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RickG's group travel rules for St. John

Arlington, Virginia
Destination Expert
for St. John, Cruz Bay
Level Contributor
3,113 posts
25 reviews
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RickG's group travel rules for St. John

These are my rules and they've been stress tested for groups up to 24.

1. Don't invite anyone who is a whiner. Don't invite anyone that you would not spend a week with 1-on-1.

2. I pick the villa and the week and people get to decide if they want to come. It's okay if no one wants to come with me.

3. You get to pick your room in the order that you pay. I've already paid the deposit, so I go first. This deals with the equal rooms problem and #1 deals with whiners.

4. One vehicle per 2 couples with at least one person from each couple on the contract for each car. Expect there to be an early group and a late group each morning. This is not a problem. I get my own vehicle. I'm in the early group and my lover is in the late group.

5. Pick a beach each day that you want to visit; 11AM is a good rendezvous time. The late group can usually make it and the early group will have done a hike and another beach already. It's okay if no one meets me at the beach.

6. Do some happy hours at the villa. It's cheap and 6-8 people is a party. Bring Twister.

7. Dinner out for 6-8 is a pain in the a$$. Do some dinners at the villa and do some date nights. Meet for drinks before and after dinner. There's always room at the Beach Bar, Quiet Mon and Larry's Landing for 6-8.

8. Expect to spend a day without leaving the villa. Make sure that there is not a mid-week maid visit scheduled that day. Start the blender at 10AM, but put sunscreen on all exposed skin first.

9. Put $100 per person in a food/drink kitty for villa provisions. If someone is concerned that they won't spend that much and want differential treatment, that breaks rule #1 - they don't get to come. $800 will cover food and booze at the villa for 8 adults for a week. Dinner for 8 at Zozo's is $680.

Lessons learned:

- If someone whines at home, they will whine more on STJ.

- If someone pitches in at home they will pitch in more on STJ.

- 10 people feels much bigger than 8 people - 60% bigger - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fully_connected_network - c=(n^2-n)/2

- The herd moves at the speed of the slowest beast.

- Don't be afraid to say "I'm heading out. I'll be back for sunset."

- Newbies will assume the villa is on the beach, even if you tell them otherwise and show them pictures. If they can't get over this, they stay at the Westin.

- #1 takes care of almost every possible problem.

Cheers, RickG

chicago
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84 posts
1 review
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1. Re: RickG's group travel rules for St. John

that really helps. this is our first time traveling with another couple and we were real worried if we always had to incorporate them for dinner or how we would tell them we wanted to go out alone! but i like the "im heading out be back for sunset" and i love the im picking you can come if you want!

Ohio
Destination Expert
for Cruz Bay
Level Contributor
6,013 posts
6 reviews
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2. Re: RickG's group travel rules for St. John

Great rules Rick!!!

I couldn't agree more! No Whiners!!

Everyone is expected to pitch in. We go with a group every year also and everyone has followed the rules for the most part. I do not have a problem telling someone that since they didn't help prepare, cook, or grill, then they get to do all the clean up!! That usally takes care of the problem and they help from then on. If not, they don't get invited back.

Always enjoy reading your thoughts. Keep um coming!

CT
Destination Expert
for St. John
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5,751 posts
24 reviews
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3. Re: RickG's group travel rules for St. John

Rick is wise.

We just got back from a week with the most wonderful couple and can not wait to travel with them again. There was no drama, no whining, and no complaining.

Salt Lake City, Utah
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311 posts
3 reviews
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4. Re: RickG's group travel rules for St. John

Thanks rickG, I think those rules apply to any kind of group trip anywhere, but especially to STJ!

St. Thomas
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4,251 posts
2 reviews
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5. Re: RickG's group travel rules for St. John

"It's OK if no one meets me at the beach" is a very wise social dynamic for a group spending time together - the reverse is just as important - It is OK if we aren't at the beach when you get there.

Marietta, Ga. USA
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516 posts
11 reviews
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6. Re: RickG's group travel rules for St. John

Ha! Love it but I'd add one. Rule #.5 Bring your lover and no one else. Life is too short to worry about others following the rules...especially on StJ. Cheers! Maui

Chicago
Destination Expert
for Seven Mile Beach, East End
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5,264 posts
2 reviews
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7. Re: RickG's group travel rules for St. John

RickG -

Amen my brother! We have travelled with various people over the years and learned our lesson the hardware (see rule #1). We now have our group pretty well set and we all know what to expect. I have not had the entire group to STJ yet as we need 6-7 bedrooms but I am thinking about it for winter 2010.

I love rule #3 I never thought of it that way. Rule #2 is exactly what I do.

Cheers.

B.

Chicago
Destination Expert
for Seven Mile Beach, East End
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5,264 posts
2 reviews
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8. Re: RickG's group travel rules for St. John

Should be hard way. Not hardware :) I wish we could edit posts.

B.

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325 posts
4 reviews
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9. Re: RickG's group travel rules for St. John

Hey,

I've got another one since you usually cook alot at the villa, "If they don't help clean up the dishes at home they won't on vacation either and they don't get to come!"

Enfield, Connecticut
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19 posts
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10. Re: RickG's group travel rules for St. John

This is priceless. I couldn't agree more. We just had the most amazing trip with our friends. The villa was the right size for all these rules, for 4 adults and 2 boys. It was perfect.

I love the Twister idea. We had a ball sitting around on the deck at night playing name-that-tune with the IPOD and portable player. The stars were so bright and the night was so peaceful it was zen-like.

I couldn't agree more with the sentiment : "Don't be afraid to say "I'm heading out. I'll be back for sunset." We love our friends. Mid-week though we realized both families needed some time alone together. We went our separate ways. Oddly enough...we met each other in the road and hooked up to spend the rest of the day together again.

Good times...good times.