How to Plan the Perfect Group Trip.

Do the words group & trip together in one sentence give you anxiety? Do your friends always back out the day you’re supposed to leave for your trip? Can a large group of friends never agree on where to eat or what to do on vacation? If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, no fear…Carri is here to ease your pain. I have successfully planned several group trips and have some tips and tricks so, that you too can keep all your friends.

  • Chief, no Indians: Every group trip needs a leader.

 

    •  For a successful group trip, appointing a leader or small team is essential. Whether you are planning a trip for 3 or 157 people, you really don’t want 20 people making 17 different brunch reservations. These people aren’t just the planners, but the safety consultants of the group. They will manage everything from making sure everyone has their passport or being the main point of contact for the Airbnb. The larger group the more important this step is.

 

  • Guest List: Who’s coming?

 

    •  I think group trips give everyone anxiety because it’s hard to be far away from home with a large amount of people with different personalities. When inviting persons on the group trip, make sure to bring a group that can work as a whole and can also split off into smaller branches if need be. You want a good mix of quiet and turn up. You need a special cast of characters because you need a few people that can crack jokes, as well as a few people that can be serious if need be. A group trip is not the setting to invite your friend who is super judgmental, complains about everything, or a team member of the BROKE BOYZ R US. THEY WILL NOT ENJOY THEMSELVES!

 

  • Let’s get to the $hmoney: How much is everyone willing to spend?

 

    • Deciding on a budget for the group prior to planning is necessary. This can be an uncomfortable conversation if some people are related to Blue Ivy and have money to blow, while some folks are McDonald’s ice cream machine broke,  you might have to compromise. I always suggest spending towards the low end of the budget to accommodate the group as a whole. For example, if you’re renting a large house for 20 people and everyone agrees to spending $100 for the weekend, but you find one for $75, everyone will love you and use that extra $25 to buy you shots.
      • Pro-Tip: Be democratic. Allow everyone their right to vote. Majority always wins, but let others put in their opinion as well.

 

  • Send me your location: Where are you going and when?

 

    • Whenever I’ve planned a group trip in the past, the location was pretty much already decided but housing location is another step on top of that. I suggest finding 3 top options for the group to vote on and majority wins.
      • Pro-Tip: at this point in the planning, you should create a GroupMe or use some sort of group messaging to organize conversations pertaining to the trip. GroupMe is awesome because it has features to run polls and a calendar so that everyone will know when to pay for things. If you are going international, the WhatsApp app allows for group texting/calling over Wi-Fi.

 

 

    • In the past I used a survey to let group members know of payment dates and made them “sign” that their would be no refunds or discounts. Unfortunately with large group trips, someone always has to back out last minute. I say no refunds because it sucks at the last minute when your group members have to come up with extra funds because you can’t come on the trip for whatever reason. This has been a successful way of me gaining commitment thus far and I will continue to use in the future.

 

  • Don’t catch feelings, catch flights: Book your flights or rental car accommodations.

 

    • Booking a flight is a good way to force everyone to commit to the trip. It also locks everyone into certain dates so, there won’t be room for change. At minimum, this should be done no less than 4 weeks prior to the trip. Depending on your destination you may have to book further out, but use this tip at your discretion.
      • Pro-Tip: Some airlines like Southwest, Delta, and JetBlue offer discounts for group airfare. You will probably need at least 10 people, but they usually offer flexible payment options and may waive some fees.

 

  • Hotel, Motel, Holiday Inn: Where are we going to live?

 

    • My preference for group trips is to stay in one big house. I don’t particularly like hotels because everyone is in different locked rooms and less likely to participate in the group turn-up. I have a few favorite services like HomeAway, Airbnb,and VRBO to book large homes.
      • Pro-Tip: If you’ve never used Airbnb before use this link to get $40 off your first trip.

 

  • Ain’t no fun if the homies can’t get none: Build an itinerary for the group

 

    • This is my favorite part about planning group trips. I love to research and find fun things for the group to do. Here are a few things I always include an itinerary:
      • i. Arrival & Departure times
        ii. Any & every confirmation code need for housing
        iii. Restaurant Reservation Information: Name of restaurant, phone number, and address
        iv. Excursions
        v. Downtime
        vi. Emergency Contact
        vii. General Safety Tips
    • I always ask for everyone to print out this itinerary or at least save the screenshots in their phone just in case something happens.
      • Pro-Tip: Pick a specific way to collect money. Whether you are collecting money for housing, food, or excursions keep it organized. I personally always offer two ways to send money, either PayPal or Venmo so I can keep track of who has sent what, when, and how much we have in the bank.

 

  • TURN UP: the most important part of a group trip. Now, that all of the organization is out of the way. Have fun and be safe. Tell us all about your group trip and how you literally have the best friends in the whole entire world.

 

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