanging around waiting for the others to finish their activity.
  • Share what you enjoyed most each day
    It's nice to catch up at mealtime or in the evenings and talk about who did what for the day. This may even be a time of convincing others to come along and try the same activity if they realize how much fun it is and what they're missing out on. Be sure to share all the details and to let others know they're welcome to come along the next day!

With a little consideration and diplomacy, your vacation will be one that everyone enjoys.

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