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5 Ways to Celebrate Your Group Connections with Travel

Group travel

Think about it. Most of us are groupies. We’re part of a family. We have groups of friends. We belong to a neighborhood group or clubs based on our interests or experiences. We’re members of alumni groups and church groups. We join exercise groups and sports teams. And, of course, we belong to teams and organizations tied to our careers.

It turns out having these group connections is good for our health. Research shows that belonging to different types of groups – from family and social groups to shared interest groups and career-oriented organizations – has a positive impact on both our physical and mental health.

But in our 24/7, everything-online, do-it-yourself world, group connections can fall by the wayside. While technology makes life easier, it can also be isolating. In recent years, loneliness is on the rise, with nearly half of Americans reporting they always or sometimes feel alone.

More than ever, maintaining the important connections we have – and need – takes commitment. That’s where group travel comes in. Getting away from daily routines helps groups of all kinds celebrate and strengthen their connections. Whether traveling as a family or as a group of friends, classmates, or coworkers, group members return refreshed and energized – with a renewed sense of belonging.

Here are five opportunities to build your group connections by adding travel to the mix.

1. Reunite.

Social media is no substitute for getting extended family or the class of 1995 together in person. But, with people living and working around the world, large group reunions can be difficult. Picking an out-of-the-box destination can provide the extra spark to get the RSVPs rolling in.

Class reunions don’t have to happen in a hotel ballroom a few miles from campus. Likewise, extended family get-togethers can reach beyond holiday parties or summer cookouts. What about cruising the Caribbean or exploring a faraway place as a group? Destination reunions are a great way to bring a group together while offering a range of activities to fit the many personalities.

Destination wedding

2. Share a once-in-a-lifetime moment.

More than 350,000 destination

weddings take place every year. While Las Vegas accounts for almost one-third of those, most people are getting more creative, choosing luxury cruises, sun-drenched beaches, or European castles. The possibilities are endless.

Couples choose to have a destination wedding for two main reasons: First, they’re looking to make unique memories in a beautiful setting. And, second, they want to share the experience with their closest family and friends. Destination weddings can help keep things more casual and close-knit. And while the ceremony itself is always the centerpiece, couples mix in a variety of activities and experiences over a few days, so they’re able to spend more time with their guests.

And weddings aren’t the only celebrations hitting the road. Travel also adds an extra layer of fun to bachelor and bachelorette parties, wedding showers, and vow renewal ceremonies.

Family cruise

3. Try multi-generational travel.

You’ve heard the expression about seeing the world through the eyes of a child? That’s a perfect description of multi-generational travel, which continues to be a hot trend. While

three-generation groups (grandparents, their children and grandchildren) are the most common, mother-daughter, father-son, and grandparent-grandchildren trips are also popular. While no excuse is needed, families often plan these multi-generational trips around milestone anniversaries, birthdays, and graduations.

I can attest to how special seeing the world with your family is. Last Christmas, we enjoyed a family cruise vacation with my children and our 12 grandchildren, ages two and up. We had an amazing time, full of fun, laughter, and togetherness.

In response to the family travel trend, cruise lines offer activities that appeal to all ages. From surf lessons, rock climbing, and family karaoke on board, to swimming with the dolphins in Jamaica, our family certainly enjoyed every minute! Plus, many cruise lines offer kids-travel-free promotions at different times of the year, making multi-generational travel more cost-effective.

4. Find your niche.

Name a hobby or special interest group, and there are sure to be travel options that align. If not, plan one! Broadly defined as groups brought together by common interests, affinity travel lets people indulge in what they love, with others who love it too.

Wine aficionados and culinary clubs build trips around visits to top vineyards and Michelin-star restaurants. History lovers spend weeks exploring ancient ruins.

Adventure seekers get their fill of thrilling experiences on expedition cruises to remote locations. Church groups visit holy sites or take on volunteer projects around the world. And, in recent years, wellness travel has become increasingly popular, with affinity getaways designed around spa treatments, fitness, or nature. That’s the beauty of affinity trips; there’s something for everyone.

5. Work through it.

Employee's on an Incentive Trip

Companies look to travel to create unique experiences to reward employees, incent salespeople, or thank loyal customers. Group incentive travel continues to grow as companies see the return on their investment in the form of motivated employees, stronger teams, and increased sales.

As younger generations prioritize experiences over increased pay, incentive travel programs make even more strategic sense. Consider this compelling stat: 9 in 10 employees are more motivated by an incentive trip than a cash bonus, with 72 percent reporting increased loyalty to their company. To get the same loyalty lift from monetary rewards, companies would have to increase pay by nearly nine percent.

Our recent blog series took an in-depth look at the value of incentive travel and shared several wow-worthy incentive trips we’ve designed for our clients. Please click here for the first post in the series, 3 Ways Every Business – Including Yours - Can Benefit from Incentive Travel.

At Cruise Dreams, we design incredible trips for all types of groups. From groups with

15 members to those with 3,500, we custom-create once-in-a-lifetime trips for all occasions. And, we handle all the details for you – in-house, never outsourced.

Put our 30+ years of experience to work for your group. Call the Cruise Dreams team at (877) 999-4533 or email us at

Waves to you and smooth sailings ahead!

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