“One of the great things about travel is that you find out how many good, kind people there are,” said American novelist and avid traveler Edith Wharton. We wholeheartedly agree with Wharton, and it’s one of the many reasons why we not only love travel, but we champion group travel.
Sure, you can discover the world by yourself or with a single partner, but the truly unforgettable experiences and worldly connections are made when you open yourself up to new friendships, both in your group and in the foreign land you’re exploring. Making the most of your group travel is simple. All you’ll need is an open heart, a sense of curiosity, and a little bravery to share your own opinions and stories.
It all starts with “hello”
It might sound obvious, but introductions and first impressions make a big difference when meeting a new group, especially people you’re going to be traveling and spending a lot of time with.
At the start of all of our trips, we make sure our Travel Directors hold a little meet and greet in the hotel or villa once every guest has arrived. This is a great opportunity to learn more about the details of the coming days and a little bit about one another. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the anticipation or in the charisma of our Travel Directors, but make sure you have the chance to meet your fellow travelers. Learn names, discover where everyone has traveled from, and help one another feel completely welcome.
Pluck up the courage to open up
The great thing about travel (other than getting to meet kind people) is how it makes you think about some of life’s most important subjects, like compassion, connection, and discovery. We make sure amazing local guides and food and wine experts are a part of every trip, sharing their knowledge about culture, cuisine, and history.
But! Don’t forget your voice and the voice of your other travelers. Maybe you researched the history of Florence before embarking on this trip. Maybe you learned to make pasta from your grandmother when you were young. Maybe your son or daughter studied abroad in Spain and told you little anecdotes about the culture. Make the conversations rich by sharing what you know.
Laugh like there’s no tomorrow
Exploration is one of the most satisfying activities, bringing meaning and incredible fulfillment. It should also be overbrimming with fun, whimsy, and tons of laughter.
Don’t be shy. Tell jokes, act like kids, tap into your fanciful side. It’ll help you connect more and build long-lasting relationships with the people you may have only just met.
Try, fail, and try again together
We believe that experiences are vital to great travel and learning, and that’s why we have so many hands-on activities available for our guests. You’ll make traditional pasta, cut and taste exquisite cheeses, help harvest olives in an orchard, and on and on. When you’re trying new activities together, remember that you don’t have to be perfect. Encourage one another, and enjoy a hearty laugh when someone’s pasta looks a little more rustic than professionally made. The journey and the learning is most important.
Relax around the dinner table
The amazing thing about sharing a dinner table together are the stories that come out at the end of each night. Amid the candle light and glasses still half-full with red wine, you’ll open up about the amazing events of the day. Recap the things that made you feel content to your core, or the stories you’re curious to learn more about. You’ll maybe share some jokes or break into song. These are some of the best moments — when you feel the camaraderie of your travel group so strongly that you know it will never go away.