We have a bunch of friends who always want to know when they can join us in Cozumel and I have decided to try to get a group together to celebrate a big b-day for myself and one of my friends. We would like this to be a couples trip and have at least 10 couples we plan to ask. Realistically, I think maybe half might actually go.
The problem I keep thinking about is how to get a price or dates until I know who is actually serious so that I know what size house to rent (should have mentioned that we plan on getting a rental house) This will not happen until June of 2013 but I want to get a head start since it involves a lot of planning. I used to do group trips for a travel agency but that was easy since it was at a hotel and the price did not change if someone dropped out.
Does anyone have tips for planning this and how to prevent the cost pp going up for the rest of us if someone backs out? I thought of asking for a nonrefundable deposit for the house rental but would refund if we found someone to take their place but that seems kind of harsh if we don't. The problem is........I don't want strangers staying in a house with me (I am imagining a friend saying "I can't go but so and so can" and then not really knowing this person....) and I don't know if I would be able to replace a couple since I will be asking almost everyone that I would want to go and that I think would be interested.
I am not too worried about the airfare except that it might be outrageous the way things are going. I checked into group air and there is no discount but the perks are that you only need a $50 deposit and names can be changed one time per ticket in case of a last minute drop out. Of course, everyone could just purchase their own airfare whenever they think the price is right too.
Any thoughts or ideas on this???