No matter if you’re three people or thirty, travelling as a group can come as a challenge at times. With all the hassle of trying to plan, organise and book for several people at once, you might feel like giving up on your group outing before you even begin.
Thankfully, there are a couple of simple tips that every traveller can follow to help ensure smooth and care-free group travels.
Set up a communication channel
Do yourself a favour, and set up a communal space where everyone can communicate with each other, whether it be Facebook, email, WhatsApp or whatever latest tool everyone is using these days.
Having one established communication channel ensures that everyone knows where to go if they need to ask a question to the entire group or start a conversation about the trip — without having to go back to old messages or rely information to everyone in the group one at a time. Keep it simple, and use whichever platform everyone is most comfortable with.
Figure out the money situation
Decide as a group how you are going to handle payments for the trip. Is one person going to pay for everything upfront and the rest pay that person back after? Are you going to split every bill evenly as a group?
To make things easier, we suggest downloading some apps that will do the math for you and save you the hassle of splitting up the bills manually. The super-handy Splitwise app keeps track of money and who owes who how much. Best of all, it’s free and available for iPhone and Android. There’s also Venmo, which allows you to send money requests to whoever you’re travelling with to remind them to pay you back.
You can use these apps not only during your travels, but also before you jet off to help with the pre-trip flight and accommodation bookings.
Determine your travel preferences beforehand
Before you book anything, find out what everyone is into and get an idea of how everyone travels. What kind of accommodation is everyone comfortable with? What is their preferred budget? Are they nature lovers or city people? Is someone in the group a foodie, a fashion fanatic, an architecture nerd?
The better you know your group, the less likely you’ll have to deal with arguments and all the headaches that come with little disagreements over what to see and do during the trip.
Book your flights first
Lock your travel plans in place by first booking the flights. You’ll be relieved to know who for sure is coming and where you’re all going together. Once you have a start and end date, it will be much easier to organise and fill in the rest of the stay with activities and what not.
Plus, the earlier you book, the more likely you’ll be to save money on the airfare, as flight prices typically go up the closer you get to the departure date.
If you’re having problems choosing a destination and can’t decide where to go, check out momondo’s Trip Finder. You can set your budget, choose which airport to fly out from and even select what type of trip you are interested in (cities, beaches, nature, nightlife, etc.)
- This is how to find cheap flights
- Hidden airline fees: how to avoid paying extra for your flight
- How to book the best connecting flights for your next trip
Buy the tickets together
If it’s possible, once you’ve decided on your flight, designate one person to purchase the tickets for everyone. This way you’ll increase the chances of being seated together.
You can of course purchase tickets separately, but you run the risk of someone not getting the same date, time or even price. In this case, if everyone is coming from different destinations, you can search for flights separately on momondo and save a flight route and rate that you think would work best for you. Then you can come back later on any device or computer once everyone is ready to purchase.
To do this, first set up your profile on momondo and once you have found your preferred flight, simply click on the little heart in the top right corner of the search result to favourite it.
Think about all accommodation options
Consider the numerous types of accommodation out there and see what will work best for everyone. Does everyone want their own hotel room? Does the group want to stay together in an apartment or a holiday house? How about a quaint bed and breakfast in the countryside? The possibilities are endless! (well, almost)
Focus on the details
It’s not enough to simply know where you’re going and where you’ll be sleeping at night, but you should also be prepared for the little things. How will you get from the airport to the hotel? Do you plan to rent a bike in the city? Have you made dinner reservations anywhere?
Details matter, so that when it comes time to make a timely decision, no one has to panic or stress out. But at the same time…
When you have to organise several people at once, it’s tempting to pencil in everyone’s schedule from the minute they wake up to when they go to sleep. But try to leave a few hours or even days in your schedule for un-planned sight-seeing with locals, spontaneous nights out, hours of people-watching, souvenir shopping and what not.
Leave some leeway for unexpected adventures that could arise.
Have your own to do list
Just because you’re travelling in a group doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be able to see and do everything you wanted to on your holiday. You might be spending hundreds of pounds on your trip, so you might as well enjoy it.
Come up with a list of your must-dos and make sure to mention to the rest of the group that these things are important to you, who knows, others might want to join you in doing some of the same things.
Leave time for downtime
Travelling in a group for any amount of time can be overwhelming at times. With the constant interaction at all times of the day, most people in the group will appreciate some time to spend to themselves.
As a group, try to agree in advance that just because you’re all travelling together as a group, that doesn’t mean you have to spend every waking minute together. It’s totally fine to go to a museum on your own, read a book, relax in a café, go for a swim — whatever you need to do. As long as you all agree to this, there shouldn’t be any drama.
Split up the tasks
Don’t let one person do all the planning, the booking, the handling money — it’s not fair for all the pressure to fall on one person. Realise what everyone’s strengths are and let each person take charge of what they are best at. For example, whoever is great at finding hotel deals should be in charge of booking rooms, or whoever is the best at researching new destinations should be in charge of tours and sight-seeing.
Use offline apps
Apps are the best, especially the ones that make travelling easier for everyone. It never hurts to download a couple offline city guides if you don’t want to use roaming or all your data searching for directions and things to do. Luckily, momondo has 24 of these apps that you can download for free on iOS.
Learn more about how to travel like a pro: