How to Plan a Large Group Holiday in Spain

The holiday is booked, and everyone is coming!

If you’ve taken on the adventurous task of having a large group holiday, good luck to you. Just kidding! You can actually have an amazing time with your extended family and friends without ending the vacation wanting to commit bodily harm to each other.

You can enjoy the good life on holiday while still connecting with all members of your family. And, if you plan it well, everyone will praise you as the superhero able to pull off this monstrous feat of strategy and effort. You’ll be hailed for your efforts and probably want to make a career out of planning other people’s large group holidays. If not, you’ll be glad that you didn’t rip all your hair out organising it all.

Commit Early

You know how hard it is to have a group of four people decide where they want to go to for dinner?

“I want Chinese.”

“I have gluten allergies.”

“I need to get some tacos in me.”

“I don’t care. Just somewhere that’s not crowded.”

If it’s this hard to plan a night out, imagine getting everyone on board with a large-scale holiday plan for 1-2 weeks? The only way you’re going to accomplish this is to get everyone to commit early. Plan at least 6 months in advance, and schedule a time that everyone can commit to. If you spend 2 weeks trying to find the right schedule, you can get everyone to agree on a timeframe that works across the board. Someone will always have something on, so ask for commitments with deposits or written calendar agreements. There’s no such thing as the perfect time, so everyone will have to compromise on something.

Have One Person In Charge

That’s a lot of opinions

If you’ve ever heard the expression, “There’s too many cooks in the kitchen”, you know what it’s like to have more than a couple of people planning a large group holiday. The best idea is to have just one person in charge of the whole thing.

Try to find someone who actually likes the process of organisation; otherwise, this will become a living nightmare for whoever is in charge.

And, once you’ve selected the person in charge (most likely you, if you’re reading this), have them be solely responsible. Alone. One person. Nobody else.

You can take suggestions and hear out opinions, but all the planning will come down to you. You get the final say – and make that clear to everyone in the group. It will go easier once people trust the decision-maker and know that they have the best interests of the group in mind. This one person can also be responsible for dinner reservations or for booking large tours for everyone. If there is only one person giving input, dealing with agents and planning flights and activities, it’s a lot easier for everyone else involved. If you’re not the travel planner, stay out of the planner’s way. It will go better for everyone.

Book Private Accommodation

A private villa in Malaga

You can’t just plan on getting a hotel room for everyone. It will be either too expensive, too crowded, too noisy or too far away from everyone else.

You can find great private villas online that allow you to have your entire group in one location. You get the benefit of having some privacy as well as securing a proper bed for everyone in your group. You get to have meals together, spend time by your own private pool and get some privacy at the end of the day in your own space. It’s a cheaper option, as well, to share large accommodation, so you can save hundreds of dollars on that portion alone.

You can still enjoy each other’s company every day, even if you go off and do different things. Which brings us to our next point.

Plan Different Events For Different People

Not everyone will be interested in the same things. If you have time scheduled together, you can feel less guilty about going off separately and doing different activities during the day. Even if you all come back together at night for your meal, you can enjoy the holiday on your own terms.

By all means plan some activities together, like beach days or visits to big tourist sites. But some members of your group might be interested in museums, while others want to sample the local cuisine.

Hire A Van

Transportation will be a challenge. That’s a fact of life. It’s easier, when planning, to book a large van. Even if you can’t get every single person in the van, there will be enough opportunities to get as much use out of it as possible that you won’t regret paying a little extra for the larger vehicle.

You can go on group trips to the markets. You can get groceries when you need them. And it will help with getting everyone’s luggage to and from the accommodation and the airport. Go for the larger van on holiday. You’ll thank me for it.

Communicate Everything

Tell everyone what you’re doing

What are we doing today? Where are we going? Why are we waiting around?

These become the most annoying questions people ask while you’re on holiday. If you’ve done your job planning, keep everyone updated with their own itinerary while on the tour. Highlight the items they need to know, such as airport arrival and departure times, accommodation plans and activities planned for the whole group. Also, be sure to highlight the free time on the calendar as well. People like knowing that you’ve allowed plenty of alone time and privacy during their stay.

Send constant emails with updates along the way.

“Two weeks until we go, everyone! Make sure you have your travel documents packed and photocopied.”

“One week to go. Have you packed your ____ and ____?”

“Just a reminder: tomorrow we have dinner at Chez Gastro with reservations at 8 PM. See you there!”

You can’t over-communicate with a large group. Everyone will appreciate the information.

Book a Private Tour Guide

If you want to truly enrich your experience while on holiday, consider booking a private tour guide. They can tailor a package that suits your specific group. Have small children? They can plan tours around nap times. Have a specific interest? Book a private tour just for that activity.

Private tour guides give a level of personalisation that everyone will appreciate on the trip. You don’t have to fight for attention among other tourists, and you can book on your schedule.

Keep Some Privacy

The only way to come back from your holiday still liking everybody in the group is to maintain some privacy. Unless you don’t want to come back liking everyone.

You might think that you really get along with everyone on the trip. You LOVE uncle Jack and his crazy stories, right? Well, try spending two weeks with uncle Jack, and see how endearing that story is the 7th time he brings it up at dinner.

No, the best way to stay in touch is to stay separate. At least for some of the time. You need time together and time to connect on holiday. Have fun. Laugh. Take plenty of pictures. But plan nights away from each other. Take an afternoon to yourselves. Make it a part of your schedule to have downtime, so people can do what they want to do. Privacy keeps families together.

Be Open-minded

I say this last because I think it’s the most important part of the trip. If you try and plan every last detail, be extremely pedantic about doing things together, or try to get everyone doing everything, you will fail. You will have no fun. You will hate group holidays and burn your computer because you only read this article partway through.

The key is to allow spontaneity. Be open to whatever comes up. If someone doesn’t feel like going out on a planned trip, don’t force them. If someone changes plan at the last minute and suggests a new restaurant for dinner, don’t stubbornly refuse. Be open to going with the flow, and your experience will be better. If you’re the planner and have a problem with spontaneous plans and last-minute changes, plan for the unexpected. Write it into your schedule to be open to what comes next.


We’ve talked about small trips and solo adventures and just how much fun those types of holiday can be. But I’m certain that you don’t need to miss out on the incredible experience of travel because you have a large group travelling with you. With some smart moves beforehand and some clever tips to keep everyone happy along the way, your holiday will be one to remember.