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Traveling in Packs Made Easier with New Site for Booking Large Groups

This website makes planning a family reunion, destination wedding or any many-personed trip a whole lot easier.

August 20, 2004 -- Have you ever been the poor soul stuck with the responsibility of planning your family reunion, or somehow you've ended up being the one putting 10 friends' hotel accommodations on your credit card because nobody else has stepped forward? Well those days are behind you, thanks to the introduction of the first dedicated group travel website called, aptly, (888/447-66753;

Groople, a merging of "groups" & "people," calls itself a travel marketplace, because it really does offer everything in one convenient place, and it certainly takes the stress out of group traveling. The website was launched only this month but it has already become an instant hit (pardon the pun) for the group leisure travel market. At its most basic level, Groople offers an automated online booking service catering to all types of groups who may choose to travel together, or who have been thrown together. Sporting groups, alumni, family reunions, religious retreats, weddings, bachelor parties and military get togethers -- any cluster you can imagine, Groople can help.

So whether you are planning your 20 year fraternity reunion with a bunch of beer-drinking buddies in Las Vegas or just trying to get your family together in one place from 7 different states, Groople can help you book flights, get the best group rates on hotels and can even organize your mini van or bus rental to shepherd your gathering around.

You do have to register to use Groople, but it's an easy and painless exercise, and you also have to appoint a group lead -- or volunteer yourself. But after that, the process becomes blissfully simple. The site also assists you with essential checklists and planning tools that will facilitate the perfect get together. Some of their helpful suggestions include group activities to keep all ages happy, digital photography for events, and even a priceless wedding planning list of "must do's".

Group members have the ability to pay for their own trips and customize their itinerary -- which means the appointed group leader doesn't end up doing all the work, nor incurring all the expense. Groople allows a group leader to book travel and accommodation for five rooms or more in a single online session, something other sites just don't have the capacity to do. You can also request a block of rooms but then leave it up to the rest of your group to arrange payments, additions, deletions and changes. Groople's database includes 56,000 hotels and offers real-time discount rates at more than 7,000 of these. As a member, you can sign up to receive special travel offers via e-mail related to group travel.

Currently you can search for flights for up to 6 passengers at once, although soon the booking numbers will be extended to service even the largest of groups. A non-refundable service fee of $10 per ticket is charged at the time of booking in order to offer low prices and access to customer care agents 24 /7, 365 days a year (including holidays). By nature, Groople is predominantly a domestic travel service, although it also includes cruises, adding that international flavor to your next group vacation. Somehow the thought of cruising the blue waters of the Caribbean makes the idea of a week with 20 relatives even more appealing.

Groople will be constantly expanding its services. Later this year, it is planning to add even more time and energy saving options including package vacations, menu planning and meeting room bookings.

So there's never been a better time to get to get together with friends, family, colleagues or compatriots.