What can be better than a good trip? Maybe just traveling with good friends! Of course, granted that you plan the trip well. The process of planning a group trip might seem daunting. But you can do it if you follow some tips! Read on to learn our tips on how to plan a group trip.
1. Choose a leader or delegate responsibilities to plan the group trip
Planning a group trip is hard. It becomes even harder when everyone tries to plan together. Often, there is a natural leader in your group. It is better not to resist this dynamic and let them lead.
You can also delegate different responsibilities to different people. For example, one is responsible for the accommodation, the other for transportation, etc.
2. Know your group
People are different, and you will travel with various people. It is good to know the dynamics of the group: then you can plan the group trip accordingly with as few complaints as possible. For example, some people love nightclubs while others hate them. Your itinerary should address all needs. Allow everyone to express their opinion on the activities list.
It is also likely that some members will cancel the trip. Things happen, and often we cannot do much about it. To make things better, try to collect money two weeks before the trip. Also, it is best to book when there is the possibility of refunds.
3. Agree on a budget for the group trip
Budget is essential when traveling, and everyone should be clear on this. Otherwise, some people might end up canceling because it is too expensive for them.
We recommend individually asking each person what amount they are comfortable spending. When you ask all participants, set the budget per one person closer to the smallest amount rather than the highest. Collect the money before the trip and then use it to pay for accommodation, activities, etc. Apply for group rates whenever you can!
There are also apps to help you track and split expenses. Check out Splittr and Splitwise.
4. Consider staying in a home rather than a hotel
When someone mentions accommodation during trips, people usually think of hotels. But they are not the only choice. More and more travelers stay in vacation rentals rather than hotels. A homestay could be perfect for a large group because of savings. Other advantages include everyone staying together, being able to cook meals, and immersing more into the local culture.
5. Start early
When you book for a group, it can be hard to find seats for everyone on the same plane or rooms in the same hotel if you do it late. You have to start early. The longer and more complicated the trip, the earlier you should start. If you plan to make a road trip in your country, four months in advance is more than enough time. But if you plan to spend a week in a foreign country, you can start as early as a year in advance.
The flight tickets should be among the first things you book. Check if you qualify for a group discount. You can also let everyone book their flight by themselves: it will be easier to divide expenses later. Just make sure that everyone notes their arrival time and place in a shared document.
6. Plan what to do
While you do not have to plan all activities to a tee, think of some things to do. But do not plan everything by yourself! Everyone should have an equal voice. A good way is to vote on activities in a poll or write them down in a shared Google doc to allow everyone to express an opinion.
It might also be good to include some alone time. As much as you might like everyone in the group, they can tire you out sooner or later. Also, sometimes people want to explore different things. Alone time allows everyone to choose what to do.
Perhaps you are planning to travel to California? Check out our guide on how to plan a trip to California!
7. Use apps and disseminate information
No one wants to feel left out. Hopefully, you also do not want to leave anybody out too. Even if you are the one organizing everything, you should let everybody know everything. After all, this is not your trip: it is a group trip. So give everyone a chance to voice their options!
Fortunately, it is easier than ever to disseminate information. First, have a group chat. WhatsApp is a good choice. For storing information, Google doc is a great free tool. Everyone can view and edit the document. Some apps also allow you to create polls to vote on things to do or dates.
8. Have dinner reservations
That does not mean you have to plan every meal. You can think of breakfast and lunch already on the trip. But usually, people want to visit one or more nice restaurants for a nice meal. And hot restaurants are often full, especially if you need a table for many people. What to do? Make dinner reservations in advance!
Also, you may not want to split the bill equally when dining. Some people tend to order a three-course meal while others only have a salad. It can get messy to calculate everything, but it’s only fair to do so.
9. Get help if it’s too hard to plan the group trip by yourself
Planning is fun, but sometimes it can become too tiresome and time-consuming. But you can get help. One way is hiring a travel agent. They know about all the best destinations and hidden gems. Often, they also get special discounts. Travel agents also help meet all the different needs of every group member, which can be difficult on your own.
Another way is joining organized group tours. There are many different tours for different needs, which include lots of activities over a short time. The organized tour does not have to last during the whole trip: you can join a tour just for a day or half a day.