The 6 Types Of People On Every Group Holiday
Which one are you?
When it comes to travelling in a group there is an almost fate-like certainty that particular personalities will emerge and facilitate the sometimes amazing, sometimes tense dynamics that are the hallmark of group-travel. Look forward to hanging out with the following characters next time you travel en masse.
#1 The Accountant
This person may or may not have an actual background in finance, but as soon as they are on holidays they are ready to take charge of your funds and spend them wisely or otherwise. They will be the key decision maker it how group funds are tracked – is there a kitty you must pay into prior to any spending? Is there a complicated spreadsheet at the end of the trip with multiple payments required to multiple creditors? If I only eat a main, and you eat an entrée and a main AND a dessert (enjoy those holiday kilos), are we still splitting the bill in equal parts? Either way, they’re on it – and they’ll be the one deciding if it’s champagne or goon, so make sure you get in good with the Accountant to have your opinion heard and your budgetary requirements met.
#2 The Person With Dietary Requirements
Let me commence by saying I have no issue with people who have dietary requirements. I myself have a severe allergy* to bananas and can completely understand that for some humans, it is just not possible to absent-mindedly gorge on gluten, meats, dairy or nuts in the way most of us like to. But the person with dietary requirements on your group holiday is a tricky beast – like the rest of us, they too need to eat – but they may not be happy with the side of the road offerings or the point-and-hope approach to menus many of us go for whilst abroad. Keep them well fed and they should be OK, but leave them too long without sustenance and things will go pear shaped (which is ironic, because pears are one thing most people are not allergic to).
*allergy is mostly mental
#3 The Party Animal
You’ll be able to tell who this person is, because it’s 10am and they have just emerged from a fitful sleep and are reaching for their first cider. Historic sites to visit? Museums and exhibitions oozing with culture and art? Nope, this person is going to be propped up at the nearest sun-soaked beer garden, starting the party early. The Party Animal is most fun at night – but can be a pain during the day if not adequately hydrated with the right kind of liquids. Don’t bother taking the Party Animal somewhere nice – they won’t remember it anyway.
#4 The Person Who Has Strong Opinions
Maybe this person has been to the destination of your group holiday before, or maybe they’ve just read the Lonely Planet guide very closely. Or maybe they’re just a person with a lot of opinions, and they are going to make them heard, most likely in a loud voice while ignoring what anyone else thinks. They will be the one driving the hire car, ordering the food and walking at the front of the pack, like the head gorilla in the group of gorillas, beating their chest and demanding others pick out their fleas. Either fall in line, or prepare for an all out brawl.
#5 The Person Who Has No Opinions
This person can be a kind of a godsend on group holidays, because not everyone can be like the person with strong opinions (see above) or it’s a total nightmare. So there will naturally be some people who will happily go with the flow and keep the group balanced. It’s also a disaster if you have a group holiday with only these people, however, because then you spend most of the time sitting around talking about what you should do, and not actually doing anything. This fence-sitter can be a real asset, so long as they contribute when necessary and give your chest-beaters someone to boss around.
#6 The Person Who Speaks The Language
If you’re going to a non-English speaking country, there will normally (hopefully) be at least one person in the group who has some grasp of the local language. Depending on the group, this person may be fluent (hurrah!) or maybe they took the language for six months in high school and never carried on with it – in any case, they are now the mouthpiece of the group and will need to navigate any situation requiring words (pro tip: these situations are quite regular). This person wields a large amount of power as they choose what messages to convey from the group and what messages to translate back. They also get to look smugly at you all whilst they connect with locals, whilst you turistas sit in the back looking like absolute chumps.
(Photo: Madeleine Deaton/Flickr)