Traveling with a group of your best mates or closest family should be the most fun thing in the world, right? We used to think so, until we started planning a big group trip. If you’ve ever done it, you’ll understand how much of an ordeal it can be.
First of all, you just can’t please everyone. But what you can do instead is to know what every member of your party wants out of this holiday, and try to find the best compromise. One very important issue to talk about is their budgets, and take this into consideration for your game plan.
Since it’s almost impossible to get everyone to take extended periods away from work at the same time, you would probably only have the weekend (and hopefully a few more days). So you’ll have to pick a destination that isn’t too far from the region.
And, of course, there has to be enough activities to make everyone in the group happy. That’s why we did the work for you, and found some of the best potential big group holiday destinations:
- Bali, Indonesia
Bali just ticks everything on the big group holiday destination checklist. Affordable accommodation and cheap return flights, and a wide range of activities for the lazy, the adventurous and the people who fall in between. You can even find villas that can house over 20 guests!
There are plenty of accommodation types around the island, from beachfront hotels to treehouses to yoga retreats. But because it could take you a couple of hours to drive from one end of Bali to the other, you might want to consider the attractions and activities before booking a hotel in the area.
Is this a party holiday? Many consider Legian, Seminyak and Kuta to have the best nightlife. Or would your group prefer lazing around while getting a tan? Get a beachfront hotel or villa in Sanur or Jimbaran. Want to indulge yourself in nature and culture? Stay in a treehouse or yoga retreat in Ubud.
At the end of the day, you’ll still want to travel around the island. The best way for a big group to get around Bali is to hire a mini bus and driver for part or the full duration of the trip. Most drivers also double up as unofficial tour guides.
As for activities that you can do as a group, there’s cycling around the many trails on the island, snorkeling or diving, going for cooking classes, visiting the rice terraces…The list is practically endless.
If you want to relax by day and party hard by night, Bali will be your perfect large group getaway.
- Chiang Mai, Thailand
Chiang Mai offers heaps of things to do that would satisfy even the fussiest in your group. And if all else fails, you can eat your way through this food paradise!
Accommodation in Chiang Mai is generally cheap, and you’ll have little difficulty finding a villa or hotel that will fit everyone’s budget. Try to choose one that is in or near the old city centre so you’ll be able to explore more on foot. But if you’re planning on traveling outside the city, you can easily hire a mini van to take you around.
Food and transport costs are also very affordable, but if you’re shopping at the markets, don’t be afraid to bargain with the vendors. Their prices are usually inflated for tourists.
Within the old city, there is already plenty to see and do. Visit the temples, shop at the night market, eat at a street side stall or attend a cooking class. But take a day or two to do tours outside the city, like visiting the Elephant Nature Park, climbing 304 steps of Wat Doi Suthep, zipline through the rainforest or raft down Mae Taeng River.
If you’re traveling with your family, Chiang Mai offers everything a holiday will need.
- Siem Reap, Cambodia
This group trip destination contender is just a few hours away from home. As the gateway to Angkor Wat and its equally majestic neighboring temples, Siem Reap sees millions of tourists a year. But this shouldn’t put you off—it’s thanks to the tourists that this town has facilities for big group trips.
Siem Reap caters even to the most budget-conscious. You can find really affordable accommodation, including the villas that would fit the whole lot of you under one roof. Food and attraction costs are relatively inexpensive too.
If you choose to live in the heart of town, you’ll be able to walk to restaurants and shopping areas quite easily. When you’re planning on going into Angkor Archaeological Park, you can hire a mini van to take your group around the different temples from USD18 a day. Or, if you’re feeling more adventurous, you can make it a group activity to cycle to Angkor Wat.
Angkor might be the main reason tourists visit Siem Reap, but there are other things you can do as a group. Rent ATVs and see the off-trail side of Cambodia, learn how to cook Khmer dishes, find a good bargain at the markets, or watch a cultural performance.
If you’re looking for a little backpacking adventure, Siem Reap is the big group destination for you.
Inspired already? Book your flight and hotel on Traveloka now!