What is Group Travel?
Though the airlines and hotels have different definitions of what makes a group, in general group travel is when friends, family, coworkers, classmates, and teams travel together. Group travel crosses the spectrum from student groups, school bands, friends getaways, to large offsite corporate meetings and annual church conventions.
Travel Industry Definitions of Group Travel
The airlines generally consider a group to be ten or more individuals traveling together on the same itinerary. If a group of travelers meets these minimum seat requirements on a flight, typically group rates are available. Many travelers are surprised that group rates are higher than the lowest available single seat price. There is a very good reason for this. The lowest available price is usually a discounted rate code, which is limited to a certain number of seats on a given flight. Not every individual in a group of ten is likely to get that same low discount rate, especially for popular routes or seasons. What the group rates allow is for a consistent price across the group, and the cost of the entire booking often represents a considerable savings and the convenience of ensuring the same flight for an entire group hotel booking sites.
Hotels define groups by the number of rooms in a reservation. The minimum size group booking is between 5 and 10 rooms. Most hotels welcome group business, and depending on the size of group a variety of upgrades or amenities may be available to travelers. This often includes complimentary room nights, discounted group rates, and other group travel incentives. It is beneficial for group travelers to use an experienced group travel professional because he or she knows how to get upgrades, extras, freebies and special services for a group. By optimizing their existing relationships in the travel industry travel professionals can often secure better rates and services than the traveler booking direct.
The Benefits of Group Travel
The growth in group travel is part of the larger social phenomenon termed “togethering”. It is a fact that more vacations are being taken in groups these days because people want to share memorable experiences with the people they care about most. Examples include growth in destination weddings. Couples are deciding more and more to have their weddings in a warm destination such as Hawaii or Caribbean, and they are inviting their families and their close friends to be there with them. We also see growth in intergenerational travel: trips in which you may find grandparents taking their children and grandchildren on an extended safari trip to Africa, a grand tour of Europe, or a family cruise.
Group travel provides extraordinary memories that do bring people together. People are yearning for these experiences, and the growth in group travel reflects this.
When you book as a group, there are many travel benefits. It is often possible to lock in exceptional group hotel rates, especially if you have a sizeable group. By using a group travel professional, you can access many of the benefits that airlines, hotels and cruises offer.
Popular Group Trips As you might imagine, group travelers take all kinds of trips. For guys trips (now known as Mancations), girlfriend getaways, family vacations, and bachelor & bachelorette parties road trips are a great option, and they provide some of the best memories. A few road trip gems are the following:
- Hana Highway, Hawaii
- Highway 1, California Coast
- Highway 12, Utah
- Million Dollar Highway, Colorado
- Route 179, Arizona
- Seward Highway, Alaska
Also popular for group travel are beach vacations, which are a great option for family reunions, friend trips, off-site corporate meetings, and incentive trips. According to National Geographic Traveler, following are the top ten beach U.S. destinations:
- Miami, Florida
- Myrtle Beach, SC
- Panama City, Florida
- Waikiki, Hawaii
- Tampa Bay, Florida
- St. Thomas, U.S Virgin Islands
- Key West, Florida
- Kaanapali, Hawaii
- St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands
- Naples, Florida
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