What is the best way to travel with 15 or more people?

We explain the best options for travelling together with a large group of 15 or more people to places in Europe like Croatia
A group of 25 people travelling together in Croatia

The best ways to travel with a group of 15 or more people

The vast majority of travel bookings are made for an individual, a couple or a family so most of the time the consideration is all about getting one to maybe six passengers onto transport and accomodation.

Although what if you wanted to travel with a group that was ten, fifteen, twenty or even thirty people, what type of travelling would make sense in terms of transport, accomodation and activities?

In this free advice from our travel agency about travelling in large groups we explain some of the options and steps to take. Our travel agency specialises in managing all the logistics, booking & planning for a large group of people to travel to amazing destinations around the world. 

As we have mentioned in our other travel advice articles you can travel in a large group to;

  • celebrate a birthday like a 40th, 50th or 60th
  • travel overseas for an engagement party or wedding
  • do a holiday with a group of friends
  • travel with multiple families as a large group
  • organise a group girls holiday or a boys bucket list adventure
 

Whatever the reason it is an excellent way of fostering meaningful connections, making new friends, and creating unforgettable memories. It is actually very easy & quite possible to travel with a group of fifteen or more people with the biggest challenge being the organisation and planning. Although with so many people involved this responsibility can sometimes be shared to make things easier.

What are some of the options for travelling with 15 or more people?

When you stop and think about it the options for travelling with a group of 10, 15, 20 or even 50 people is practically anywhere & any way in the world. 

At the end of the day travelling in a large group together is no different that lots of couples or individuals travelling separately. Most transport and accomodation is already set up to manage large numbers of passengers. The biggest difference is that you are going together with people you know, so the whole trip is like a big party while the method you choose will create a different experience.

The main decisions that have to be made include;

  • Travel departure dates
  • Length of travel time
  • The budget
  • Type of accomodation
  • Type of transport
  • Activity list
  • Type of dining preferences
  • How to share information
  • What region/s and/or country/s to visit
 

Here are several options for large groups that most people consider;

  1. Chartering a bus; once you decide on a destination you might be able to charter a bus that can carry all the passengers in the group and your luggage. You can then have absolute exclusivity and privacy for the group with the added benefit of flexibility in terms of schedule and itinerary. You can then customise the travel experience to visit certain locations by road and it becomes cost-effective for larger groups. The downside might be long transport stages between the tourist destinations. You then stay in different locations assuming the hotel/s at the destination have availability

     

  2. Renting a private villa or holiday house on a large property can become the base for your whole group to then explore a region or a city depending where it is located. You can get total privacy and cohesiveness for the group with common spaces for group activities and bonding. It normally also means there are cost savings compared to booking individual hotel rooms with plenty of options for self-catering and shared meals.

     

  3. A chartered boat cruise is the premium luxury way to travel, especially around Europe with so many beautiful destinations located in major harbours. Typically these are an all inclusive travel experience with accommodation, dining, and entertainment on board with a range of destinations and activities to choose from. They are flexible too with a range of water activities or land based tours & other activities to choose from.

     

  4. Group hotel bookings can sometimes be done when there is enough vacancy available at a location. This can give you discounted rates and maybe even a row of rooms that are near each other so that you can ‘feel’ together during the stay. Most of the other amenities will be shared so it won’t feel as intimate or as private as a charted boat, private villa or bus charter.

 

Which type of travel option is the most suitable will depend on;

  • The destination / s chosen to visit.
  • The time of year
  • The group size
  • The type of occasion or group type
  • Your travel budget per person
  • The length of your proposed travel period
  • The preferences amongst the group that is travelling.

How would you organise travel for a group of 15 or more people?

What is the best way to travel with 15 or more people?

Traveling with a large group can be wonderful, the bigger numbers mean more people to do things with, more memories to be made, and more ways that the expenses are split.

Although without carefully planning such a trip, group trips can also be miserable. There’s nothing worse than misaligned expectations, budgets, and disagreements about the adventure ahead. This is why it becomes so important to use a travel agent like Groups by Beyond that not only specialises in large groups but helps smooth out all the planning and logistics.

So if you are planning a family reunion, a executive retreat, wedding, holiday adventure with friends or even a yoga trip, these tips are sure to make your trip go off without a hitch.

 

1. Assign a group leader
E
stablishing a group leader or a co-ordinator should be one of the first steps when organising a large group to travel together. Normally the leader is not in charge of making every decision about the trip, but rather they are responsible for coordinating most aspects of the travel like assigning tasks and communicating with the travel agent to confirm things like the itinerary, dinner reservations or activities. They will also share all the information to the group. 

This person’s role is to 
help make sure everyone going on the trip is aware of all dates and activities, on board with the plans, and conscious of how much everything will cost. Good leaders help maintain healthy social dynamics and assure no one feels out of the loop or uncomfortable with any proposed plans.

 

2. Plan well in advance
Once you’ve established a group leader, get everyone together for a general planning meeting. Use this time to pick dates that align with everyone’s work, family, and life schedules, identify a general destination, and come up with a broad framework for your holiday itinerary.

Now is the perfect time to decide things like whether you’re all after a more active trip or a more relaxed getaway, if you want to stay in an all-inclusive resort or charter a boat for example. 

It isn’t about the little details at this step, but rather the ‘big idea’ so to speak. 

 

3. Establish budget preferences
One specific thing your group should discuss in a planning meeting is the budget. It’s likely everyone will have different ideas about how much they’re able or willing to spend, and getting on the same page about finances early on is a key part of a successful group trip.

During this time, ask everyone about what they aren’t willing to pay for—like alcohol or fancy dinners out—and the things they are willing to pay for—maybe private airport transfers or admission to cultural sites. 

Knowing where every member of your party stands on these issues can help you hammer out more detailed itineraries or even multiple itineraries for different subsets of the group. 

The simplest way is to try and establish a per person, per day budget that can be used as a guide when talking to travel agents. 

 

4. Document itineraries and preferences
The planning of a large group to travel together could take weeks or months given the number of people involved. Keeping everyone in the loop on itineraries and any new information will smooth out the trip overall.

Curating lists and itineraries on platforms like Google Docs or shared iPhone notes can help keep the party up to date. We provide an online electronic itinerary that works in an App on a smartphone or via web browser on a laptop to make things easy.

You have to make sure everyone is aware of what is happening during the duration of the trip. 

 

5. Agree on the type of travel
Once the decision has been made on the region to visit, how you travel through that area could vary. So for example if you are visiting Europe you may move around by chartered bus or a chartered boat.

The costs will vary & there are pros and cons to each mode of transport but a lot will come back to the desires of the group and what their preferences are. Some groups don’t like being squashed in a bus set for hours on end as they drive from one destination to another. 

So chartering a boat, renting a property or an entire hotel might be more suitable in those situations. You will have lots of bargaining power so use your bulk booking situation to your advantage. 

 

6. Think about what the routine will be
Before you go on the trip, consider establishing a routine for the members of the group. We’re not talking about a hard and fast schedule broken down into minutes but having a general plan for each day will help things flow easily.

You can think about things like how long should breakfast time be, how many activities in a day or how many destinations to visit.

 

7. Avoid too many activities in one day
While spending time together is likely your main priority, be careful about how much stuff is jammed into every day. Scheduling too many activities in a single day can leave people feeling tired and stressed, which can cause them to act irritable and anxious. 

Limiting the number of activities you do in a day allows everyone to slow down and enjoy the moment rather than mentally rushing ahead to the next thing or trying to remember what time they have to be ready for things in the schedule. 

 

8. Think about people’s personalities
In any group of friends, coworkers or family members, there are likely a variety of social personality differences. There might be one person who is exceptional with directions, another who’s good at math and can always calculate the tip accurately, and a third whose outgoing nature makes it easy to ask strangers questions.

Whatever the strengths in your travel group, allow them to shine while you’re away together. Giving everyone different jobs keeps any one person feeling overburdened and discourages anyone from turning into a control freak.

The benefits of a boat charter for a group of 15 people or more

Play Video about Caroline's review of Groups by Beyond charter boat holiday for 30 people in Croatia

Of course we are bias and over the years we have learnt from exprience that a boat charter is such a great way to travel with large groups compared to bus travel, booking out a hotel or a villa. That is why our travel agency has become a specialist when it comes to booking travel for large groups on cruises to places like Croatia, Sri Lanka and other exotic destinations.

Watch the video above and hear from the people directly as they talk about their experience… if that doesn’t convince you, here are some more reasons; 

  1. Destination choices
    Europe offers numerous destinations for boat charters, including the Mediterranean Sea, the Adriatic Sea, the Greek Islands, the French Riviera, and the British Isles, among others. It gives you lots of choices for a large group including the desired climate, scenery, and activities, when selecting the destination.


     

  2. Boat sizes that are intimate
    Instead of going on a massive cruise ship with thousands of passengers and getting lost in the crowd, we can charter a super yacht that can accomodate one hundred people or less.

    You get to live like a superstar as you cruise the ocean visiting ports, towns and amazing island destinations. Everyone is together, it is easy to have space and you feel a sense of privacy and intimacy that you don’t get on a cruise ship.

    Depending on your preferences and budget, you can choose from options such as sailing yachts, motor yachts, catamarans, or even luxury mega-yachts. Each boat has cabins, common areas, and amenities to accommodate everyone comfortably.

    Our travel agency is very experienced at helping you select the right charter boat that will suit your needs. There may be some limitations in terms of routes and dates but based on your group, the reason for the holiday & the destinations we will help figure out the rest for you to make things easy.


     

  3. Charter duration choices
    You can choose a wide range of durations from a week to a month. Longer charters allow for more exploration and flexibility in terms of visiting different islands, cities or coastal towns.

    Most of our charter cruises go for seven days or longer and are all equally popular as some people enjoy a short holiday while others like to spend more time overseas.


     

  4. A full crew at your disposal
    A crewed charter provides the convenience of having a professional crew, including a captain, chef and other staff who take care of everything. Our travel agency only offers this type of boat charter because we cater to people who want a luxurious holiday where you get spoilt and never have to lift a finger. 


     

  5. Itinerary planning:
    We can collaborate with your group to plan an itinerary that includes destinations, anchorages, and activities that align with everyone’s interests. Once you have an idea we can help you finalise all of those details using our experience as a travel agent and all the suppliers we use.


     

  6. Unique destinations
    You can visit picturesque islands, coastal towns, historic sites, and popular attractions in the region. Traveling in a large group provides the opportunity to tailor experiences and plan group activities with customised itineraries.

    As a travel agent when we speak to tour operators it makes our task of negotiating on your behalf a lot easier if we can say we want ten or twenty spots for your large group.

    Places like Europe offer an array of group-friendly options, such as guided tours, river cruises, cooking classes, and team-building activities. 

    These activities not only cater to diverse interests and preferences within the group but also create opportunities for shared experiences and bonding. Exploring historical landmarks, immersing in local customs, and participating in group adventures contribute to a sense of unity and collective enjoyment, making the trip even more memorable.

    Each part of a holiday itinerary can be created to have a mix of free time, group activities and even optional components that can keep everyone happy whether they are children or adults.


     

     

  7. Reasonable costs:
    A lot of people think it is expensive to charter a boat, well it is and it isn’t. When you have a group of maybe 20 people chartering a boat it means all the costs are divided amongst those people. So while it may be more expensive than going on a cruise ship, you get the benefits of having your own luxury boat, less people to deal with and a group that travels together who knows each other. 

    These relationships instantly make any type of charter boat holiday even more memorable while splitting the costs amongst so many people makes it affordable too.

 
 

So as you can see it is pretty easy to charter a boat in Europe to carry ten or more people on a holiday there are loads of options available, it is wise to engage with a travel agent like Groups by Beyond who specialise in this particular type of travel. 

Our knowledge, expertise and supplier relationships will get you the best offers, most interesting itineraries & reasonable travel costs that will be attractive to anyone in your group.

Frequently asked questions

Yes it is very possible to travel with a group of 15 or more people. In simple terms you can all book the same bus tour for example as separate bookings and therefore ‘be together’. Alternatively you can charter a boat in Europe in places like Croatia and travel in luxury as a group booking. 

You can create your own itinerary, plan activities and organise everything based on what you would like to do.

There is a big difference between small ship cruising and big ocean liner cruisers? A small ship or super yacht is never more than 49m in length – they are large enough to be relevant but small enough to get into all the ports, inlets and great swimming spots. 

Most of these boats have less than 40 guests so you receive personal attention and get to know your fellow travellers very quickly. More emphasis is placed on the unique destinations, many of which are UNESCO World Heritage listed, and by getting up close and personal with your mooring spots, you are never more than minutes from the heart of what you have come to see.

Small Ship Cruising:
Small ship cruising involves traveling on vessels with a smaller passenger capacity, typically ranging from tens to a few hundred passengers. These ships are designed to navigate narrower waterways and visit smaller ports of call that are inaccessible to larger vessels. Some key characteristics of small ship cruising include:


Intimacy and Personalised Experience:
With fewer passengers onboard, small ships offer a more intimate and personalised experience. There’s an opportunity for the crew to provide individual attention and create a familiar atmosphere.


Destination-Focused Itineraries:
Small ships often focus on unique and off-the-beaten-path destinations. They can sail through scenic rivers, explore remote islands, and visit ports that are not accessible to large cruise ships. This allows travellers to experience less crowded and more authentic destinations.


Close Connection with the Surroundings:
Small ships provide passengers with a closer connection to the surrounding environment. They often have open decks and large windows, allowing for unobstructed views of the sea or landscapes. Some ships even offer water sports platforms or Zodiac boats for closer encounters with nature.


Flexibility and Accessibility: 
Small ships can navigate shallow waters and reach smaller ports, which means they have more flexibility in their itineraries. They can access secluded coves, fjords, or rivers, providing passengers with unique experiences.


Onboard Amenities:
While smaller ships may not offer as many onboard amenities and entertainment options as large ocean liners, they often focus on creating a cozy and relaxed atmosphere. Facilities may include comfortable lounges, libraries, outdoor decks, and fine dining restaurants.


Big Ocean Liner Cruising:
Big ocean liner cruising refers to traveling on large vessels that can accommodate thousands of passengers. These massive ships are like floating resorts, offering an extensive range of onboard amenities and entertainment options. Some key characteristics of big ocean liner cruising include:


Size and Scale:
Ocean liners are often massive structures with multiple decks, offering a wide array of facilities and activities. They can include multiple swimming pools, water parks, theaters, casinos, fitness centers, spas, shopping malls, and numerous dining options.


Variety of Entertainment:
Large ocean liners provide a plethora of entertainment choices to cater to diverse tastes. Passengers can enjoy Broadway-style shows, live music performances, comedy acts, movie theaters, game arcades, and nightclubs, among others.


Numerous Dining Options:
Big ships boast a wide range of dining venues, including buffet restaurants, specialty restaurants with different cuisines, casual eateries, and room service options. They often have multiple bars and lounges for socializing and enjoying drinks.


Activities and Recreation: 
Ocean liners offer an extensive range of onboard activities to keep passengers engaged. These can include sports courts, fitness classes, rock climbing walls, ice skating rinks, zip lines, waterslides, and even simulated surfing or skydiving experiences.


Global Itineraries:
Big ocean liners typically cover longer distances and visit popular ports of call around the world. They offer a mix of well-known destinations and major tourist attractions, providing passengers with a broader travel experience.


Family-Friendly Environment:
With their diverse onboard facilities, large ocean liners are well-suited for family vacations. They often have dedicated kids’ clubs, teen lounges, and family-friendly entertainment options to cater to different age groups.


Both small ship cruising and big ocean liner cruising offer unique experiences, and the choice depends on personal preferences, desired destinations, budget, and the type of travel experience one seeks. Small ship cruising focuses on intimacy, unique destinations, and a closer connection with the surroundings, while big ocean liners provide a wealth of onboard amenities, entertainment, and a vibrant atmosphere.

Yes a cruise in Europe is suitable for children and without doubt can be a great experience for children with the right attitude! There are of course limited facilities for entertaining children and certainly no water slides or dodgem cars on-board, and due to the special conditions of ship life we recommend children should be at least of school age and able to swim.

 

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Tony Gattari
Tony Gattari

Tony is the passionate, energetic person that runs Groups by Beyond. He has a love for travel that has grown over the years and he has been to more than 40 countries over the years. He will help you create an incredible adventure for your group to experience anywhere in the world.

Imagine travelling to Croatia on a small ship luxury boat or indulging in a food and wine tour. Or have you ever dreamt of visiting Santa Claus in Scandinavia?

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