Vacation and travel are two things we love, but if we combine the two and add family and friends, it is a perfect recipe for one unforgettable experience. Of course, traveling and spending vacation time with a group needs intensive planning – from choosing your vacation spot, booking flights and hotels to your daily itinerary and budget. But don’t worry, we are here to help. We’ll make sure that you can easily find good group vacation spots in the US for every budget. Read on.
Preparing For A Group Vacation
1. Appoint A Leader or A Go-To Person
Planning a trip with a group can be a bit overwhelming. This is why it is important to appoint one or two persons to handle things and know the progress of the planning. If having a “group leader” is too much, you can divide the tasks and assign a person or two per task to make the planning easier, faster, and more organized.
2. Set A Budget
The budget is one of the most important things to discuss when planning for a group vacation. It is necessary that you agree on a budget for the trip and make sure that you stick to it. Having a group fund can be helpful as you can buy things you need or use as a group, like food and drinks. There are free mobile apps, such as Splittr or Splitwise to help you track and figure out who owes what, balancing expenses, prorating, and more.
3. Book Flights In Advance
It is necessary that you book your trip early when planning for a group trip. This way you can save more and ensure that everyone in the group can get a seat. Also, you can take advantage of group rates if you book in advance. To make sure that you get bigger discounts for your airline tickets, book your trips at least 21 days before the flight.
Your accommodation is another big thing to discuss when planning for a group vacation as it can make a huge impact to your travel experience. If you prefer to stay in a hotel, it is best to book in advance. Perhaps you can look for discounts or special deals as you are traveling with a group. You can also opt to stay in an apartment or in a house together. This can give you a chance to cook your own meals and spend time together more comfortably. You can find some amazing houses for lease for group tours that are more affordable than hotels.
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5. Plan Your Activities
Consider your chosen destination and pre-plan some activities that you want to do. Check if there are any tours that you want to do that need advance booking and offer group discounts. However, make your activities flexible; after all you are on a vacation and some of the best things happen by chance.
You can also split up if there are some in your group who want to do different things. Just because you go on a trip together does not mean you should be together all the time. Discuss the activities you want to do and places you want to visit as a group. You can also go sightseeing alone if you prefer. Remember that it is also your vacation, so give yourself the time it needs to relax and enjoy.
Best Group Vacation Spot For Beach Getaways
One way to spend vacation with family or friends is at the beach. You can do a lot of activities – snorkeling, scuba diving, boat rides, play frisbee, and more. Plus visiting the beach helps reduce our stress levels. The sound of the waves, the fresh air breeze, the beautiful view – you’ll certainly get all you need to have a fun and relaxing vacation.
- Fresh Air
- Relaxing Vibes
- Good (sea)food
- Numerous Water/Outdoor Beach Activities
- Can get a tan
- Can be really crowded during peak season
- Jellyfish sting
- Shark attacks (rare)
Located in South Florida, Miami Beach is one of the most popular beaches in the US. This island city offers wide range of fun activities and experience as tourists get to enjoy sun, sand, high lifestyle, architecture, history, and arts.
- Speedboat Sightseeing Tour of Miami
- Little Havana Food And Walking Tour
- Miami South Beach Art Deco Walking Tour
Room rates in Miami Beach depends on the season, availability, and other factors. Cheaper options range from $60-$150 while more expensive ones would be around $800. If you are looking for budget-friendly spots in Miami Beach, consider the spots along Ocean Drive, Miami-Mid-Beach Area. For group trips, you may want to stay in the South Beach area as there are several accommodations that provide cost-effective for groups and families.
Honolulu – Oahu
Another good group vacation spot for a beach getaway is in Oahu. It is located in the Central Pacific and part of the Hawaiian island chain. Aside from its pristine beaches, you can also enjoy going around the island and experience their culture and learn their history.
- Waikiki Beach
- Pearl Harbor
Going on a trip to Oahu will surely be a memorable experience. Traveling by group is an advantage as hotel rooms can be shared. Accommodation rates vary depending on the season and availability, but it ranges around $50-$500. On average, one person needs about $300 per day in Oahu. That include meals and local transportation.
This is one of the favorites for large group vacation destinations and family beach getaways for generations. The tiny town of Cape May is part of New Jersey Cape’s stretch of beaches and boardwalks. You, your family, and friends can enjoy the beautiful beaches as well as amazing Victorian mansions and a famous Lighthouse.
Hotel rates in Cape May range from around $80 to $400 per night while vacation rentals cost about $250 to $800 per night for the entire house. Depending on the activities you want to do, on average, a person needs around $80 to $150 a day for certain activities, food, and transportation.
Best Group Vacation Spot For Outdoor Adventure
Aside from providing a wide range of physical and mental benefits, outdoor adventure is a great way to prevent or reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. And since it exposes us to new environment, it gives us the chance to learn other skills and boost our confidence and sense of adventure.
- Spend time with nature
- Increases physical activity
- Lets you out of your comfort zone
- Learn adaptation skills
- Risks of injuries
- Exposure to dirt and other harmful elements
- Weather is sometimes unpredictable
Jackson Hole Valley
Another best vacation spot for group of friends is Jackson Hole Valley. This town is a home to three ski areas and is located between two National Parks. If you want to go on a winter adventure with your friends or go hiking, Jackson Hole Valley is the place to be.
- Jackson Hole Mountain Resort
- Snow King Mountain Resort
- Grand Targhee Resort
- National Elk Refuge
Staying in Jackson Hole is more expensive during the winter season as there are more activities that you can enjoy, like skiing or snowboarding. The cost of skiing depends on the resort, but the price ranges from $103 to $160. Hotel rates also vary, from about $120 for double occupancy to $150 for a family suite. Lodges are also available, in which their rates start from $185 for a room for two. Some accommodations offer a great deal when you are traveling with a group, like Snow King Resort & Luxury Residences. They offer around $360 dollars for two rooms for five guests.
Lake Tahoe is among the good group vacation spots for outdoor adventure as it offers different activities not to mention the incredible beauty of nature. With its steep granite cliff sides, towering mountaintops, and crystal-clear lake water, it is no wonder why Lake Tahoe is one of the favorite vacation spots in the US. You can also enjoy 24-hour casinos and LA-like night life scene. This best group vacation spot is located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, near the border of California and Nevada.
- Emerald Bay State Park
- The Gondola at Heavenly
- Donner Memorial State Park and Emigrant Trail Museum
- Mt. Tallac Trail
- Inspiration Point Vista
Hotels in Lake Tahoe range from around $70 to $355 per night while vacation rentals cost around $320 to $1100 per night. A person needs about $50 to $150 per day for food, transportation, and other activities. A family of four need around $2500 to $5400 for one week if they are on a budget trip. On average, a group of four staying in Lake Tahoe for one week will need around $4000 – $9,200. Travelers and guests can visit Lake Tahoe all year round, but it is best to visit the place around March to May and September to November.
If you love to do outdoor activities with your family and friends, then Adirondacks should be on your list. You can enjoy skiing, dogsledding, snowshoeing, and bobsledding in winter while you can do whitewater rafting, hiking, canoeing, and fishing during summer season. It is located in Northern New York, just around four hours away from Manhattan.
- Saranac Lake
- Whiteface Mountain
- Fort Ticonderoga
Accommodation rates in Adirondack starts from $100 to about $500. Meal cost in Adirondack vary, but the average is around $40 per day. In most cases, food in restaurants located in Adirondack Mountains is more expensive than those in fast food restaurants and street food. Each person may need around $150 for food, transportation, and for certain activities.
Best Group Vacation Spot For Unique Destination
If you have been to several beaches and did many outdoor adventures on your last group vacation, then maybe it’s about time to visit unique destinations and recreational sites. This will give you and your group a new experience and let you explore new things. Spending your vacation in unique destinations may be the one you need to relax, have fun, and spend time with your family and friends.
- Allows you to go on a different kind of fun and adventure
- Lets you learn new things with the new experience
- Experience and overcome new challenges
- Can be a bit extreme
- Risks of getting hurt or injured
- Some of you may not be familiar of the activities
Crater Lake National Park
This popular tourist destination is located in the Cascade Mountains of southern Oregon. This park is the fifth oldest national park in the US and the only one in Oregon. The lake is 594 meters deep at its deepest point, making it the deepest in the United States and the ninth in the world. Visitors are allowed to swim only at designated areas but are often warned as the water is usually very cold. If you love nature, science, history, and culture, then the Crater Lake National Park is the best place to visit.
- Crater Lake
- Rim Drive
- Wizard Island
- Cleetwood Cove Trail
Hotel rates in this area starts from around $60 to $600. There are also vacation rentals, but their rates vary on how huge the place is and also the season you book. The cost ranges from $800.
Grand Canyon National Park
Located in Northern Arizona, the Grand Canyon is one of the most popular national parks and favorite destinations in the US. Every year, millions of people enjoy the scenic view and enjoy other activities in the park. It is the home of the immense Grand Canyon, a layered band of red rock, which shows millions of years of geological history.
- Lipan Point
- Point Imperial Drive
- Trailer Village RV Park
- Canyon Village Market Place and Deli
- Bright Angel Campground
- Mary Colter’s Lookout Studio and Desert View Watchtower
One person should have a budget of at least $130 per day when visiting the Grand Canyon National Park which includes meals, transportation, the park’s entrance fee, and for other activities. The average hotel price is about $150 per night. Traveling by group means that the cost can be a bit cheaper as hotel fees and other expenses can be shared.
Dollywood Theme Park
This world-class theme park is the perfect destination for people who are into thrilling rides and water parks as well as learning different cultures. Visitors can have a fun adventure, enjoy fine food, shopping, and entertainment. Partly owned by the famous entertainer Dolly Parton, Dollywood Theme Park is Knoxville-Smoky Mountains, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
- Dollywood’s Splash Country
- Wilderness Pass
- Timber Canyon
- Owens Farm
- Craftman’s Valley
A one-day pass in Dollywood costs around $70 to $80 while a 3-day pass is from $130 to $140. On the other hand, staying in Dollywood would cost around $150 per night. If you want to visit Dollywood more than two times, then it is better to get their season passes. Their regular season pass is good for two visits while the gold pass does the same in three. However, you’ll get more perks with the gold pass as you can get free parking and discounts on park merchandise. You can get your season passes thru the online payment plan.
Another great thing about getting this season passes is it can also be used to get discounts, approximately 50% in other locations, such as The Adventure Aquarium in Camdem, New Jersey, The Newport Aquarium in Newport, Kentucky, Silver Dollar City and White Water in Branson, and Stone Mountain Park in Atlanta.
To Wrap It Up
Vacation is one of the things we all look forward to as this is just few of the rare moments when we can get a time off of our busy life and get the chance to do the things we want and we love, like going on adventures, connecting with nature, and spending time with family and friends. It is important to choose good group vacation spots when planning a vacation trip with your family and friends as this is one opportunity to spend fun and exciting time with them.
Now that you have discovered good group vacation spots in the US and other essential things vital in group tour, you can start planning your group vacation. Grab a pen and paper and your computer and start discussing it with your group.