Though traveling by yourself or with your significant other is a great way to experience a vacation, sometimes you just can’t beat an adventure with a group of your closest friends. We’ve asked men’s lifestyle and travel expert Joe Miragliotta from Joe’s Daily to share his best suggestions when it comes to trips for groups. Whether you’re looking for something tropical, luxurious, or domestic, this list has you covered.
1. Take a wine tour through Europe
France to Spain, Germany to Austria, Croatia to Italy, or all of the above — taking a wine tour through Europe is an incredible experience no matter where you go. And the best part is a trip like this can be made to fit almost any budget. You can stay in fancy downtown hotels or reserve a home for everyone, travel first class on high-speed trains or rent a car, enjoy lots of upscale dining or mix in a little cooking for yourselves. All it takes is a little research beforehand to make your vacation perfect for you and your friends.
2. All-Inclusive Resort
When it comes to both mental and physical relaxation, little beats an all-inclusive resort. You check in and basically don’t have to worry about another thing until it’s time to go. Throw a group of friends into the mix and it’s going to be a pretty fool-proof amazing time. While it can be tempting to go back to the same place again and again, consider mixing it up a little by visiting a place you’ve never been before. Sure, you’ll be spending the majority of your time in a bubble, but life is short, and what’s better than having new experiences with the people you love most?
3. Tour of Japan via The Shinkansen
As far as countries to include on your vacation bucket list, I don’t think I need to sell you on including Japan. Whether you’re a foodie, history buff, culture hound, or nature lover, there are uncountable things to take in. But with the limited amount of time most of us have to work with, which city should you go to? Thanks to the Shinkansen, a network of high-speed rail lines, you can easily make it a half-dozen. A one-week Japan Rail Pass (JR Pass) for an adult visitor starts at about $270 and can be used for rail travel between cities. As for which those will be, try having each person in your group choose one. Not that there’s any question that it’s going to be a trip of a lifetime. This will just make it a little more fun and personal.
Check out the article 10 Things to Know Before Traveling to Japan before you go!
4. Treat-yo-self staycation (volunteer one day to balance it out)
If you don’t have the biggest of budgets, don’t care for travel, or just haven’t had the chance to experience the area you live in, a staycation is a fantastic way to go. Just make sure you’re doing it right. To have a successful staycation, there are a few guidelines to follow.
1. Try to stay somewhere that isn’t your own home. If you can swing it, you should definitely go for a hotel, B&B, or something of that variety. It’s going to be hard to properly relax if you’re worried about those household chores.
2. Do things you don’t normally do. Just like with those all-inclusive resorts, spending your time doing what you know you’ll enjoy feels very safe. Sure, go ahead and throw some in if it’s what your comfort zone requires (the point is, after all, to enjoy yourself), but make sure to check out what other people do when they visit your town or city, too. We all tend to take where we live for granted, now’s your chance to change it!
3. Treat yourself as much as you can. Take that spa day you could never justify before, eat at the fancy restaurant you’ve been dying to try, see that show you’ve been hearing so much about, or rent a limo to get you all wherever you’re going. Just because you’re staying close to home doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be an epic vacation.
5. Cross-country road trip
You know, kind of like that one you took in college, but a little more adult. Don’t get me wrong, you should definitely still bring along those walkie-talkies (assuming you’re in multiple cars). But instead of sneaking everyone into a single motel room and eating mostly fast food, you’ll actually be able to properly experience the places you go. To make deciding on destinations a little easier, pick your stops according to a theme. Perhaps a musical tour featuring the different sounds of the South could be nice. Or maybe filming locations of your favorite movies. Also, keep in mind there’s no reason why a road trip can’t be fancy. Personally, I think a city-to-city Michelin restaurant tour sounds incredible.
6. A Private Tour Through India
While traveling with your friends is always fun, sometimes it’s literally what makes the trip. Take a private tour made just for the size of your group through a country like India, for example. Depending on where you’re going, you might have the option of booking a single guide to take you from city to city or scheduling them for each destination individually. Either way, you just can’t beat a private tour when it comes to getting the most out of the place you’re visiting … without having to wait for people you don’t know to finish their pictures before moving on.
7. Take a Cruise
Believe it or not, there are cruises out there for everybody. Fun trips through the Caribbean, relaxed around Alaska, luxurious over European rivers, historical in Southeast Asia, and private out of Belize are just a few of the options out there. But no matter which you choose to take, they’re always better with friends. What I love most about cruising is that they’re such a great way to get a taste of different places you’ve always wanted to go. Plus, they’re a huge help in figuring out where you really want to return and spend more time. And then, of course, there’s all the awesome amenities and the fact that you only have to unpack once.
8. Hat-Drawing Trip
If your group is of the more adventurous variety, a hat-drawing trip is perfect for you. It’s exactly what it sounds like: everyone puts a destination or experience into a hat and the one drawn is where you all go. If that’s not quite bold enough, take things to the next level by throwing a dart at a map (or, if you’re looking to avoid wall damage, closing your eyes and pointing to a destination). The best trips are arguably the ones with the most surprise, so why not kick it off with one? Just make sure to leave yourselves a little wiggle room in the event that the choice isn’t one that will make you all happy in the end.
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