Star & Compass Travel can assist you in putting together a group travel package. We will take care of all the details, from booking to marketing, to accounting. You can relax on your trip, and be long-remembered as the person who put this fabulous event together. And best of all, as the group leader, you might be able to travel for free.

Read on as we explain how to arrange a group, how to select what type of trip and the destination that is right for you, and how you can earn a free vacation.

Arrange a Travel Group

If you are or soon will be a presiding officer or group leader, and you are responsible for program planning, then putting a travel group together is easy, because you already have the group, right at your fingertips.  Each of the members of your organization, along with their significant others, friends, and family are your potential traveling partners and members of your travel group.  The larger your organization, the greater the opportunity for creating a large travel group.  But even small organizations are able to pull together a significant number of their folks to make a fun and exciting trip.  Contact us and we will make it happen.

If you’re helping to put together a reunion of any kind, or are responsible for arranging a conference, a training seminar, or other meeting, and would like to do something different and exciting, then group travel is the way to go.  You need to get input from others involved, to make sure this is something of interest, and that this type of arrangement is feasible for your particular group or organization, then make sure you have the authorization to proceed on behalf of the group or organization.  The next step is to contact us.  We will make your dream a reality.


How Many Make a Group?

With most travel suppliers, a group is considered any number of 10 or more people. This number may vary, but in most cases, with as few as 10 travelers, your group can expect to receive substantial group discounts over standard travel pricing. In addition, there are often special amenities reserved exclusively for group travelers.


Trip Selection

Once you’ve decided, or at least think you’ve decided that putting a travel group together is what you want to do, then contact us. We will provide you all the information you need to make the decision as to where to go and how to get there. The things to consider in deciding what type of trip to take are:

  • What type of trip do you, as the group leader, want to take
    (i.e., cruise, cruise tour, land-based trip, train travel, etc.)
  • Where do you, as the group leader, want to go?
  • The financial ability of the members of your group
  • The age of the members of your group
    (how well do they travel, activity level, etc.)
  • Time availability of group members
  • Travel interests of your group
  • Facilities needed
    (conference / meeting space, party facilities, shore-based facilities, etc.)
  • Lead time before the desired trip
  • Preferences for you or your group on travel suppliers
    (i.e., specific cruise lines, airlines, tour operators, etc.)
  • The anticipated number of people who might travel with you

We will get you cruise and/or other trip schedules, prices, availability, information on special facilities, and any other details which will allow you to make the final decision.


Plan Ahead

Since cruises and tours fill up quickly, and the final payment date is usually several months prior to departure, you need to make sure you allow plenty of time for the planning, marketing, and booking of your trip.  Group space is usually blocked nine months or more ahead of time.  Some trips, especially cruises, require more time.   You should start the process at least 10 months, or preferably 1 year before the anticipated travel date.


Travel Arrangements

Once you’ve decided on the type of trip and where you want to go, we take care of all the arrangements.  We block the group space.  We publish marketing materials to promote the event.  We distribute the materials in a such a manner as to assure maximize participation.  We act as the point of contact, make all bookings, confirm the bookings with the group members, take care of all accounting, deliver travel documents, and in general, do everything required prior to the trip.


Earn Free Travel

Many travel suppliers – cruise lines in particular,  provide groups with certain incentives, in order to attract groups to travel with them.  One of these incentives is to provide fare credit for every so many paid bookings.  A typical ratio is 1 to 16.  In other words, for every 16 paid bookings, the 17th receives a credit toward one base fare.  Depending on the size and nature of the group, this ratio can sometimes be reduced to 1 to 12, or even 1 to 10.  If you are the group leader, you may benefit from this by receiving that credit.  The actual amount of the credit may vary, based on the number of each category room or class of passage that is booked.  Often, government fees, taxes, some other fees, and a portion of the fare are excluded from the credit.  At the very least, you can expect a substantial discount if the minimum number of passengers is booked.  And at best, you and your traveling companion will go on the trip absolutely free.

Note that travel credit is not available on all trips.  Occasionally, when such a credit is provided by the travel supplier, depending upon the size and/or nature of the group, the travel credit may be required to subsidize group events, or be otherwise distributed.  In these events, no credit could be offered to the group leader.  Such contingencies will be made clear prior to booking the group.


What We Expect of You

As the group leader, you are the “pied piper” – the person around whom people gather, and the person whom others will follow.  In that vein, we expect you to help us promote the trip.  While we take care of the details, you would talk about the trip, help to distribute fliers, brochures, or other materials, and perhaps even help passengers to complete booking forms.  In return for this work, you may be able to earn the travel credit as described above.

Beyond bringing the group together and helping to promote it, we look for you to do nothing, other than enjoy your trip.  We will be along to host the trip, deal with cruise or tour staff, arrange parties, events, or meetings, act as the central point of contact during the trip, help to resolve any problems that arise during travel, do our best to answer all questions from your group members, and make sure that your trip is the best that it can be – for you and every member of your group.


Other Services

Remember that Star & Compass Travel can help you with all events during the trip, including planning and arranging meetings, conferences, seminars, and other events.  If you are leading a Masonic Family group, we can assist you in planning and putting on an “Initiation at Sea”.

We can also help you in making your trip a fundraiser for your organization, or in using the trip to raise funds for
charitable purposes.