Browse: Home / Group travel: Six tips to make the most of destination weddings
We’re spending summer in the desert again this year, saving precious holiday time (and funds) for a big trip to the US in September for a family wedding.
I love a destination wedding, and have experienced many variations with groups of different sizes a wide range of destinations from Barcelona, Cyprus and the Lake District, to Nepal, Canada, Australia and Japan. Each of these had a different group of people, different styles and a different vibe, but as we plan for this year’s Vegas wedding, I realised there are some key ways that you, as a guest, can make the most of the experience.
1. Get to know the people you travel with
Make the effort to talk to the other people in the party. It’s easy and safe to stick with your own group, but it will make for a much better trip if you embrace the spirit and get to know others. The atmosphere will be better and the wedding itself will be a lot more fun if groups mingle and people feel comfortable with each other.
2. Don’t be afraid to spend time alone when you need it
Having said that, if you are spending a few days with the group, don’t feel you have to do everything together, feel free to take some time out and go off and do things on your own if you want. If you’re travelling for a wedding, you want to see a bit of the destination and not feel tied to a group itinerary.
3. Research the destination
With that in mind, make sure you know a little about the destination before you go. Make a list of the things you would like to do/see that can feasibly be achieved in the timeframe. Do be realistic, whilst you may want to do and see a lot, you also need to remember why you are there. Bear in mind that there will probably be long leisurely breakfasts/lunches/dinners that you might want to join in order to spend time with the bride and groom – and hungover morning(s)- so you probably wont be spending all day everyday sightseeing and exploring.
4. Make sure you’re aware of the itinerary
Some weddings I have attended have had minimal activities around the wedding itself, however most of them have something the night before and the morning after – and possibly a daytime activity of some sort. However I also attended a wedding where there was a whole weekend of optional activities from breakfast till dinner (which sounds daunting, but actually made sure we got to experience the best of the city and do all the things we wanted to do!) Make sure you know the plan.
5. Bring earplugs (and pyjamas!) if you’re sharing a room
There have been a few weddings which I have attended alone and shared a room to reduce the cost, a few times with a friend, and a couple of times with girls that I didn’t know very well. On the occasions where I have ended up sharing a room, one of the biggest godsends has been earplugs! Whether they’re snorers, sleeptalkers or snufflers, make sure they don’t disturb you!
6. Get people’s contact details
Not that you want to turn into a stalker after meeting someone once, but with social media now it is so easy to connect with the people you meet, even if they’re not ever going to be your besties! If you did get on well, it’s great to be able to stay in touch, but even if you didn’t, you might want to connect with them, even if it’s only to be able to share and see photos after the trip. So while you’re there, add them on Facebook and follow them on Instagram!
I’m incredibly excited about our upcoming trip, we’re planning a week’s road trip from San Francisco down the coast and through the National Parks, ending in Las Vegas for when the rest of the family arrive, and will then have almost a week based in Vegas with the group, to ensure time for stag do’s (God help us!) and general festivities (think it may be a strictly edited blog post that comes out after that trip!) For anyone else due to attend a destination wedding this summer, I hope you have a fantastic time, make the most of every opportunity, be flexible, patient and open to others – and most of all, remember why you’re there. Enjoy!