It’s August, and I’m so excited for this month!
To give you a context, I’m going for Java-Bali-Gili road trip with my family later this month. We should have gone for the trip last month, but due to some obstacles of life in general (LOL), we had to postpone.
Since there’s going to be two public holidays in Indonesia earlier this month, we then decided to pick the later date of August to start our trip. Anyway, since I’m probably the only person in the family who often travels once in a while, I’ve been in charge of the trip preparation in general.
But in case you didn’t know, I get so used to travel solo that preparing this road trip was a bit more complex than usual. Especially since I will travel with my mom, my brother, and my cousin. All of them have different traveling styles that I need to comprehend and adjust in the masterplan.
Anyway, I know so many solo travelers find it challenging to prepare a group trip. So then I decided to share what I’ve done so far during the preparation for my family vacation!
Why Traveling in a Group is Challenging for Solo Travelers
Obviously, when it comes to travel solo, we can do anything we want within our own budget. I mean, sure there are some services or travel package that would charge you extra because you don’t do it with a partner, but any preparation should be easier and more simple.
Traveling in a group, even when it’s with your family members, could be challenging for so many reasons. First of all, the different traveling style that each people have in the group. You definitely can’t please everyone, but someone has to make a decision. Sacrifice is real when it comes to preparing my family trip this time.
I mean, it’s a good thing that we’re gonna get into a road trip where we will use our own car for the trip. Knowing my family in general, I’m really hesitant to travel with them using public transportation. I’m the kind of person who would get on time for everything, and some of my family members are the kind of people who would do everything last minute.
I’m not ready for the stress like that. So I suppose a road trip is really a great way to have quality time together. Even though, I could feel that there might come the time when I wanted to kill one of them later in the trip.
But let’s not focus on that as I simply want to share how I’ve prepared the trip now that it’s 18 days more to the D-day!
Preparation Tips for Family Vacation Trip
Our plan for the road trip around Java-Bali-Gili started when my cousin, Heri, and I contacted one of our potential clients with a business in Bali. As it turned out, the client was interested in our idea of collaboration. The next thing we knew, we started planning our road trip around Java, Bali, and Gili.
And when it started, my brother Akin decided to join in. Guess who else wanted to come? My mom!
On paper, the trip seems like a perfect family trip since we get to spend some time together for a holiday. I mean, we’re not the kind of family who would go for a vacation together. In fact, it’s exactly the reason why I always travel solo. Because I can’t rely on the closest people that I have to go with me for the trip. The closest people that I have here are my family. Well, you get the point.
But even during the preparation, things could get a bit hard. Especially with all the uncertainty that most of my family members have to offer. But hey, one has to do it so I’m glad that it’s already in my nature that I like to boss around.
Lucky for me, because they already understand it so they were like, “Okay, whichever thing you think works…”
1. Create a traveling calendar to be shared with everyone.
As I mentioned previously, our initial plan was to start our trip in July. But so many things happened that we simply just had to postpone. From the bills that we had to pay that prevented us to have enough budget last month, to some other responsibilities that forced us to stay in town.
The good thing is that since we’re all kind of flexible when it comes the traveling time, it wasn’t really a big issue that we had to delay the trip. Our only concern was that we’re going to have 2 (two) public holidays in August, and we simply wanted to avoid the trip around those.
For whatever differences we have, we have one similarity: we simply hate the crowds. LOL.
When it comes to all the preparations, with itinerary included, I was the only one responsible for it. So what I did was doing the research on how many days we could stay in one place, based on the places we intend to visit in each city.
Once I got the idea for the draft of itinerary, I created a traveling calendar on Adobe Sparks calendar maker. We have a dedicated Whatsapp group for the trip, so everything is so easy to share.
And anyone could give additional input about the trip. For example, Heri as the main driver in this trip requested to stay in at least one city on the way back to Bandung even though we could use the brand new Trans-Jawa Toll Road for a faster route. That was due to safety since as a driver, it’s important to have a proper rest before the long journey.
For that reason, we decided to stop by Semarang for a couple of days. It was really a selfish decision made by me, since I used to live in Semarang. 😛
But hey, everyone agreed so that’s where we’re going!
2. Split the budget accordingly, and use one account for any collective spendings.
As always, money is always a sensitive thing to talk about. No matter how close your relationship is, family included. Once I’ve done calculating the estimate spendings for meals, entry tickets, hotels, and gas, I gave everyone the number and discussed how we had to split it.
I’ve spent the biggest cut out of the four for some reasons, and we decided to use my bank accounts to collect the money. This budget, in particular, will be used for any collective spendings. However, each one of us has our own budget for extra spending, if any.
For the money collected, I also use TravelSpend app so I can easily track how much I’ve spent and for what reason. This is the same application I used to watch my budget on my Borneo trip. I had a good experience using the app, so I guess I’ll keep using it for a while. In fact, I’ve upgraded into the paid version.
3. It’s important to recognize everyone’s traveling style and make a consensus out of it.
As I mentioned earlier, I’m still hesitant to travel with them using public transportation because of their traveling style where they do everything on time. In fact, if I gotta be honest, the only person whose traveling style is suitable with mine is just my mom.
I once traveled with my cousin and my brother to Bogor, and they pissed the hell out of me. From that, I’ve learned that nothing should set in stone when it comes to traveling with them. Otherwise, we’ll lose so much.
For example, I usually book everything in advance when I travel solo because I know I could commit to the schedule that I’ve created. Heri and Akin are not like that.
Well, in case you’ve never heard of it… But Indonesia is considered the most chilled out country in the world. And frankly speaking, Heri and Akin are veryyyy Indonesian. It’s like, they could say they’d go at 12 when in reality they ended up leaving the house later on at 6.
For that reason, I decided not to book any accommodation, except for the first one in Dieng. Anything could happen when it comes to travel with that kind of traveler. So I’d rather chill myself out.
4. Prepare things in advance, especially anything at home that you’ll leave behind during your travel period.
My mom has my Dad to leave behind, while I do have my cats to be taken care of when I’m away. As for us, we’re lucky enough that we have the privilege to hire a housemaid for this. So, that’s what we did.
As for me, I’m planning to buy the 2-week stock of cat food in advance. In fact, I just impulsively bought some catnips for the cats. If they need more food, I will buy extra food online to be delivered at home.
Since my Dad is not much of traveler, none of us bothered to bluff asking him to join us. I mean, we once traveled together to Surabaya and basically, he killed the good time. We don’t want it to happen to us again. Not for 3 freaking weeks. 😛
Anyway, my mom asked for additional help from her hometown, Bi Ipah, the woman who used to be the caretaker for my late grandma. She used to work for my Dad until he married my Mom. So basically, she knew how to cook or prepare stuff for him.
And so far, it was all set. Hopefully nothing bad would happen around the house when we’re away! 😀
Counting Down the Days to the D-Day!
As you probably know, this will be my first time to be in Bali. And I know, it’s so lame coming from an Indonesian. But heyyyy, it’s always the first time for everything so I’m really looking forward to it.
So, what trip are you looking forward in the last quarter of 2019? How was the previous trip treating you? Wherever and however it is, may you all be safe in your travel to retell the story and cheerio! 😀
This is a sponsored post. All opinions are mine.