So you’re planning a group trip to Orlando. Congratulations – your group is about to have the time of their life! Planning a trip for a large group can be overwhelming, but if you follow these simple 5 tips you’ll be able to avoid many of the pitfalls that can complicate group trips.
Make final payments due before they’re actually due
Though the policies at hotels may vary slightly, most of the time you’ll be required to make an initial deposit and then pay off the balance by a particular date. When you give the final cost and deadline to each member of the group, move up the deadline at least a few days. This gives you a buffer to make adjustments if it turns out one or more people aren’t able to come up with their payment.
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Make a plan for food
The largest expense during your trip is going to be food. The good news is that there are lots of options – the key is having a plan before you leave. The most successful tips tend to mix it up and eat a combination of the following options:
- Bring your own food. All the theme parks allow you to bring in any food you want, with few exceptions. Alcohol is not permitted, and though soft coolers are fine, hard coolers are not. It can be very inexpensive to go shopping for the group and make up a quick bag of sandwiches, fruit slices, and other snacks to avoid spending money in the parks at every meal.
- Snacks. There are an incredible amount of snacks to be had, especially at Epcot’s World Showcase. Many are large enough to constitute a small meal, and they can be very reasonably priced. It may make sense to have a few snacks throughout the day and then a bigger dinner later in the evening.
- Counter service. This refers to any restaurant where you go to a counter, place your order, and pick up your own food. These are generally the least expensive restaurants. While all while have a kids menu with pizza, chicken nuggets, and other universally liked foods (and both children and adults can order off the kids menu) some will have more adventurous foods. Take a look at menus before you go and decide on a few options that are most likely to please everyone.
- Table service. These restaurants are traditional sit-down restaurants. Most will require a reservation, which can be made 180 days before your trip. The prices can range from moderate to several hundred dollars for a single meal. Consider everyone’s budget constraints when you pick restaurants.
Pair up roommates weeks before you leave
If you’re in charge of deciding who rooms with who, get those arrangements made well before you leave. Let everyone know who they’ll be staying with so that if there are any issues you’ll have plenty of time to sort it out before you arrive at the parks.
Don’t expect perfection
The key to not going crazy as you’re planning the trip is to remember that you don’t have control over every aspect of the trip. If you plan to all go to dinner the night you get in, but your flight is delayed and you miss the reservation, don’t despair. You did everything you could do. If there is bickering, or the dreaded teens who are too cool to enjoy the trip, don’t let it get you down. You can lead the group to Disney World, but you can’t make them embrace the magic!
Our travel specialist live and work in Orlando and can you any group travel coordinator plan the perfect group vacation to the area theme parks and attractions.
It may seem easier to do it all yourself, but the truth is that you’re not likely to enjoy the trip if you’re the one everyone is constantly coming to with issue after issue. Pick a person to be in charge of dining, a person to be in charge of rooms, etc. Then make it clear who the contact is for every issue. You will lose some of your control over the project, but you can oversee the bigger picture and have plenty of time for yourself.
There’s no question that Orlando offers some of the best group activities and is the perfect spot for a group trip, but some special planning can go a long way toward ensuring everyone has the best time possible.