There’s nothing quite like sharing travel experiences with your best mates. But we know the organization needed to pull off a group holiday is daunting, so we’ve put together a checklist to alleviate the stress of coordinating and booking a memorable trip. If you’re planning an epic adventure for you and your mates, follow our advice to ensure it’s an effortless experience for everyone - no stressing necessary!
1. MAKE THE EVENT AND VERIFY IT WITH A GROUP CHAT
Once the location(s) and dates are generally agreed upon, create a Facebook event to make the holiday as real as can be at this point. Now make a WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger group for all potential participants - iPhone and Android users alike. You may start seeing people flake and drop out of the trip now that it’s becoming real - you don’t need them anyway.
1A. While on the topic, let’s talk about choosing your crew wisely… The success of any group trip comes down to people and how they gel together. Therefore it's best to avoid people who will likely drive you insane, or people who are flakey, unreliable, unable to go with the flow (travelling will throw you curveballs), or just simply not prepared to have a great time!
2. DISCUSS THE BUDGET AND STICK TO IT
Money is a tricky subject, but very necessary to discuss. Have a set budget and do your best not to stray from it. While on the topic of money and budgets, consider if your group would prefer to have a money pool for things like accommodation, meals, excursions, travel, etc. This may end up being beneficial, as the entire bill could be paid for from one pot, and you won’t have to worry about constantly splitting everything up. If this doesn’t seem like the best course of action for your group, there are plenty of resources to aid in the daunting task of bill splitting.
Apart from Trafari, there are many useful app for travel, especially for group travel specifically. Splitwise is an app that allows you to organize the payments for the group in one central place and track who owes whom - making the difficulty of splitting expenses just a bit easier.
3. BOOK THE FLIGHT
With budget, dates and all other factors settled, choose the place(s). Now here’s the big one: lock it in by booking the flights. Congrats, your holiday is now officially official! There are a few things to keep in mind when booking the flights, though…
Some smaller airlines offer a split-fare functionality so that your whole group can book together, sit close to one another, and one person does not have to fork up the cost of everyones tickets. If it’s easier for everyone to book their flights individually, be sure to do so around the same time, as prices frequently vary, and seats fill quickly. You wouldn’t want to end up being the one group member flying out a day late!
While on the topic, be sure to consider a much overlooked travel aspect: transport from the airport to your accommodation. Your destination will typically be accessible by bus, train, Uber/taxi or other public transport, but check into it and try to schedule ahead.
4. DECIDE ON ACCOMMODATION
Hostels are typically the go-to option for young travellers because they remain cheap and a scene to meet like-minded people. You can check out which hostels other young travellers recommend on Trafari! But sometimes bunkbeds and communal bathrooms just aren’t on your holiday wishlist. Airbnb is a great alternative for larger groups if you find a house that can fit everyone comfortably - that way the cost is split and you can enjoy your own space. Accommodation options are almost endless, so spend time deciding which works best for your group
5. START A GENERAL ITINERARY
If your holiday is a multi-location one, create a loose itinerary with the group for locations and potential dates. If you are moving locations on certain dates, your transport will need to be sorted next. Travefy is a resourceful site for making itineraries specifically for group trips. Google docs and shared calendars are also another reliable resource. We recommend tentatively planning a few tours, excursions or sightseeing adventures to identify what’s on the top of everyone’s holiday bucket list.
6. BE WILLING TO COMPROMISE
Lastly, a sound, yet vital piece of advice. Group trips often fall apart because everyone has different ideas of where they would like to visit and what to do. To keep the family together, be open minded about places and experiences that may not be your first preference. Just go with the flow once in a while, you will likely end up doing amazing things you would never think to do yourself.
Take plenty of photos, tag #trafari on social media, stay safe and enjoy your travels!