Work. Kids. Parents. There often aren't enough hours in the day to find time to connect with friends new and old. That's why sometimes you have to remove yourself from the daily grind and set aside time to visit some of the people you cherish most. And rather than visit their homes, why not take the opportunity to plan a Caribbean vacation in the process?
Five Secrets to the Perfect Vacation with Friends
Perhaps you have been lucky enough to stay in touch with your best buds. Or maybe you have even been lucky enough to find some time to get together over the years. If so, you know how much work it is and how hard it can be to achieve that elusive goal of getting away, reliving the good times and creating great new memories. And if you haven't been fortunate enough to get the gang together, here's your chance:
1: Go Someplace Different
Get off the beaten track. Choosing an uncommon destination adds an element of excitement and adventure to the get-together that simply makes it more fun and more memorable. Now before you take this advice too far, let's admit that it is absolutely possible to stray off the path. There's clearly a middle ground here: Somewhere between the Vegas strip and Death Valley (not literally) lies the perfect vacation destination for your group.
2: Locate Where the Action Is
Every destination has that area that provides a setting for connecting with your gang. Let's face it, even the best group of friends like different things, have different schedules and want some alone time. So search for a place with the ability for some folks to go golfing while others hit the shops, some to go out to dinner while others stay in, etc. The key is to be able to do all this by walking out the door (or not) and turning left or right. In other words, find a place that allows you to enjoy yourself without requiring you to serve as a cruise director.
3: Rent a House or Villa
When traveling with a group of friends, seek out opportunities to stay together outside of a traditional hotel. Vacation rentals are surprisingly affordable for larger groups and offer a range of amenities that "condotels" cannot touch. And the social dynamic of sharing a villa instead of being "up or down the hall" from one another without private, common space for the group is priceless.
4: Set It and Forget It
Sometimes the hardest part about these group vacations is actually enjoying it yourself. When you take on the burden of doing the research, planning the trip, communicating with the group, working out the flights, lodging, activities, prices, etc., you can end up needing a vacation from your vacation. So, choose a place that offers concierge services. Seek those that are free for guests and are run by island specialists. If they are dealing with your friends wants and needs... you're not!
5: Let the Moment Happen
Finally, and this is key, make sure you reserve a fair bit of room in the agenda for those truly memorable moments to happen. While your friends will undoubtedly remember that thrilling zipline run or an amazing tee shot on the 11the hole, their experience will invariably be defined by that evening on the deck or dinner on the patio when everyone just sat around and talked. You can spice these moments up by hiring a private chef for a night (provided you took our advice on Step 3) or ordering takeout. But all you really have to do is relax and enjoy yourself—and with the right group of people, the magic just seems to happen.
Want to learn more about a villa setting that enables many of these suggestions in a gorgeous Caribbean setting? Download our complimentary travel guide and get planning!