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St John trip with 6 couples

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South Carolina
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St John trip with 6 couples

We leave next month for St. John and there will be a total of 6 couples traveling together. We're all staying at island stones and as the trip organizer, I'm really looking forward to it. However, I'm starting to wonder if our group may be a little too large...herding cats comes to mind. Anyway, it's too late to change now, but didn't know if anybody had advice or experience traveling with group this size in STJ? We've never been with more than 4 people.

oklahoma city
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1. Re: St John trip with 6 couples

We have done 10 before and you just have to let go. We always get a couple jeeps and if you take one ask everybody if they want to go if not its ok. Trying to manage everybodys vacation will ruin yours. So just set the expectation when you get there and by the way taxis run all day and part of the night to you can always escape

CT
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2. Re: St John trip with 6 couples

As long as there are several rental cars, you will be fine.

Set expectations ahead of time, let folks know that you do not have to be together all day every day. We travel with another couple and plan a few things together but there are days that we see each other over coffee and that is it.

Some people may want to hang out at the villa and others want to go to the beach and some might want to shop. The group does not need to be all together all day. If you are planning to go out to dinner as a group, make a reservation NOW. 12 is a big party on STJ

Have each couple throw $100 into the grocery kitty and make one big stock up for the house. If you need more as the week goes on, everyone pitches in.

If you are planning to eat at the villa, assign days for each couple to be in charge of one meal. That couple cooks and cleans and then they have the other nights off.

I HIGHLY recommend getting everyone together before you go, to set expectations ahead of time. It will ease a ton of stress on island.

Alabamastan
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3. Re: St John trip with 6 couples

Not that size, but I hope you have rented 3 or more vehicles. Getting everyone to do the same thing will be pointless - it's better to let people group by preferred activity for the day.

-Sandy

Pia
St John, VI
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4. Re: St John trip with 6 couples

6 couples = 6 jeeps (imo) :)

Pia

South Carolina
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5. Re: St John trip with 6 couples

Thanks all, we are having a meeting this Saturday night to finalize everything. We did rent (3) jeeps, have a grocery money pool, and I've told people that I will leave them behind if I'm ready to go...so that expectation has been set. I think the advice of not having to be together all day, ever day, is a good one. I know it'll be fun, besides my wife and I, the other 10 people are all first-timers. I'm really excited for them to see what my wife and I always rave about.

CT
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6. Re: St John trip with 6 couples

Be HONEST with the newbies! Make sure they fully understand water conservation, that beaches do not have bars, that everything is expensive, that it is hot and VERY casual, etc and then say it again!!!!

We did that with Newbies and it did not sink in and they were very unhappy the entire trip.

Encourage them to read the ST Johh Beach Guide, feet fins, and 4wd or any other island info that they can so that they can make suggestions as to what they want to do. If you do not, you will be the cruise director and trust me, that is NO fun.

Pennsylvania
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7. Re: St John trip with 6 couples

It sounds like you are off to a good start. Money and movement are probably the two biggest stressors in a group trip.

Movement (or lack of) is the one area of group trips that sort of stresses me a bit.

I am not a sit around for 3 hours drinking coffee in the morning type of person, I can do that at home. What works for us is to have a general plan the night before, as in "we are going to Maho tomorrow and plan on leaving around....." You are staying in a good location so hopefully the newbies will be able to navigatearound the island with no issues.

It will be helpful to think ahead about packing coolers and such for the beach, all 12 of you in the kitchen at once, trying to gather beach provisions will be crazy. We assign one person to pack all the beverages and another to do the snacks. You might want to check into the cooler situation, I would think you would need several if you plan on doing any sort of beach beverage consumpion.

Pennsylvania
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8. Re: St John trip with 6 couples

Tinke's advice is worth printing off and distributing at your meeting!

We don't have any money issues in our group because everyone realizes that things cost more on vacation. It isn't that we throw money away, we just have realistic expectations that we will spend more than at home. We have friends that would totally freak out about having to spend $7 on a small frozen drink and it would ruin their day. (or they won't spend the money, stand off to the side and glare at us for taking them to a place that charges so much) These friends aren't invited on STJ. It isn't about the money, it is about their behavior surrounding money.

Be prepared for a single group check when going out to eat. Discuss how that will be handled.

Minneapolis...
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9. Re: St John trip with 6 couples

We usually travel with a group of 10 or more. I am also the "cruise director". At our pre-vacation meeting we assign items to each couple that are easy to bring along. Such as paper plates, zip lock baggies of various sizes, deck of cards or travel games, clothes pins, easy to transport food items like bagged tuna, trail mix, box of crackers etc.

If newbies are involved we also have the water conservation talk then and often on island.

We each keep a list of what the others are bringing so that we don't double up. We also really discuss the issue that we do not need to be joined at the hip on the trip! We try to work it so that each couple can have a day or evening with one of the jeeps if they would like a night out alone. I check with the jeep rental company to see if we need to declare/pay for extra drivers on the jeeps so we have the most flexibility.

We also do the money "kitty" for food and water for the villa. Doesn't work for booze for us due to the disparity in the amount of consumption from couple to couple.

Once on island we ususally go with the first people ready to leave the villa asking if anyone else is ready and would like to go along. This group will let eveyone know what beach they will be on for the day. The others can then either take their time getting there, go shopping out out to breakfast first or stay at the villa for the day.

It is tough to get 10 or 12 people out to eat dinner. Shipwreck has always been great!

Some of our best times have been a planned villa gravity day and evening.

Have a great trip!

oklahoma city
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10. Re: St John trip with 6 couples

The dining out and drinking out is a great point and this has been the one part of vacation sharing that creates the most problems amongst groups. We have a simple rule 4 couples 4 credit cards. Sometime you pay more than you should sometimes you don't it all comes out in the wash. Grocery is done the same way. I did read a thread of a group of 4 couples used one credit card for everything including bar tabs, grocery, restaurants and even jeep and airfare and then at the end of the trip you got one invoice and just paid one time and the card holder kept the miles. Each year another member of the group was allowed to plan and keep the miles. I don't think my 25K limit would be enough for villa, everybody's airfare and incidentals but a good idea.