My Travelling Tips - Group Travel - Accommodation
Group travel. It could be fun and at times it could be a nightmare. I had done my fair share of group travel. The most was 10 persons to Saigon. It was a short 3 days 2 nights trip so it was not that hard to arrange. Another trip was trip to Italy and Czech Republic for 7 persons for 10 days. That was quite a challenge but in the end everything went well. It was from that trip to Italy and Czech Republic that i learn something that later became one of our reference of traveling especially in groups.
When you are in group, the most economical way is to book an apartment instead of hotel or even hostel for that matter. The home-stay type apartment rented out by the owner just for people who came for holidays. There are several links that are useful to search for apartment especially in Europe.
There are many more and the prices are rather competitive. You can choose the location that suits you the most. The ones in the city centre will cost more than the one out of the city centre. I normally will suggest to rent an apartment close to the subway regardless of how far it is from the city centre. As long as it is covered by subway/ metro/ tram, you can go no wrong with the apartment. It will scale down the expenses and at the same time have a different view of the city instead of what was portrayed in the travel channels.
The significance of renting apartments will subsequently effect your budgeting as well. For us, we cooked our own breakfast and dinner. EUR20 worth of groceries could very well fed 7 of us as compared to the dining out which normally spell out EUR10 per person. But we usually going to have a dine out on our final day. The day of splurging as we called it. Hahaha.
But not all the places in Europe we would venture to stay in an apartment. It also depends on the length of stay and number of people. During our trip to Italy and Czech Republic, we stay in apartment in Rome for 3 nights, in Prague for 2 nights but settled for hotel near the central station in Milan. In Milan, we settled for hotel instead because of the timing as well as the location for the preferred apartment (cheap ones that is) was rather far. We took flight from Prague in the evening and most apartment charged an additional fee for arriving late. At this point, you have to make your own judgement of whether it is worth it. The hotel that we found was rather comfortable and we took two rooms (quadruple and triple sharing). Cumulatively cost us about EUR120 for both rooms.
One more thing about apartment is that, some of it charge for cleaning fee as well. Some also stated the minimum days of stay. In the end everyone has to make the final call that best suited the group.
Above all, it is also important that the group members are not choosy and could go along with arrangements made. We had experience before that one person (not the usual group) wanted to join our group but in the end left a sour taste in our experience due to the persons' constant nagging and refusal to agree on what has been decided. Especially on the sharing of cost and itinerary that has been set. I will get back to that later in my next entry. Most importantly on the spirit of consensus when you are traveling in group mainly on the cost-sharing.
Another entry written down based on my own personal experience. More to come. Next entry will be on the Group Travel as well but focusing on cost-sharing.