How to “break the ice” with new people in your group?
My travel business is primarily group travel of friends and family. When becoming a travel consultant I didn’t expect to be doing a lot of group travel but it fell into my lap and I absolutely love it! I love that there is a group of people with a common goal, TRAVEL!
When booking a group one of the more common concerns people have is that do not know everyone in the group. I believe it is human nature to initially feel timid around people you don’t know. I know I do and I found myself always asking the wrong questions. Where do you work? How many children or grandchildren do you have? These are some of the questions that seem to be common but are a bit awkward. I have always found that people don’t want to talk about their work. After all, they are on vacation and really don’t even want to think about work, so I would avoid this question like the plague. My advice: Keep It Light!
We want open ended questions that will help get you information about them so you feel like you are connecting with them. Their reasons for taking the same trip should be one of your first questions. This is a great ice breaker because it isn’t a Yes or No question. They have to answer you with information. For example: “I am taking this trip because my husband and I have been wanting to take a cruise around the world for years. We didn’t want to go ourselves and when we heard from our friend that they were going with a group of people they knew, we thought it would be more fun to travel with a group than just the two of us.” This is a great information.
Even though they do travel on their own, they love to meet new people and experience new things. There are even more questions that you can ask from this one answer and the conversation will keep going and going. Before you know it, you have made a new friend!
Traveling with family can be an exciting experience also. For many years my husband and I traveled with my family. We trekked around Europe by boat, motor-coach, train, and buses. We had a lot of fun seeing new places and experiencing new cuisines together that we still talk about them today. Even though we crafted memories of a lifetime, there were a couple of times during the trip when I found myself needing a moment for myself.
I love my family, but I quickly learned that we didn’t have to do all the same excursions, tours, or even eat at the same restaurants. This holds true to any group who travel together for an extended period of time. You don’t have to do everything together ALL the time. It is your vacation too so pick the excursions that you want to take or eat at a restaurant one night that you want to enjoy.
Some of my best memories are the ones where my husband and I enjoyed our time away from the rest of the group. Like when we ate dinner by ourselves on our anniversary in a small pub on Rose Street in Edinburgh or the two of us almost getting lost in the bazaar in Tunis.
When you think about your next vacation don’t be afraid to say yes to a friend who is getting together a group trip. You will meet new people and experience a vacation in a whole new light. I promise you that you will have the most fun on any vacation that you have ever taken, but you have to make sure that you give yourself some free time for you or you and your loved one.
Here are some ice-breaking questions to ask people in your vacation group:
Question #1: Why did you decide to take this vacation?
Question #2: What do you think will be the most interesting place we see?
Question #3: Who do you think will be the person in the group that will make us laugh the most?
Question #4: Which tours or excursion have you chosen to take?
Question #5: What is your most favorite place in the world that you have already traveled to? (I love this questions because people will go on for minutes telling you why they loved that place and convince you that you need to go there too.
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