I absolutely love to travel with my book club members regardless if it’s to a literary event, retreat, concerts or whatever else we think of next! There’s many things that we take into account when planning trips in order to keep the peace and remain sane throughout the entire process so that our book club will stay intact!
The first thing you need to do is decide where you’re going and the purpose of the trip. You should also discuss if everyone will handle paying their expense on their own or if monies will be collected and paid for the entire group. You should decide which activities your group will participate in together and lodging as soon as possible.
If your group decides to pay registration fees together keep in mind, whoever pays for the entire group’s registration fee will more than likely be the person responsible for contacting the organizer to request refunds or make adjustments to the group’s registration if need be. This can be a hassle if you have fair-weather members.
Once you’ve confirmed your plans you definitely need to discuss a budget and let everyone know what the minimum amount they will need in order to go on the trip. It’s best to set your plans and budget as early as possible in order to give everyone enough time to save their money. Having a firm deadline in place is key if there are expenses that need to be taken care of prior to the trip i.e. registration fees.
Okay, this is a big one! In order to keep your club intact, it’s imperative that you know what ticks one another off and know which members will survive the entire trip in the same hotel room together! Do you prefer to be in a room with only one other member or are you okay crashing with a bigger group? Are you an early risers? Do you get up in the middle of the night for a late snack? Are you a light sleeper and can’t sleep around people that snore? Do you just don’t play well with others and prefer to sleep in a room by yourself? You must know what make one another tick otherwise your trip will be a disaster! You’d be amazed how small issues can cause the downfall of a great trip!
In this case it’s best to allow like-minded people to room together in order to minimize friction within the group so the focus is on the great trip and not the negatives that can overshadow the positives!
It’s important for your group to schedule some alone time within your itinerary. This alone time will allow members to do an activity that the entire group decided not to do or maybe your members have family and friends in the area that they would like to spend time with for a little while. Downtime can be a beautiful thing and can actually be a great way to give your members the break they need in order to enjoy one another.
Meet Up System
If your members are going to be scattered in different places, especially at literary conferences you’ll need a meet up system in place. Agreeing beforehand when and where you’re group will meet up at is important if there are certain activities that everyone will participate in. One of the best modern technology inventions has to be text messaging, which comes in quite handy to track members when scattered about!
You should decide if members are allowed to invite others outside of the book club. If the focus of the trip is to help your members to bond then allowing non-members or potential members may not be a good idea. But if your group plans to attend big festivals and/or conferences it may be okay to invite others as long as it does not cause your members to isolate themselves from the rest of the group in order to make the non-member feel comfortable.
Stuff happens! So it’s important that everyone is able to roll with the punches by being flexible whenever changes need to be made. If you have sensitive individuals in your book club this may be a hard pill to swallow and can cast a negative overtone through the rest of the trip for everyone.
Planning a trip for your group can be a fun process as long as you take into account of all of the different steps that need to take place in order to keep everyone sane and excited along the way is the key to a successful trip and wonderful memories in the making!