How to Effortlessly Fill Up
Your Next Group Trip
5 Insider Strategies for Promoting Your
Can’t-Miss Travel Experience
If you yearn to build unbreakable bonds with your group, you can do just that by traveling together. On a group trip, you’ll reconnect in powerful ways, strengthen your most cherished relationships, and create new memories all together—memories that will last for years to come.
Of course, that can only happen if your group members commit to joining you!
This is the number one struggle I see when I work with group leaders—how to convince their group members to travel with them. After planning group trips for the past nine years—everything from family reunions to BFF getaways, school reunions to religious pilgrimages—I’ve developed a handful of tips and strategies to help my clients fill up their group trips with ease.
That’s what I’m sharing with you in this guide. Read on to discover 5 insider strategies for not only getting your group members to say “yes” to the trip—but that will amp up excitement along the way.
Here’s to bond-building travel,
Founder & Group Travel Planner | Travel With Great Company
Commit to the Trip Before You Seek RSVPs From Your Group Members
I see this mistake being made all the time. A group leader will approach their group tentatively, saying something like, “We’re thinking about hosting our next family reunion/alumni group/club event on a cruise. If we did, would you come?”
Often, they’ll receive lots of responses like, “maybe” and “hmm, that sounds interesting”.
What they don’t get, though, is a “Yes!”
And when they don’t get the “yeses” that they’re after, these group leaders assume that a trip like this just won’t work.
But this is the exact wrong approach. Why?
Because right now, the trip is just an idea. And no one wants to commit to an idea, a trip that only might happen.
It might seem counter-intuitive, but the BEST way to get commitments isn’t to solicit feedback beforehand.
Instead, approach your group by saying, “We’ll be hosting our next group event on X cruise line to X destination on X date—are you in?”
You’ll be blown away by the difference in response.
But it makes sense; this time around, you’ve asserted that the trip is a reality. It’s DEFINITELY happening. You’ve been clear about where and when. The only decision your group members have to make is whether to join you—and you’ve now made it easy to say “yes”!
Communicate–and Communicate Often
The easiest way to get your group members excited and invested in your group trip is to share all the juicy details. That includes things like:
Information on the cruise line/resort
The specific cruise ship and ship specs (or resort specs)
The day-by-day itinerary
Special group dinners or events
Paint a vivid picture of what’s in store for your group members. When they can visualize what’s in store, it will be hard to say no!
Insider Tip: One of my favorite ways to help group leaders communicate easily with their groups is by creating a private Facebook Group.
Creating a FB group is free, and it’s easy to make posts that everyone in the group can access. You can also link to outside resources (like info on the resort property or cruise line) to amp everybody up! You can post as frequently inside the FB group as you wish, ensuring the upcoming trip stays top of mind for your group members.
Have a Hard Deadline
It’s just human nature—we tend to put off today what can be done tomorrow.
Without a hard deadline, it’s likely that your group members will hem and haw over whether or not to attend … without ever making a firm commitment. Before you know it, the group trip rolls around, and a huge chunk of your group doesn’t make the trip with you—because they never got around to officially saying “yes”!
In fact, you may even ask your group members, “We’re going to X destination, are you coming with us?” Often, they’ll tell you “yes”—but if their verbal commitment isn’t backed up with an actual reservation, that “yes” doesn’t mean much.
By creating and clearly communicating a hard deadline to sign up for your trip, though, you force your group members to make and lock in that decision.
Insider Tip: Often, the resort or cruise line will have their own deadlines for committing to a trip. I typically recommend that you set your group’s deadline well before the cruise or resort’s deadline. You want a headcount early on of who’s attending so you can make arrangements for special dinners, excursions, etc.
Provide an Incentive For Meeting the Deadline
Want record attendance for your group trip? Then it’s time to “game-ify” the experience!
Reward your group members for meeting a deadline—either the deadline to register, or the deadline to make the final payment—by offering some sort of incentive or raffle. You could say that everyone who makes the deadline will be entered to win a special prize, like a gift certificate to the resort spa, a free transfer, or a free room upgrade. Adding in a perk like this will spur your group members to take action.
Insider Tip: For added fun, keep the deadline prize a surprise! You can announce the winner and the gift on departure day when your group is all together, helping you to kick things off with a joyful and generous spirit.
Add A Unique, Custom Element To Your Trip
Why should your group members join you on the group trip? Yes, the resort sounds idyllic, the beach looks divine—so why can’t they just buy their own flights and room and visit on their own?
Of course, being altogether as a group is a BIG part of the draw. But you can sweeten the deal by adding in an extra special touch or two to your group trip—something that your group members probably couldn’t experience if they traveled by themselves.
For example, for a group trip to celebrate a client’s 60th birthday in the Bahamas, I arranged for a professional photographer to capture photos during the birthday bash on the beach. Now, anybody can go to the Bahamas—but how many can take back keepsake pictures of themselves snapped by a professional photographer?
From private group dinners or receptions to special excursions or spa gift certificates, brainstorm ways to put your own special touch on your group’s escape. It’s a sure-fire strategy for elevating the whole group experience!
Want more insider secrets to planning effortless group trips?
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