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Number of Travelers??

So, i posted a question about a group of three teens going to europe for a month. the trip spread through to kids in our town like wildfire and now we have 12 kids who want to go and have already started for offer to pay for things. Is this TOO large of a group to go. we are all 17-20. we would do cheap hotels/hostels.

Posted by
4125 posts

A trip like this would be logistically challenging and have a very different character than the kind of experience you originally described. It would lose a lot of spontaneity and require a great deal of planning and effort. Even if I wanted to lead a trip like that--and as I recall, that is how Rick Steves got his start--I would wait until I had some experience on the ground in Europe first.

A better plan might be to split into smaller groups and make plans to meet up and swap stories and travel tips along the way.

Posted by
5859 posts

Offer to pay for things? Get a realistic budget first and let them know they need cash in hand! We are taking our Daughter to Europe as a HS graduation present, and offered to chaperone/guide friends. All have been excited, but faded as cost, time, and reality (walk alot,carry your own bag{only one}) set in. Group may not be too large, but split into sub-groups with set meeting points. Organize discussions using Rick's ETBD as a text, make sure they are good travellers, take a few small trips in the states (weekend in the city, camping in the woods, a hike) If they can't hack it, time to talk serious. Even my wife and I always hit one point in a trip where we are at each others throats (She can be annoying) so a group can be problems. All said though...great experience.

Posted by
389 posts

COOL! I am all for teaching others to see the world. Your world won't be the same ever again. I agree much of what Paul said, but I think you have a couple of options. Contact someone who has some and ask for help. If you want to go together for the fun, arrange the cities, but leave the accommodations to smaller groups. You might not all fit in one hostel at the same time without serious pre-planning. Paul mentioned the kind of trip you'd have. I took a group of 18 year olds to Europe and they mostly thought I was crazy for letting the guy in Switzerland take us for a ride or joining the retired man in Paris for a tour. But we did a lot of touring from a bus -- not the way! Spontinaity is key; when you are trying to keep 20 people together, even with a bus, it's hard (lost one--great adventure though!) I hope to lead a group like this in the near future, but mine will be less organized than a tour--get'em to town, in a room and w/ideas of what to do and meet later. Good luck!

Posted by
223 posts

Call me pessimistic, but I thought I'd warn you that for any hotel reservations that require a credit card, make each person (or two people who are sharing a room) give their own card number. That way, if they flake out, you're not on the hook for it.

I think the ideas of breaking into sub-groups (of 4 perhaps?) is a good idea - even if you all go the same places and do the same things, your 3 groups can meet up. Break up the groups by who is good friends with each other and by interest or personalities (for example, if two people like to sleep late, don't put them with two other get-up-and-go-at-the-crack-of-dawn types).

Have a fantastic trip. This is exciting. Once you figure out an itinerary, you can create a sample cost sheet (prices won't go up that much in the next year) and tell people that they need 50% of it by December to be included. Whoever can't raise have the money in half the time you have left isn't serious about going.

Posted by
2779 posts

Jarrod, I've managed groups of 20 before. It's a lot of fun but also quite a liability. With 20 it makes economical sense to charter a tour bus which could take you all across mainland Europe. That's a fun and convenient way to travel. You could rent dorms at youth hostels (most insist on gender separation) etc etc. I've always loved to manage groups but you need to find out for yourself if you really want to do that, too.

Posted by
36 posts

If you want to take a group, I'd sign up for a group tour like Rick Steves or Traflagar, Cosmos, Globus, etc. I bet if you search their are groups that tours that stay in hostels. Find something that suites the majority.

This way each individual is responsible for their own expenses, and most of the cost is paid in advance. It's also less responsibility on you.

Posted by
13082 posts

Do all of you already have passports? It can take months to get one now, unless you pay for expedited service, which is expensive.

Posted by
13 posts

we have awile before we leave, but i failed to mention that about 1/2 the group has a passport and has been to london before on a school trip. we are going and i am planning the trip. thanks for all of your advice.

Posted by
1589 posts

Jarrod,if your group is like many groups of excitable students, the other 17 will drop by the wayside and the original 3 will go on the trip. Plan for YOURSELF and share your information with anyone interested. Have a great trip!

Posted by
34 posts

i did a trip once with 4 couples...what a nightmare to try to do anything. we ended up meeting for dinner at various cities and then just leaving it at that...like, we'll be at the Prado in Madrid on Saturday at 4 pm on the front steps...if we see you great, if not, we'll maybe see you in Venice on Thursday...you will be hassling over accommadations all over if you try to travel as a group.