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Traveling can be tricky enough on your own, but as you add more people to the group, it can turn into a maze of decisions and arguments. Thankfully, with some flexibility, communication and planning, you can avoid most of the pitfalls that come with traveling with a big group. Here are some of our top tips for making a group trip go as smoothly as possible.
1. Be Flexible
With a large group, not everyone can do everything they want. Agree to do different things. Half the group can do one activity, while the other can do something else. It’s totally okay to not stay together all the time. You’ll also want to stay flexible in terms of rest time. There will be moments on the trip where you’ll be ready for a nap. It’s okay to spend less time exploring the city at night and stay in for some rest. If you’re the adventurous type, it may help to pencil in some relaxation time specifically for this purpose.
2. Plan Accommodations and Travel in Advance
Trying to find accommodations for large groups at the last minute is not a reliable way to plan. Reserve your stay, car rentals and tours as far in advance as possible. It helps to stay aware of some of the in-demand vacation spots that stay popular year-round, such as Princeville, Hawaii, and Sacramento, California, so you know which destinations are hardest to book and you can plan accordingly.
3. Have a Non-Traditional Stay
Hotels aren’t always the cheapest or easiest option for groups. Consider renting an entire house or apartment so you can all hang out, have group dinners and stay together.
4. Choose Locations With Group Activities
Places like Las Vegas, New Orleans and Philadelphia are great places for groups if you want to keep moving and do new activities. Big cities have plenty of tours, experiences and shows for larger groups. You could also spend some time at a ski resort or campground for a quieter experience, where you can go fishing, hiking and more as a group.
5. Budget Carefully
With such a large crew with you, it helps to budget — especially if you’re going to one of those big cities. Budgeting in Las Vegas or Nashville is very different from budgeting in smaller areas. Plan out your trip carefully to avoid any surprise expenses. Consider using an app that will help you split bills evenly, and check for group discounts on your activities.
6. Agree on Your Budget Upfront
Some people may have very different ideas about how much they want to spend on the trip. Try to agree on your budgets for food and activities, or split things up so people can spend more on the things that are most important to them. In a survey, some 37% of Millenials and Gen Xers indicated they were willing to splurge on food and drink expenses, but that leaves another 63% that would rather not. Know which camp your group members fall into.
7. Travel at Non-Peak Times
To save on transportation expenses, consider booking airfare on the off-season or on specific days that are cheaper. You can also save by traveling in the middle of the week, as prices tend to be lower than on the weekend.
Send your itinerary to everyone and make sure you all have access to the group chat. While it’s important for everyone to keep tabs on the group, it’s also important to make sure you all get along and enjoy the trip. Don’t become a control freak. But if you’re not up to a certain activity or you’d rather do something else, speak up about it. Chances are good someone else is feeling the same and didn’t want to say it. Then, you can all enjoy the trip.
9. Use Your Experts
Everyone in the group has a different strength. You might have a super planner, an expert navigator, a foreign language speaker and a budget extraordinaire. Split up certain tasks and let these people shine for an efficient trip. If you’re traveling with a group soon, don’t worry. You can minimize the stress of the trip and make it fun and relaxing if you follow these simple travel tips.
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