Girls trip, guys trip, couples trips, group trips, family vacation….Travel is always better when you experience it with the ones you love and the whole purpose of a trip is to have a great time!
BUT planning travel with others can be challenging. It takes a little effort to make sure everyone’s wants and needs are being met but it can be done, everyone’s sanity still intact!
Successfully plan a trip with friends by following the steps listed in this article
So you want to plan a fun getaway with friends?
Are you wanting to plan a road trip with friends? Or maybe meet up half way around the world? No matter what kind of trip you have in mind a little planning goes a long way to ensure that your trip is a great trip.
The easy steps in this article will help you seamlessly plan group travel while simultaneously allowing everyone to feel involved in the planning process!
But before we start the “how to plan a trip with friends” planning process let’s discuss the one thing that will give you the best chance at a successfully planned and successfully taken trip.
Before we start: Different Needs
The #1 important thing should keep in mind when organizing a group trip and planning group travel is that everyone’s opinion matters. All participants get a vote on all decisions.
How to organize a trip with friends
Keeping all participants in the travel planning loop can be tricky. Here’s how to get started with group trip planning:
Long email chains? you could send off dozen’s (100’s?) of emails with “reply to all” back and forth (did you forget to reply to all? Did someone get left out of the loop?)
Group calls? Sure as long as everyone can be available at the same time (who’s taking notes?)
I like to use group chat (not group texts, those are the WORST) but the problem with group chats is they get very long and unorganized.
The FIRST place you should consider:
Table of Contents
Create a Facebook Group
That’s where my #1 trip planning resource for planning and organizing group travel: Social Media is a great way to plan a trip with a group of friends and can save you a lot of time and work. It works for any size travel group, a larger group, smaller groups,
Wondering how to plan a trip with friends the easy way? Facebook groups are the absolute best tool and a good starting point in the planning process! It works the same for a large group or just two of you! long weekends or epic trips across the sea!
Why Facebook Groups?
Organizing group travel with Facebook groups is a snap but what if you don’t use Facebook? You can still use these tips just start a google doc instead.
How to plan a holiday with friends? The #1 best way, Facebook groups! of my #1 top resource for nearly seamless planning of travel with friends is Facebook groups. Keep reading to find out how!
Why use Facebook groups when planning a group trip?
- Everyone has their own travel style. You can use Facebook groups to find the middle ground.
- Share travel plans: You can all communicate about your trip in one place.
- It’s organized and I like organization!
- Group members can participate on their terms and when their schedule allows.
- It’s SEARCHABLE! What I love most is the searchable feature. “Let’s see…we discussed golf cart rental weeks ago in the group but I can’t quite recall the details.” Search for it! (magnifying glass at the top of the page)
Who’s the group leader?
First thing: you will want to create a private group for your trip and share with everyone.
Hopefully you have a travel planner in the group. You need one person to step up and take charge at the very least to create the group and start a few basic conversation posts.
If you don’t have anyone who is willing to start the process you might want to consider booking an all-inclusive somewhere and just show up with your swimsuit, sunblock and sunny disposition! Not a terrible proposition!
How to create a Facebook group
Creating a Facebook group is super simple. If you don’t know how you can follow these steps:
Creating a Facebook group on a desktop/laptop computer. First step: on the far left in the scroll down menu select “groups.” On the left again towards the top is a blue bar that says “+create new group.” Now simply start filling in the blanks, easy!
Creating a Facebook group on a phone
Depending which application you are using to view Facebook,
- One application works this way: you’ll see the group symbol at the top (a circle with people inside it.) When you select it you’ll see a bar at the top “+create group.”
- Another application works this way: Select the 3 menu bar lines at the top, go to groups, then the dark circle with the plus sign at the top of the page. Not working? try hitting the back button.
Getting Started: How to plan a group trip using Facebook Groups
Now that you have created a group of people and all of your travel companions have accepted their invitation you want to start a discussion to answer these questions:
use Facebook to keep it fair
What happens when opinions differ?
Some things to consider when planning a trip with friends are differing opinions. Differing opinions are are a normal part of planning a trip with friends, even with your closest friends.
Here are some easy ways to ensure that everyone gets a vote when organizing group travel.
- Have everyone give their top 3-5 choices and see what matches up.
- Another option is to let participants take turns making choices.
The first thing you probably want to do is decide on a travel budget. It may make a difference on where you will go and set the tone for the whole trip. I have some ideas throughout this article on how to address differences on this subject so keep reading but if you need to start a post to see how much money everyone wants to spend.
Where and When?
Where do you want to go?
Your first order is to pick your spot. Create a post asking where everyone would like to go.
Epic road trip or travel internationally? New places or something familiar? Popular destination or something off the beaten path? Beach babes or Snow bunnies? refreshing mountains or a desert scape? Create a post!
Again, have everyone pick their top 3-5 choices and see what matches up!
Need ideas? Looking for bucket list travel destinations? Adventure? Fun in the sun? Hidden gems? Magical places? Unique experiences? Find all of those and more on my Fun Pick’s Travel Inspiration Blog Categories page!
Now that you know where you want to go you will want to pick a date.
Certain destinations are best visited at certain times of the year. Beach vacation? avoid hurricane season. Despise crowds? shoulder season! like the mountains but not snow? steer clear of cold months.
You’ll be dealing with work and/or school schedules, prior commitments and some people in your group may need a long time to save.
How will you get there?
Whether you are traveling together or meeting at your destination, go ahead and start a post about transportation to your destination. This way everyone is on the same page and knows when others are arriving and departing etc.
Looking to score a cheap flight?
Google flights is a great place to shop for the best deals on cheap flights. They show results for most airlines. You can even track flights and get notifications of fare changes so you can get great deals on your airfare!
Transportation at your destination
You will likely need some form of transportation when you arrive whether it’s airport shuttle, public transportation, rental car etc. Maybe you’re taking a road trip and need to discuss who’s driving and what is expected from passengers as far as contributing to fuel/toll expenses. Once you all agree on your mode of transportation someone will want to, look up transit schedules, information on purchasing train tickets, researching car rentals etc.
Where will you stay?
Will you share hotel rooms? Rent multi bedroom accommodations? Gather information on accommodations at your destination, start a post and start sharing links. I like to start a post “accommodations” and share the options in the comments to keep things neat and organized. I like Booking.com and VRBO for searching out accommodation options.
Start searching now!
What if you don’t agree on accommodations?
3 star hotel or 5 star hotel? Hostel or vacation rental? This is one area where budgets may not agree.
Some of us are night owls, while some of us think the early bird should get the worm!
If you can’t come to a consensus on a price range or if you worry that your close friends may keep you up or all night OR get you up at the crack of dawn you could consider staying in different accommodations and meeting up for meals and activities. It just depends on how much time you want to spend together but having your own space isn’t always a bad thing.
One of the best one stop shops for planning activities is tripadvisor. I simply google “ best things to do in _____ ” and then make my way down the list. Now you can create a post with activity options and again let people choose their top 3-5.
Where will you eat?
Dining tastes run the price range gamut. I prefer middle of the road restaurants. I’ve traveled with people who are into Michelin type fine dining.
This is where the compromise comes in. You can either take a vote, majority wins OR I like to take turns choosing so that everyone gets to eat somewhere that they like.
I do my restaurant research the same way I do my activity research “best places to eat in _____.”
More planning may be in order
I find beach vacations require a lot less time planning than my whirlwind European vacations do. If yours is a little more complicated, just keep creating those Facebook posts until you have it all hashed out. Things you may want to work out:
- Opening times/days/prices. It’s never fun to show up at Versailles or Windsor Castle just to find out they are closed! Or miss the last sailing for that sunset catamaran excursion you were looking forward to.
- Map out routes and points of interest on your trip. I like to get an idea of my surroundings and know where things are in relation to one another.
“travel is better when you experience it with the ones you love”
Other useful features of Facebook groups
You can even create a poll for your group!
It’s simple to do. Here’s how! Create a post and click the 3 dots…
as you can see you have some really useful options here. In addition to creating a poll you can also create an event, add a file, use write columns (that’s new and ridiculously useful! can’t wait to use that one!) create a room, live video, and host a question and answer!
What if you don’t use Facebook?
How do you deal with trip expenses?
How do you approach trip expenses when traveling with friends, family, and groups? This can be a tricky subject.
Some ways to deal with trip expenses are:
- Everyone pays their own way unless discussed beforehand.
- Share the booking responsibilities: example: You can book the first 4 nights, let them book the last 4. Keep a running total of who booked what and how much they spent. It’s pretty easy to keep things square this way. You can make a post for keeping track of expenses too!
- Our Airbnb booking allowed us to split the cost between 3 people guests at our Irish Castle Rental.
- Pay for your own tickets, fees etc. whenever possible. That’s less you have to settle up on later.
Avoid taking on the entire expense of the trip unless you can accept getting stuck with the entire bill.
We have all heard horror stories of people losing money on trips when they had to cancel. I always recommend purchasing “cancel for any reason travel insurance.” I like to shop at the Travel Insurance.com website where “cancel for any reason” is one of the search parameters.
Also check with your credit card. Many of them include travel protection.
I have had a friend cancel, I went anyway. It was my first solo travel experience and it was a huge success! Yes, it would have been nice to have someone to share transportation and accommodation costs with but I really wanted to go, so I did!
Want to know how to keep track of expenses? Check out Splitwise! Keep track of your shared expenses and balances with housemates, trips, groups, friends, and family. Free to use, pro version Available! It’s RIDICULOUSLY easy!
How do you have a good trip with your friends? avoid conflicts? and keep it happy?
The Golden Rule, treat others the way you want to be treated. It’s that simple.
- Do not: be a jerk
- Do: Be kind and courteous.
You may find yourself feeling annoyed, anxious or stressed out. Put on your grownup pants and stay respectful or else they may not be willing to travel with you again any time soon, or ever!
Ways to avoid getting “cranky”
Avoid getting cranky and ensure good travel experiences it’s a good idea to:
- We all need alone time. Schedule some down time where everyone has a chance to recover, relax and rejuvenate
- Naps are great!
- Traveling can get hectic at times. Try to stick to meal times or find some delectable treat to enjoy (you’re on vacation!) No one is on their best behavior when they’re overly hungry.
You won’t always get your way
One of the top things to consider when planning a trip for groups: You won’t always get your way.
Get everyone involved in the planning, everyone should be willing to compromise or be willing to go off on their own on occasion (NOT the end of the world!)
what if your not having a good time?
The reality is things may not go the way you had hoped. People can act badly and the stresses involved in travel can turn your lovely bff into a bratty toddler even when they’re with their best friends.
Don’t let your travel partner/partners steam roll you.
If you are feeling disrespected or otherwise mistreated and are at your breaking point, don’t hesitate to speak up and if the behavior persists by all means don’t be afraid to go your own way for a time and enjoy yourself!
Group trip planning: in conclusion
So now you and your travel friends have some tools to help you make a trip with good friends a big success!
It’s all about quality time. You can plan a road trip with friends or a getaway half way around the world! simply plan a trip with friends using Facebook groups, one of the best tools for organizing group travel! You may even find yourself using it to plan a big family vacation / family reunions and anything else your imagination dreams up!
Group trip, girls trip, guys trip, family trip or couples trip round up your favorite travel friends and start planning your best trip yet!
This post is dedicated to my sister-in-law who introduced me to using Facebook groups to plan travel and family events. Thank you Angie Marie Kunze!
Free “Planning a Group Trip Checklist”
Make travel planning with others a snap with this free Group Trip Planning Checklist!
Want more travel planning tips?
Good news! You don’t have to hire a travel agent to plan the perfect trip. Here are some of my best travel planning articles:
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How to plan a trip for beginners! Wanting to plan your dream trip?
Travel obsessed? Want more travel tips? ? You may be interested in my “know before you go” travel page and be sure to submit your email address to my subscriber sign up at the end of the page to be the first to know when a new blog publishes!