Lydia C. Lee is still trying to work out what to do with her one wild and precious life. She currently is a haphazard blogger. Read more at holidazeandhellidaze.blogspot.com.au or www.pandoraandmax.blogspot.com
Published October 19th 2012
Weekend away for large groups
Ever wanted to go away as a group but don't want to camp? Struggled to find accommodation big enough? Once a few families want to have a weekend away together, it doesn't take long to get 20 or 30 people in need of a bed!
One place where you can find affordable accommodation for large groups is the YHA (Youth Hostels Australia). There are many in superb beach and bush locations around the country, and some of these can be hired exclusively.
One of the Sydney hostels that can be rented out entirely is the beautiful Pittwater Hostel. A mere hour from Sydney City but a seemly 'island' bush retreat.
No need to be daunted by the prospect of organising large numbers, here are the tips for a smooth group getaway.
1. Get in early, find the hostel you want to hire (see list on website below), and numbers you want to aim for. Check available dates as it can take up to 6 months to get a suitable weekend.
2. Email friends and get confirmation. Work out cost per person (divide weekend hire rate by people, rather than beds - sometimes, because of room layout, you will need to leave beds empty - you don't want to be paying that yourself, spread it across the group). Build in hire costs of activities - for example, you can hire 6 double kayaks for the weekend at Pittwater, build that into the per person cost and then over the weekend there is no money to collect and group members can just come and go in the kayaks as they please.
3. Book, and collect money for deposit. Then a month or two before, collect final payment from everyone. Much easy to know you have the cost covered than to have people cancel at last minute with you wearing the difference.
4. Work out a meal roster - the first time we were faced with feeding 32 people, it was daunting, but in actual fact, it's much easier than you think. Once you've catered your meal, you can enjoy the weekend, with only some washing up to help with! It also means you aren't duplicating, and if you have to walk the food through the bush to get to the hostel, you don't want to be bringing an excess.
5. Leave the last meal unallocated for left overs. The same group of people have done the Pittwater YHA weekend three times so far and we still over cater! Eat the leftovers for the last lunch so you have less to carry back out with you.
6. Enjoy! Then all that's left is to work out the date for the next group getaway....