Taking a trip can be exciting and rewarding if you know a thing or two about travel planning. What’s even better would be to know at least 25 things. In addition, group travel planning comes with a unique set of helpful tips and strategies that can help you stay safe and keep the fun going.
- Do some research on your destination. Take some time to learn about the details of where you and your group are headed. Once you’ve decided which parts of South African you want to visit, plan out the details of your trip in a travel organizer that everyone in the group can see and add to.
2. Learn about the weather. Make sure you are up-to-date on what type of climate to expect in your next destination. This will help your group bring the right clothing and gear come rain or shine.
3. Remember a few lines of language. Before your group gets to South Africa, try to learn a few helpful lines of introductory dialogue. Most South Africans can speak multiple languages such as English, Dutch, Ndebele, Northern Sotho, Sotho, Swazi, Tsonga, Tswana, Venda, Xhosa, and Zulu. Being able to speak and understand a few sentences in a couple of these languages can go a long way and so will your group.
4. Pack lightly, but not too lightly. When preparing for your trip, it might seem like there are so many things to bring. However, choose wisely. An overly heavy pack can be a huge burden throughout your travels.
5. Make it waterproof. When packing be sure to bring a pair of waterproof shoes and a jacket or coat to keep your group dry in any weather.
6. Leave valuable personal items at home. Some of those pricier items or rare items that hold personal value should stay put. It will save your group endless amounts of stress.
7. Get on the same page. Agree with your group on the itinerary of your trip before you depart. Make sure everyone knows the plan so you can stay together.
8. Make paper copies. Using your smartphone might be nice, but in case of an emergency, bring paper copies of your destination, hotel reservation, and maps to make sure your group has everything it needs.
9. Buy the small stuff. Everyone loves souvenirs but larger items can weigh you down. Stick to the smaller gifts for yourself and the people you love.
10. Always be polite. When traveling in groups, friends can behave in all sorts of ways. Be sensitive to the local culture and don’t make a joke that you might regret.
11. Change limited amounts of currency. When you arrive in South Africa, transfer your money to the South African rand in smaller amounts as you go. Don’t get stuck with money you can’t spend.
12. It’s all about the shoes. Bring the right shoes for your type of trip. If your group plans to hike and explore the wilderness, you can probably skip the high heels and flip-flops.
13. Bring a notebook. At least one member of your group should have some paper on hand in case you need to remember something.
14. Don’t get burned. Since South Africa has a wider variety of climates than most other countries in sub-Saharan Africa, you can easily find yourself in areas with high sun exposure. Bring sunscreen and hat to help protect your skin from any burns.
15. Smile often. It might sound strange but keeping good body language will go a long way not only in South Africa but in any new country, especially if you don’t know the language.
16. Rest and Relax. Be sure to take some time and soak up the moment. Don’t burden yourselves with an overbooked trip that will exhaust your group.
17. Keep it comfortable. Pack clothes that are durable and make you feel good. You might stop caring about appearances after a few days.
18. Know your group well. Memorize some of your group’s phone numbers and the numbers of their loved ones in case of an emergency.
19. Keep calm. Try not to worry about the small stuff and keep focused on what’s most important like the safety and well being of your group.
20. Tell someone where you’re going. Make sure someone outside of your group knows the itinerary of your trip in case you get lost.
21. Stay together. It’s fine to split off for a bit but make sure you know how to stay in touch and meet up back up as a group.
22. Wash your hands. Keep clean and don’t pick up harmful germs in a remote location.
23. Listen to each other. Traveling can be stressful. Don’t be rude or insensitive to the members of your group, you’ll need them to get home.
24. Bring a flashlight. It’s a no-brainer but having a light in dark places will come in handy.
25. Be responsible. Don’t unnecessary risks that will stress out the rest of your group. You’re all in this together!