13:47 8 November 2022
13:51 8 November 2022
So you want to plan an unforgettable get-together with your friends or a big family reunion this Christmas, but where do you start? We receive advice from The Big House Co
It can be incredibly daunting to take on a daunting task like planning a group getaway when all you really want to do is give yourself a memorable vacation. That’s why we’ve put together the perfect high-level guidelines for you to follow and hopefully take some of the stress away.
Know your budget
First, agree on a budget. It is good to clarify these things from the beginning. This will help reduce the chances that your standard dropouts will like the idea but could be wasting your time. Breaking down what each can afford will effectively ensure a definite commitment (or not) from all guests and give you your maximum budget.
Timing is everything
Plan the perfect time to go so everyone can make it and you know what to look for when it comes to availability. The holidays can be the perfect time for this as the children are out of school and national holidays mean everyone can enjoy being with their loved ones away from the world of work.
Why not plan an idyllic festive getaway this Christmas for the family or perhaps a fun getaway to celebrate someone’s big birthday in style? What better way to celebrate turning 50 than with all your closest friends and family in a beautiful country house?
Location, location, location
Decide where you want to go as a group. There’s usually a bit of trade-off and trade-off here. In an ideal world, it would be equidistant from everyone else, but in reality, some members of your party will be happy to travel farther for the perfect getaway. Additionally, once you have decided roughly where you will hold your gathering in the country, the sooner you can consider other requirements and decide on the best option for everyone’s needs.
Indispensable and nice to have
Once you have a commitment from your group, you will know the size of accommodation you are looking for. Start creating a checklist of things to check off during your home search so you can tick off everyone’s “needs” and be able to see their “wants” as well.
Starting with the essentials… You need to accommodate everyone who sleeps, so you need to figure out how many beds you need and who is happy to share with whom. Consider the meal layout and whether there is a table big enough for everyone to sit on. Do you have disabled or elderly guests? Is the place suitable for children? Do you allow dogs? How many rooms have a bathroom and how many bathrooms are there in total? You need to know these things before it’s too late, so get organized with what you absolutely must have at the start and work from there.
Now what does everyone want? When the kids are involved, it can be a good idea to find a place with a garden to play ball in, a pool to swim in, or maybe even a games room for the evenings. You can also enjoy the luxury of a hot tub in many large vacation homes – which have become a prerequisite for any hen party or birthday weekend.
The world belongs to those who get up early
Get the best choice by getting there early. This can be tricky if your group has a lot of commitments with children at school, work, and other commitments. So giving everyone as much notice as possible is a must. Having a selection of dates can be beneficial and make planning more flexible as you can narrow down your choice of properties if you only have one date.
Coordinate and plan activities in advance
Plan a range of activities and coordinate who brings what. Fancy horse riding or need a pub within walking distance? Do you want a holiday home from which you can walk to the beach or a country house with direct access to good walks? In case of rainy days, coordinate ahead to bring a selection of board games and DVDs to keep everyone entertained. Your group may want more organized events such as skeet shooting, quad biking or wine tasting and depending on your location these activities are often available nearby.
If you are going as a family, you will probably have to cater for a number of different age groups. Be sure to organize a range of different activities so that everyone can have a good time. Plan among yourselves who brings what on your vacation. If you have a self-catering holiday home, it doesn’t make sense for everyone in the group to bring tea and coffee. Decide in advance who brings tea and coffee, who is responsible for sugar and milk, and who is responsible for snacks and other miscellaneous items. This way, you won’t end up with six pots of coffee but no cookies.
Assign tasks in advance
Another thing you’ll want to coordinate is who does what. Don’t make one person responsible for everything (i.e. YOU!). This way everyone can participate in making your getaway special. Just because you arranged the booking doesn’t mean you’re responsible for everything. Whether it’s creating table decorations, playing board games, stacking the dishwasher or filling the log basket, the list goes on!
Besides, who cooks? Why not have each family prepare a meal? This can be a really fun way to split up the catering. Don’t want to cook? Plan in advance for a caterer to arrive, as this will take the responsibility away from you and the cleaning too!