In the past few years Aaron and I have been on a few group vacations.  Our first group vacation was to New York City with about 6 couples and that was a blast.  We would do fun stuff together as a group at night and during the day it was mostly Aaron and I doing our own thing.  Aaron and I usually ended up staying out later than everyone else and sleeping super late as well.  Such a fun trip.

<– pic from our NYC trip with couples from church!




Aaron is an introvert and I'm an extrovert, so by being with friends we get the best of both worlds.  Sometimes we're with a big group, which I love and other times we're not, which Aaron loves.  We've been on group vacations with as many as 6 couples and been on them with just 2 other couples.  Both have worked well for us, because although you are with other people there's always the option of being just a couple as well.


This picture is from our cruise that we went on in 2010.  Amos came home in January of 2010 and I immediately planned a trip about a week after he had been home.  During our adoption we hadn't traveled much because we would always go to Haiti to visit our kids, so I knew in about 10 months we would be ready for a vacation that didn't involve Haiti and we would be ready to leave our kids by then.

<— our fun cruise group in 2010




Here's why I love group vacations:

#1 – a lot of the times you are splitting the cost of something so it's cheaper.  Sometimes you can rent a big house and it would only cost you a fraction of the cost because others are also paying for some of it.  If you split a car, that's another discount.  We've done some vacations in houses where we also split up cooking, and that means you are saving money from eating out and you aren't cooking each night either.

<— pic from a trip to Fredricksburg with the band family in 2009!





#2 – Sometimes things are just more fun with more people.  When Aaron and I first went on a cruise in 2002 we had a blast but said multiple times that this would be so much fun with a group of friends, and we were right.  When the group above went on a cruise we had a blast.  You could for sure be alone, or be with just your spouse, but you could also hang with friends if you wanted.  It's like the best of both worlds.  Aaron and I had alone lunches, but then we had group dinners.  We were alone during the day some, but I also had girlfriends to lay by the pool with when Aaron would rather stay in the room and read.


#3 – When I was thinking about going on a cruise with a bunch of friends, I sent out a mass email to a bunch of friends that I knew I would love to cruise with and told them the dates, gave them the cost and put the idea out there.  These are the five couples that ended up going.  My brother and his wife, brought a couple friend, and they all live in Conroe.  My best friend and her husband came from Dallas.  Aaron's cousin and his wife joined us from Tyler.  Some friends of ours that we've known forever from Aaron's days in the band SPUR58 joined us from Houston.   Most of them had never met each other!  People we love were getting to know other people we love.  What a fun combination!



So … as I gear up for a super fun summer I'm thinking that my favorite trips I'm looking forward to are the ones that I'll be with a group of friends.  So much fun!


Have you vacationed with friends?  Where did you go?  I'm always on the lookout for great places to go with friends!

Jamie Ivey