7 Tips You Need to Know Before Planning a Group Trip

January 04, 2018
Keri Pfeiffer (she/her)
5 min read

When planned correctly, a group trip can be one of the most enriching travel experiences out there. Just imagine all the fun you can have exploring a fantastic destination with like-minded travel companions! Traveling as a group can mean inside jokes, great stories, learning more about how to travel, and plenty of laughs. But, there's one question we need to ask first before we daydream about what could be: How do you actually plan a group trip?

First, planning a group trip involves more precise planning, communication, and a lot of organization.

We love group travel, so we want to help you plan the best group trip possible and make it one of the great ones!

Whether it's a school break trip, a party vacation with friends, a group hiking trip, or attending a festival, there are many things to consider when planning a group trip

Here are seven tips to get your group trip planning on the right route:

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How to Plan a Group Trip

1. Have a leader (or two)

In an ideal world, you could organize a group trip as, well, a group. But realistically, it’s best to appoint a group leader or two, even just to be the go-to person who knows how the planning is progressing and what needs to be done next.

If having one person as a leader seems a bit much, you could also have different people in charge of different aspects of the group trip. For example, one person for accommodation, one for researching activities and things to do, etc. You can still discuss and agree on the final choices as a group, but it will mean that the work isn’t all done by one person and that everything does actually get organized!

Play to the strengths of your group members. If there’s someone who loves planning then let them lead the way (but support them if they ask for help of course!) and if you’re all indecisive, appoint a decision maker or have a method for making decisions. It’s easier to sort all of this right at the beginning and not waste your time on vacation trying to figure out how to do things!

Group of friends planning a group vacation at a cafe

2. Agree on a budget

One of the stickiest points of group trip planning is often the budget because people can have very different ideas about how much money they like to spend when they’re traveling.

As a group, you should agree on a budget for your trip and then adhere to it.

A maximum budget for trip necessities like accommodation will mean there are no surprises for anyone when it comes to paying for the group trip! Of course, some experiences can be optional so group members can decide whether or not they want to participate, but make sure that's clear too.

Think about having a shared pot of money while you’re traveling as a group, especially if you’re staying in accommodation where you can buy your own food and drinks and cook together. It'll be easier than constantly working out how to split bills on the road.

Group of travelers enjoying fun activities during their group trip

3. Book flights or travel first

The price of flights or ground transport can drastically increase the closer the trip date gets, plus spaces can fill up leaving no room for a big group.

When you’re planning a group trip make sure you book your travel early to get the best deals and make sure you have enough space for the whole group.

Check if there is a group rate that you can take advantage of if you’re traveling by train or road transport.

Work out details like how you’ll get from the airport to your accommodation, and how you’re going to get around. Is it worth hiring a vehicle? If so, you might need to get in early since minivans and larger vehicles tend to book out quickly.

People mapping how to plan their group trip with a map and a computer

4. Consider alternative accommodation

Choosing where to stay when you’re planning a group trip is a big decision and can make a huge difference to your travel experience.

There’s more to accommodation than hotels, and in fact, they’re not necessarily the best option for a group, unless you’re after an all-inclusive resort experience.

Staying in an apartment or house as a group gives you the chance to cook group meals and hang out together without cramming into one small hotel room! You can also stay in some amazing houses, and at more affordable prices than hotels.

Person enjoying alone time during a group vacation

5. Have a place to organize plans and take payments

This is one of the most important aspects to consider on how to plan a group trip. Having a central place where all group trip members can access the group trip plan is key to keeping everyone informed. A group travel planner will help to keep everyone on the same page with what's happening when and what they need to do.

Even better, use a payment system to accept payments and pay who you need to, and cut out all that trouble of working out who owes who what. With WeTravel you can create your trip for free, share it with the other group members, and organize the payments for the group in one central place, with just a few easy steps.

Encourage everyone to be on board with the itinerary and group travel plan. Communication is the key to great group trip planning.

Curious to know how WeTravel can help you optimize your trip planning, booking, and payments?

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Person planning a group vacation on their computer

6. Pre-plan some activities

Take a look at the top things to do in your chosen destination and consider pre-planning some activities, especially if you’re a large group.

If there are any tours you want to do you may be able to get a group discount. Sometimes you absolutely have to book in advance if you have more than a certain number of people, and it would be a shame to miss out on something the group really wants to do because it wasn't booked soon enough!

Don’t be too ambitious and overzealous with planning every second or day though, sometimes the best things happen by chance and you don’t need to add stress to your vacation!

People enjoying a group trip activity at sunset

7. Split up during your group trip

Just because you’re traveling as a group doesn’t mean you need to be glued together all the time. Everyone will have different ideas of must-see things or must-do activities.

If you can’t reach a consensus then split up according to whatever everyone wants to do. One group might want to spend the day at the beach while the other goes to a museum.

And don’t be afraid to go off on your own during a group trip, if there’s something you really want to do and no one else does. It’s your vacation too so go home with no regrets!

To summarize, what should your first steps be in planning a group vacation?

  1. Have a group leader or two to channel, manage, and organize the group's suggestions, expectations, and activities.
  2. Agree on a budget that fits your group's pocket, and stick to it!
  3. Book your flights in advance to get the best available rates for your group trip.
  4. Consider other accommodations like rented houses or apartments that will feel more comfortable and allow you to engage with your group more personally.
  5. Rely on tools (like WeTravel's free trip management software) to make the information available for all participants and manage payments from your group.
  6. Map the most exciting activities your group can embark on at the destination and seize group discounts for tours. 
  7. Let the group split up from time to time so everyone can enjoy the destination at their own pace and preference.

Figuring out how to plan a group trip can be stressful, so use these group travel tips to help you organize and get excited about the trip instead! Once you’ve completed the group trip planning process, then you can enjoy the anticipation of the vacation itself.

Make sure everyone is aware of your itinerary and all the details, which is easy if you create your trip for free on WeTravel, and then pack, sit back, and relax!