Karissa Wikert

Apr 29 2019

Why Group Travel with Friends Club?


Traveling with a group can be extremely rewarding. Friends Club handles the details, keeping everything simple for our guests so they can relax and enjoy the sights, sounds, and experiences of group travel to its fullest!

Here are our top reasons why traveling with a group is better:

  1. It’s cost-effective. Since everyone shares the cost of accommodations, transportation, food, and tour tickets, you save money. Groups, unlike solo travelers, get special rates and discounts offered by hotels, resorts, and airlines.
  2. It encompasses expertise. Group travel through a travel club and agency includes customized itineraries, a professional tour manager, and licensed local guides for sightseeing and tours.
  3. It’s worry-free and care-free. You typically see and do twice as much in a group as you would on your own. Details are planned well in advance, which saves you time and stress.
  4. It’s safer. Traveling alone or as a couple – especially in foreign countries – can be risky. Traveling with a group provides safety in numbers, reduces risk of getting lost, and gives support in the event of sickness or injury.
  5. It enables unique experiences and special considerations. Many times group travel is eligible for certain perks such as special tours and priority services. Airport check-ins and customs agents tend to prioritize group tours so they do not wait in long queues.
  6. It offers socializing and friendship. Whether you are traveling with old or new friends, group travel makes your adventures fun and memorable as you experience them with others who share your interests.

When you travel with Friends Club, you will enjoy additional benefits.

  1. Our trips are very inclusive with no hidden fees or hassles. Beyond the trip price,   members often only spend extra money on personal items, souvenirs, and any meals and beverages not listed on the itinerary. Everything from gratuities and admission fees to airline flights are included in the trip price.
  2. Medical insurance is included in the price of most trips. It covers medical issues that cause you to cancel your trip after making your final payment, and also covers you during the trip should you need medical attention.
  3. All trips include free parking at local pick-up locations, where a tour manager will meet you and accompany you throughout the trip.
  4. We contract with an experienced travel agency to design well-planned itineraries that they have experienced firsthand. While planned activities and free time are well-balanced, travelers are free to opt-out of group activities based on individual preferences.
  5. In preparation for our trips, we provide a detailed booklet that includes travel tips, frequently asked questions, and a daily itinerary. For trips involving flights, we hold a pre-departure meeting to discuss the travel booklet and answer questions.
  6. Often deposits are fully refundable if you need to cancel before the final payment.

Not a Friends Club member?

Hills Bank customers who are age 50 or better and maintain $10,000 or more in household deposits qualify to join Friends Club. You can sign up for Friends Club at any Hills Bank branch by meeting with a personal banker. Learn more about the benefits of Friends Club by visiting HillsBank.com/FriendsClub.

Our various activities provide opportunities for you to connect with new friends over shared interests and experiences. We invite you to discover the valuable services and memorable experiences that the Friends Club provides to more than 14,000 members.

Karissa Wikert

About Karissa Wikert

Karissa Wikert is the Friends Club Director located at Hills Bank’s Iowa City Gilbert Street location. Karissa is from Ringsted, Iowa and a graduate of the University of Northern Iowa. She has worked in marketing and public relations for the past 12 years and enjoys travel and building relationships. Karissa can be reached at Karissa_Wikert@HillsBank.com.

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