8 Tips for a successful destination celebration
Party like a PRO !!
When it comes to celebrating life’s milestones, it’s now more popular than ever to hop on a plane and host the festivities in an exotic destination. Weddings, bachelor and bachelorette parties, birthdays and even divorce parties have become a great excuse for a getaway with your besties!
We’ve compiled a few tips to help make the planning process for your next destination celebration easier than ever. Read our suggestions below, and you’ll be well on your way to posting that flawless Instagram of your group in the destination (most likely sporting matching t-shirts) complete with a witty hashtag.
1. SET A BUDGET
When coordinating travel for a big group of people, one of the first (and probably most difficult) things you should discuss is the expected cost of the trip. Everyone has different financial situations and obligations that can affect their spending comfort level for the occasion. Establishing a realistic budget at the beginning of planning will help your friends and family determine if they can swing the trip or not. It will also give them time and incentive to save up. Decide ahead of time how you’ll be splitting certain activities so that there are no surprises while in the destination.
2. CHOOSE THE TRAVEL DATES FAR IN ADVANCE
The busier we get, the more impossible it seems to sync up calendars and secure plans. When prepping for a destination party, you should select the travel dates at least six months in advance…even a year out would be preferable (especially for destination weddings). Need more incentive? Many of our Resorts hotels offer special discounts for booking further in advance which can help minimize the cost of the trip. A recommendation is for one or two people to take charge and select three potential dates that could work for the group. Post a survey and lock in whichever of those dates work best for the majority (and for the honoree of course). Not everyone may be able to attend, but those who really want to be there will make it a priority. When selecting the dates, be mindful of your audience. Have a bunch of teachers in the group? Plan to travel during their summer break.
3. USE THE UVC RESERVATION SYSTEM
Yes, travel agents still exist and there’s no cost for their services. You may be the ultimate Googler, but sometimes it’s way easier and more productive to chat with a travel professional like the UVC reservation system who does this specifically for you. They provide free travel advice, insider information about destinations, realistic cost expectations for members and recommendations based on your party’s needs. A piece of advice before contacting an agent: have a budget, a few travel dates, and some destinations in mind to help narrow down the options.
4. TRY AN ALL-INCLUSIVE AMRESORT
If you have a passport, an all-inclusive AMResort may be the perfect affordable and convenient option for your group! Instead of dropping hundreds of dollars on drinks and food (in addition to your already pricey hotel accommodations) in Las Vegas or Miami, take your party to the Caribbean or Mexico for a beachfront escape where everything is included! There are amazing brands, like Breathless Resorts & Spas, that offer an upbeat, chic and entertaining vibe that’s ideal for destination parties and will save the group a lot of money in the long run. Luxurious accommodations and amenities plus amazing service, unlimited cocktails, gourmet meals, and cutting-edge entertainment are included in your stay. Leave your wallets in the suite and live it up stress-free.
5. CREATE AN ITINERARY
Unfortunately, “winging it” doesn’t always fly when traveling with a group. Formulate a plan with a general outline of what you’ll be doing each day/night of your trip, and make sure each group member has a copy. This will serve as a guideline for what to pack, how much spending money will be needed, etc. Dinner reservations for a larger group should start being arranged at least a month or two in advance (depending on the destination and size of the group). An additional perk of staying at an all-inclusive resort is that dining reservations are never required…one less thing to worry about. Pre-booking excursions via AMSTAR or sightseeing activities are also recommended as these tend to fill up quickly. As mentioned above, working with a travel agent will alleviate the stress of planning the whole itinerary out by yourself. Plus, your UVC agents can even help coordinate a special event just for your group. As a general rule, try not to overbook yourselves! You will absolutely need time to relax and recuperate…it is a vacation after all.
6. STAY CONNECTED
Communication is the key to a successful destination celebration. If it’s not your party, you may not know everyone personally in the group (like your friend’s fiancé’s sister-in-law). Set up a channel of communication like a Facebook group, group chat or a What’s App group to keep everyone connected before, during and after the trip. Scope out your hotel’s Wi-Fi policy before traveling to ensure the connection is feasible. Exchange numbers, Venmo accounts, and even Instagram handles for tagging pictures. Keep everyone in the loop… no one likes being left in the dark.
7. MAKE IT SPECIAL
While in destination, you’ll obviously want to make it known that you’re all together and celebrating something or someone special. Keep it fun by planning coordinated outfits (t-shirts, hats, bathing suits) or choose a theme for everyone to abide by one night of the trip. Remember to pack decorations, goody bags, hangover kits, and any other fun paraphernalia. These little touches make all the difference, and your guest of honor will appreciate the thoughtfulness!
8. BE FLEXIBLE
No matter how well prepared you are, not everything will always go exactly as planned. Don’t let it ruin your trip. Not everyone is going to want to be together every moment of every day…let them do their own thing. The rain might ruin your excursion plans for the day…have a fun backup plan in mind. Be flexible, keep a positive mindset and have fun! Your destination celebration will be a trip that you’ll remember for the rest of your life and the memories will be priceless.