On her recent vacation to the Sandals Resort at Emerald Bay in the Bahamas, Helen Bissell said that one of the highlights of the trip was when she got to swim with pigs. “Our boat captain took us to the bay with pigs, stopped by an island crawling with iguanas, and even stopped the boat in the middle of the ocean so we could hop right into the amazingly deep but clear blue water.” The only thing better than swimming with pigs and chilling with iguanas? That she got to experience this adventure with close friends.

Helen and her husband planned their trip to the Sandals Resort at Emerald Bay with two other couples, and making their vacation into a group trip ended up being loads of fun.

Read on for tips on how to make the most of a group vacation with your friends.


How to Make the Most out of Your Group Vacation at the Sandals Resort at Emerald Bay 

Pick a Vacation Destination that Makes Group Coordination Easy

Even though the Sandals resorts have a bit of a reputation as a destination for honeymoons and romance, Helen says Emerald Bay was a great choice for her group.

The all inclusive resort made it easy to experience the fun together, especially when it came to dining.

“We went out to dinner all the time as a group, and we never had to worry about splitting up the check at the end of dinner since it was already paid for.”

Another great choice for a group vacation with friends?

Sailing Aboard an Ocean or River Cruise Ship

Laurie Myers (pictured with her friends on vacation above), recently returned from a Viking river cruise that sailed from Nuremburg to Budapest; she and her husband embarked on the trip with five other couples.

Vacationing via a luxury cruise made coordinating with that many couples so much simpler, said Laurie: “The cruise line organized everything for us. Trying to get 12 people in a restaurant or on a tour on our own would have been aggravating, but everything was already provided to us on the cruise.”

Traveling as a group can get complicated, so consider destinations or modes of travel that are especially stress-free.

Don’t Be Afraid to Stick Together or Split Up

Just because you go on vacation with a group of your friends doesn’t mean you have to do everything as a group.

Helen says the tour desk at the Sandals Emerald Bay made it easy to plan excursions as a group or just as a couple. Swimming with the pigs was an amazing group experience, but Helen also made sure she fit in some “me time” at the Sandals spa.

For Laurie’s group vacation, the more intimate size of the Viking river cruise ship made it an ideal choice for group travel. “We did dine as a whole group sometimes, but often just two or three of us met up on the deck for lunch. Plus, doing the river cruise made it easy for some couples to stay on board the ship if they wanted to skip out on a particular tour. Not everyone’s going to want to do the same thing at the same time, and the river cruise could easily accommodate this.”

Splitting up occasionally while on vacation with a group is a great idea — that way, when everyone meets back up as a group for dinner or drinks, you can swap stories about the individual activities you experienced that day.

Keep the Vacation Memories Alive

The best part of traveling with friends?

You have more people who will help keep your vacation memories alive!

For Laurie, traveling with a big group of friends meant that “our vacation felt like it started earlier and lasted longer.”

Here’s how: a few months before the trip, Laurie and her travel companions started getting together regularly to go over trip details and planned excursions, which helped build up anticipation for the vacation. They even cooked German-themed meals together, in preparation for the food they’d encounter on their cruise through Germany and Eastern Europe.  Laurie also says that the group plans to get together again in a couple of weeks to share photos and videos of their trip with one another. They’ll cook up another German-themed meal so they can recount their adventures and re-immerse themselves in the incredible cultures they encountered together.

If you’re planning to travel with friends, build in some pre- and post-trip get togethers so you can really make the most of your travel experience.

Ready to get started planning an amazing trip with your closest loved ones?  Get in touch with Southern Travel Agency’s Augusta travel experts or our online travel agency today. We’ll help put together the perfect travel itinerary for you and your friends!

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