You’ve just left an exhilarating dinner party and all of these friends decided it’s time to take a vacation together. All of them. Or your family of grandparents, siblings, nieces and nephews all want to take a group trip. Or maybe your daughter’s volleyball team wants to turn a tournament into a team vacation.
With the proper planning, all of these situations can be fun and memorable. To help you plan a successful trip, we’ve listed our top five tips for planning a group vacation in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach.
- Determine the budget. The “B” word is no fun, but it needs to be the first stop on your itinerary. With a wide range of people coming along, it’s possible not everyone has the same budget. Discuss budget constraints and expectations up front and plan accordingly.
- Don’t force everyone into one itinerary. While you’ll likely plan a few group activities, don’t expect everyone to do every single activity together. Twenty-four/seven togetherness can quickly turn the tides on a great vacation. Discuss ideas and pricing for group activities and meals at Gulf Shores and Orange Beach restaurants prior to making reservations.
- Consider your lodging options. A Gulf Shores beach house can be a budget saver if your group is happy to stay in the same location. You may also decide to share several Orange Beach condos. However, if everyone is keen on having their own space, a beach hotel is a good option. Many Gulf Shores and Orange Beach hotels offer a free continental breakfast, which is also a great budget saver. For an exceptionally large group requiring numerous individual reservations, check with the property management company about group rates and discounts.
- Talk about a meal plan. Some of your group may want to eat in for several meals throughout your vacation. Discuss having a dinner schedule for your group, with rotating designees for cooking and cleanup. With the great selection of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach restaurants dotting the island, no doubt you’ll want to coordinate a few lunches or dinners out. Call ahead to see if the restaurants your group has chosen accepts reservations for large parties.
- Order a vacation guide and tune in to other vacation-planning resources, including the VisitALBeaches Instagram, Facebook and Twitter pages. Interact with fellow fans, as well as the destination, to get recommendations on activities, restaurants and lodging. You can also subscribe to the monthly eTidings newsletter.
At the top of the list, it’s important to manage expectations and go with the flow. A group vacation on Alabama’s beaches can yield good times and great memories.