How to plan a group trip

Planning a group trip requires a lot of work – from figuring out where you’re going to stay to finding good flight deals. In this article, we will give you tips you can use to organize everything so when the time comes, you and your group of friends can relax and enjoy a nice vacation.

Start by choosing dates

 By far the most important and divisive question is that of dates. Everyone is free at different times, so you need a lot of coordination to find dates that work for everyone. In this day and age, going at a certain date also probably requires your friends to take a vacation. Or people in the group of friends might have other commitments in those dates. Organizing all of this takes quite a bit of time, but there are a number of apps where you can create polls so people can vote for dates that work for them. Then obviously you go with the dates that work for most people and hope that others can join you as well.

Decide where you want to go

As with dates, getting many people to agree on a destination can be quite difficult. Someone has already been to a certain destination, others simply want a different type of vacation. Possibilities for why a certain doesn’t work can be endless. The point is to, once again, get everyone’s inputs and go with what the majority wants. Be sure to communicate potential activities, shows, or excursions for each destination, so members of your group can make an informed decision.

Book flights

Seemingly an easy task, booking flights can get complicated very fast. You need to collect money to pay for tickets, and in the meantime, the prices of tickets can increase. Alternatively, you might not even need to book tickets – the group can simply go on a cruise. Cruises are a lot of fun and offer opportunity to see many places in short span of time. Plus you can wear fun cruise t-shirts for a group.

Once you have the tickets, or decide to go on a cruise, there is no turning back. So make sure everyone in the group is committed to taking the trip before booking tickets.

Choose a place to stay

With flight tickets secured, you are free to start looking for accomodations. Obviously, the place where you are going to stay will affect quality of the entire trip. So make sure to choose wisely. Personally, I’ve grown cold on Airbnb and prefer to book hotels instead. I don’t even book them on any aggregator. Instead, I browse hotels on aggregators and directly contact the hotels to get the best deal. Since there will be a lot of people in your group, you can do the same and get a good deal on accomodations.

You should also consider a number of things. Will you be staying at a full-inclusive restaurant, cooking yourselves, or eating out? This, of course, depends on your budget. Price of the hotel will also depend on whether you want to stay right in the heart of resort or somewhere remote. Such decisions should be based on your budget and whether there is a viable transportation system to make sure you get to fully appreciate your destination. Renting a car is not a bad idea, but sometimes local roads are not suitable for driving, especially for foreigners.

Figure out the transportation

Booking flights is only first step to figuring out the transportation. You also need to think about how you and your group are going to move once you arrive at the destination. Depending on where you’re going, you might want to choose a car or rely on public transport. When I was on vacation to Amalfi coast, renting a car was not practical because of narrow roads. Buses were faster and most of the time, cheaper as well. However, in most places, these limitations will not apply and getting a car is probably the fastest and relatively cheap way to go from one place to the next.

If you’re taking a family vacation, cruise might be a good option. Cruises simplify the travel – they take you to your destination and provide accommodation as well. Most importantly, you can wear cool cruiset-shirts for the whole family and spend your vacation with style.

If you decide to fly, also consider the questions of going to and coming back from the airport. You will likely have a luggage, so renting a minivan taxi is probably the best idea to go to the airport. It also adds to the whole experience of group trip.

Also have a plan for when you arrive at the resort. How are you going to reach your accommodation on the first day? Perhaps a consultation with hotel or owner of the Airbnb can help you secure transfer on the first day. Depending on size of your friend group, a minivan or shuttle transfer is your best bet to travel comfortably.

Plan activities

Everywhere you go, there is something to do and see. Make sure to compile a checklist of must-see sights and must-do activities for the place where you are going. Some travel planning apps allow you to compile a list of activities/sights and attach corresponding videos and photographs to the list. You can browse sites like tripadvisor to find tours and guides that allow you to explore the place and find all it has to offer.

Don’t forget to make reservations for most popular attractions and reservations. These establishments can have queues.

Agree on how to handle finances

For me, splitting finances is the most difficult part of going on a group trip. Decide how you are going to handle situations like going to a restaurant. Does everyone pay for what they ordered, or do you all split the bill? Also figure out a fair way to divide shared expenses.

Make sure you have travel essentials

The tips above should help you plan your group getaway. Now the only thing left is to ensure you have all travel essentials – from passports to good backpacks – to have a good time abroad.

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