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How To Plan The Perfect Group Trip

A scene from the Hollywood film, Girl Trip

A few days ago, an American Twitter user shared a video thread of a trip she and 18 other people took to Jamaica. The posts got a lot of engagement and as at the time of this writing, the first video she shared has over 2.3 million views and has been shared over 17 thousand times.

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It cannot be overstated that travelling is an exciting experience. Now imagine having that experience with some of your favourite people. If done well, group trips can be the most thrilling experience ever, filled with games, laughter, unforgettable adventures and memories.

So how do you plan for your group trip? Read on for some of the things you need to note and do for an enjoyable experience:

A camera, glasses, world map and Passports Shutterstock

Start early
Start planning as soon as you and your friends decide on a trip. Ideas are usually exciting when they are fresh. The longer you stall, the more you’ll find excuses not to go. Plan early, let all interested parties meet to decide on dates, locations and budget. It’s best to plan the trip three or four months in advance.

Assign roles
For the trip to be successful, it has to be well coordinated. You’re going on a trip far from home, not the mall. This is why the group should assign a leader who would be responsible for planning and coordinating the trip from point A to Z.

The group leader should be someone who is good at planning and communicating. The group leader generally keeps in contact with everyone, providing updates to the group while handling most of the detailed work.

Also, divide the other responsibilities as they arise so that everyone participates. Break down the responsibilities further. For example, choose someone to handle booking a hotel and another person to take care of the car rental.

The Gate of Heaven in Bali. Photo Travel Daily

Decide location
Choosing where to go is more than just googling nice places, it has more to do with understanding the group dynamics. First, let everyone in the group suggest where they would like to go, then vote. Also, consider the socio-cultural landscape of wherever the group decides.

Budget pool
So after deciding on where to go, how do you fund the trip? It is not likely that everyone in the group would have the same amount.

Set up a budget pool by collecting a set amount from everyone before your trip. You can do a weekly or monthly payment plan before your trip. Once you decide how much would fund the trip, members can start contributing the money weekly or monthly. The leader would then use the money to pay for accommodations, meals, transportation, drinks, and more while you’re on vacation. If there’s money left at the end, split it up or go wild one last night.

Airbnb in Texas. Photo AirBnB

Accommodation
So where would the group stay? Naturally, most people would go for a hotel, however, renting a spacious Airbnb apartment with plenty of beds and bathrooms is more cost-effective for group trips. Also, the best form of group bonding happens in a homely setting. Staying in an apartment with the group would most certainly feel like being in Big Brother or some other similar reality TV show.

Food
If you’re staying in a hotel, you’ll probably end up eating out for most meals, so don’t forget to book restaurant reservations in advance.

However, if you decide to rent an apartment, you can cook up big, fun group meals. Cooking adds a nice element to your experience, it fosters a sense of community and brings everyone together.

The beach. Photo Shutterstock

Create a flexible itinerary
An easy way to create and share an itinerary is through Google Docs. Add the group members to the document and give them permission to edit it.

Suggest one or two optional activities per day which do not require advance bookings, such as a local hike or museum, and add a couple of pre-arranged splurges, such as spa treatments or fancy meals. Don’t forget to create room for spontaneity.

Travel arrangements
If you are all travelling from the same starting point, shop around for deals on a bus, train or even plane tickets. Travel arrangements are often cheaper to make in advance. If you need to get plane tickets, for instance, get the tickets right away to ensure you lock in the price and number of seats your group needs.

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Group Travel
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