Groups and Contracts

Dear TA’s,

I am very supportive of TA’s who prefer to work with groups only. There is a lot of work involved, and each and every group member has a different request to be addressed. Nevertheless, once the group planning starts and everyone has their down payment paid, it is easier to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Let’s make sure the contract for this group is signed by the leader/s. In the case of a destination wedding: the groom and bride. For a church group: the pastor and/or organizer. The organizer should sign for all types of other groups. Also, each member of the party needs to sign for their room based on the rules of the hotel, and flights when applicable. Don’t make ANY additional verbal agreements once you have a written agreement – the verbal agreement portion will not be enforced. This is a very important issue in case of cancellation, especially on the part of the leaders!

So how to handle the cancellation fees when the leader of a group decides that there will not be a trip anymore? Who will pay for the cancellation fees for each individual party (guests) of the group? Well, it is not fair that each guest pay for his/her own penalty when they are not responsible for the cancellation.

My suggestion is to have a line in the contract specifying exactly this point. If the leaders or organizers decide to cancel the trip, they are responsible for ALL cancellation fees for ALL guests. This should be stated in the written contract. If they need to, they can get travel insurance for that specific situation and not lose money from their pocket or their organization.

Along the same lines, I HIGHLY recommend that all guests get travel insurance within 15 days of booking a trip.

A group trip is only great when EVERYONE – from leaders, to guests and TAs are happy from the beginning to the end. If any party feels taken advantage of, it is not a good deal anymore!

I hope you think seriously about each important point in the contracts for group travel. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out!

Always cheering for you!

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