Pro Tips for Traveling with a Group

by GO GlobeHopper

When it comes to traveling with a group of friends or several family members, there is a fine line between an exciting, rewarding vacation and a trip that ends in total dismay.  Everyone needs to realize that different people come with different personalities, incomes, opinions, and stress levels. And the more people there are, the more there is to deal with.  But, when done correctly, traveling with a group can lead to a fantastic experience that will bring the group closer together and provide everyone with precious memories. We’ve compiled a list of pro tips to ensure everyone in the group will be returning home from vacation with a smile on their face.

Assign Roles

Everyone will be excited to get the ball rolling, but if everyone is attempting the same task and trying to get their two cents in, the situation can become confusing and chaotic. For this reason, try assigning roles. For example, if one or two people in the group excel at research, have one investigate the best hotel deals and dining options, while the other explores ideas for the best things to see and do in the region.  If it’s a road trip, have someone organize snacks and music playlists while the best drivers of the group plot the route and do the driving.  In essence, use everyone’s strengths to the group’s advantage. This will make everyone feel needed as well as take the stress off the one Type-A traveler who feels like they have to do all the pre-trip planning.

Be Flexible

Plans change, especially when many people are involved, so try to keep the itinerary loose and flexible. A fun way to plan and make sure everyone is in the loop is to get together before the trip so everyone will have the opportunity to voice their opinion and feel heard.  Then, decide on the definite things the group wants to do and see. If agreeing on absolutely everything can’t be accomplished, consider the idea of temporarily breaking into two groups for a day so that Group A can see the thing that interests them most and Group B can do the same without anyone feeling resentful.  Whatever you do, keep an open mind and be flexible.

Make a Budget

Everyone’s budget is different and traveling with different budgets is entirely possible as long as everyone is transparent and on the same page. Communication is key which means getting together and discussing expectations for a budget. It makes it easier when figuring out travel and hotel costs, when choosing places to eat, and when planning activities. Be sure to leave some wiggle room because sometimes cost expectations and realities are much different. Splitwise is an app that can be downloaded onto everyone’s smartphone to keep track of expenses during trips, making it perfect for group travel.

Be Democratic

Going on a trip isn’t as fun when one person dictates everything that happens. To avoid that, try being democratic. This can be done in several ways: allowing everyone to voice their opinions, or voting by raising hands, but that can get confusing, and voices can get lost in all the chatter. Instead, a great app to try out is Doodle, which can be used on a computer or as a downloadable app. Doodle is an easy and user-friendly way to be democratic when deciding where to go and what to see.

Book in Advance

Suppose there are concrete things the group wants to do, like go to a fancy restaurant or go on a particular excursion. In that case, it is a good idea to make the reservations well in advance. Pre-booking will cause less of a headache than waiting in long lines during high travel seasons or possibly missing out altogether because the place or activity becomes fully booked up by the time you arrive at your vacation destination. Plus, it may be more cost-effective if the group books flights, trains, or accommodations a couple of months in advance.

Plan Time to Decompress

Just because you’re on vacation doesn’t mean you constantly have to be on the go. Everyone will appreciate some downtime while traveling in a group. That same sentiment goes for alone time. The introverts of the group will need some time to recharge, so plan for that. Whether that means breaking off from the group and going solo for the day or just spending time to yourself during breakfast, it can be a great way to decompress. After a day of solo travel, every one can meet up again for dinner and share their exciting stories.

Use a Travel Agent

When planning a group trip, it might be in the group’s best interest to use a travel agent. It is an agent’s job to book flights, accommodations, and tours, no matter the number of people going on the trip. They know where and how to get the best deals for the group. They also know who to talk to if something goes wrong along the way.

If this isn’t reason enough, we have a Top 10 Reasons to Use a Professional Travel Agent that’ll be sure to sway you.

Have Fun!

The most important thing to do is to have fun. Although planning and successfully executing a group trip can be stressful, it’ll all work out in the end as long as everyone makes it their primary goal to enjoy the vacation. Just think, you get to explore a piece of the world and create lifelong memories with a group of friends or family members, so be sure to savor it.


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