Between busy schedules at work, kids in school, relatives growing old and just the fast-pace of our day to day lives, finding the time to get all of your loved ones in one place can seem like an impossible dream. Yet, after talking about it and dreaming about it for ages, you’ve finally decided now is the time to orchestrate that big complicated trip while you can. But now what? Where to begin?
Red Savannah's Travel Specialists can help take the stress out of planning your big trip so all you have to do is sit back, relax and enjoy the company of those around you. Using our expert experience and knowledge of luxury villa holidays, we help plan the perfect trip in the most stress-free way possible. Sharing new experiences with family and friends is a great way to enhance special relationships and we can help you create those incredible new memories in a luxurious setting on an unforgettable holiday.
Here are eight easy steps to help set yourself up for success in planning your dream villa holiday with a large group.
AGREE ON SHARED EXPERIENCES
Food and wine, art and architecture, outdoor activities and sightseeing, dramatic landscapes or a bustling city? The options for holiday ideas in Europe are endless and there is so much to consider. Initiate a conversation with your group to brainstorm the type of trip you are all looking for. Poll your group for their priorities and make a list of what sorts of activities and experiences they’d like to get out of your trip. Having a strong, shared, vision of the WHY of the trip will get everyone in your group excited and onboard for a great holiday from the outset.
DETERMINE A REALISTIC BUDGET
The most successful trips we have planned are those in which the basic cost sharing and parameters are established up front. Of course, when travelling there will inevitably be more expenses than you anticipate so make sure you figure a solid 20% contingency. Once you have a figure in mind, ensure you're all clear on the inclusions and how much you want to invest in planning. Are you happy to rent a large house and go it alone with a guide book or would you like to include some touring? How about an in villa chef to whip up a special family meal or two? A pre-arrival shop so you can all unwind and relax on your first day in your new home? And finally, getting around? Who's happy to drive and how will you all get around?
PICK THE PERFECT LOCATION
Europe is rich with choices when it comes to breathtakingly beautiful locations to host your dream holiday. There are so many stunning countries and regions to visit that it can be overwhelming to decide. We encourage you to determine your location based on how your group wants to spend its time and energy while on holiday. This is where an expert Villa Travel Specialist can bring lots of experience to the table. A Villa Travel Specialist who is an expert with insider knowledge of Europe and its intricate regions can provide important logistical advice.
SECURE YOUR DREAM VILLA
Now that you’ve determined where you'd like to travel, it’s time to secure your dream villa. You want the best of the best for your holiday of a lifetime so we encourage you to start your search for the perfect holiday home well in advance to keep all of your options open. Those precious summer months are in high demand and peak weeks tend to start booking out 9-12 months in advance at least — we recommend starting your search early and being open to being flexible with the options presented.
HAVE SOME FUN!
If you’ve been spearheading the planning on your own, have some fun in sharing the excitement with the rest of your group. Now that you’ve got your location and house locked in, get the rest of your party counting down the days and investing some time in planning some great days out. Perhaps treat your group to a themed dinner with wines and other foods that are local to where you will be staying.
Our biggest piece of advice is not to plan well in advance. Picking a destination and finding your ideal villa are the fun parts, but you have to do your homework if you want your trip to go flawlessly. If anyone in your group needs their passport updating, be sure and start the application process as soon as you’ve decided that you would like to travel. Remember that current passports have to be valid for at least six months from the date of travel. After you have secured your dream villa and begun the passport process, we recommend you begin your search for flights. We suggest setting alerts on your preferred routes so that you’ll be sent an email when the fares drop. skyscanner.com is a great sight for finding affordable airfare and tracking price drops or increases on specific routes. Also, don’t forget to ensure everyone in your party gets adequate travel insurance.
CREATE A HOLIDAY WISH-LIST
In most cases, a large home suitable for such a trip must be booked at least a year in advance which gives you plenty of time to create a holiday wish-list. Visualise yourself holidaying in luxury and creating lifelong happy memories with your family and friends. Do some further research on specific activities you’d like to do. Spend time perusing travel guidebooks, the internet and travel magazines to find activity ideas to your wish-list. Make notes and call your Villa Travel Specialist for guidance on how structure the trip so that you and your group get the best possible experience out of your trip.They're sure to have a couple of local recommendations and the local contacts to help you plan even the most demanding of requests.
DESIGN THE ITINERARY BEST FOR YOU
As your trip gets closer, begin to finalise a loose itinerary with your Villa Travel Specialist. Having a (somewhat) flexible itinerary will eliminate the need for large groups of people to negotiate what to do each day. Instead, you can tell people what you’ve planned for the day and invite them to join you with the expectation everyone will gather for dinner at the end of each day. You can also share itineraries on Google Docs or Google Calendars so that everyone can see and comment on the plans. Careful pre-planning with a Villa Travel Specialist ensures time to enjoy your company and your surroundings rather than racing from activity to activity.
Attempting to plan a dream holiday for a big group of people in an unfamiliar place can be stressful. Proper planning is critical in making your trip run as smoothly and joyfully as you dreamed it would and having a trusted advisor reduces the stress and helps you plan a trip with everyone's interests in mind.
To start planning your large group villa holiday in Europe, get in touch with our travel specialists on +44 (0) 1242 787 800.