Okay, this is one of those “why the hell am I even blogging this?” other than “I need the practice”, but …
So it’s Spring Break time, and it’s over for most everyone. Some people had a bad time, sure, and let’s look into one small subset of it: the number of people in a group. One of my friends was talking about a bad experience from a three-person trip that she took a few months ago, and something that I’ve always thought occurred to me, so here is my hypothesis:
When taking a trip with a group of people, you need to have no fewer than five and no more than ten people.
Let’s look at how it breaks down:
- A two-person trip isn’t a group trip. Also, two people are gonna bicker.
- Three people has a huge problem: when the group breaks down. If all three members agree to do something, it’s great! But if it’s not unanimous, it’s almost always two people wanting to go one way and one another. When that breaks down, you either have one unhappy person in the group or two people who go off and leave the third, leaving you with either an unhappy group or a fractured one.
- Four people is a bad idea, too: if it’s 2-2, that’s fine, but it’s generally going to regularly break down that way, and that’s not a group trip. A lot of 2-2 comes from romantic relationships — “Let’s go to LA together!” — and, well, that’s not a group trip, nor is that fair to the other couple, at least one of whom wanted to hang out, or the trip never would’ve happened in the first place. When it’s 3-1, the one is going to feel very, very ganged-up-on.
- Five people is a good number. Rarely will it be 4-1; if it is, the one person usually sucks it up and deals. The other breakdowns are 3-2 and 2-2-1. While those breakdowns aren’t really great, they’re usually dynamic. I’ve been on trips with both three other people and four other people, and I love the latter ones way more.
- Six people is an okay number, but it is going to break down into even numbers more than odd ones. Having an even number doesn’t make for a lot of churn, and I always find that churn is what makes group trips fun.
- Seven people is like five: 6-1 is rare, 5-2 is okay, and 4-3 and 3-2-2 work for shorts stints.
- Eight has the same problems that six does.
- Nine, being odd, has the same advantages as five and seven. Also, when you have nine people, you can have one hell of a time if you go to a bar as a group. All those group churn dynamics can happen in the span of 10-15 minutes.
- Once you get to ten, you’re really not a group anymore.
And now that I’ve posted something foofy about group dynamics to get it out of my head, I’ll go back to … planning a solo trip halfway across the country.