What’s summer without that annual getaway with your closest pals? No one said traveling in a group is easy, what with differing budgets, preferences, and everyone’s workweek stresses creeping into your weekend fun. To avoid those potential vacay hiccups, here are our best tips for planning a stress-free itinerary that everyone will love.
Soon after you pick a destination, make sure each member of the group has a way to contribute to the planning. One person can create a menu, and another can research activities. The friend with way too much free time at work can tackle the playlist. And as an unofficial rule, the lucky one who works in finance is the “banker” of the group, by default. Let them handle splitting the rental fee if you’re Airbnb-ing it, as well as divvying up the security deposit once it’s returned after your stay.
Whether you’re heading to the city for a girls’ weekend or to the beach for a getaway, making restaurant reservations and planning daytime excursions ahead of time is a must. Start looking into these plans almost as soon as you book your trip, because places fill up fast. When it gets closer to trip time, use Amazon to order things too large to fit in your suitcase, like beach towels, pool floats, plastic dinnerware, and of course, paper towels and toilet paper, and have it delivered right to your rental’s door.
When you’re sharing a home or apartment with a group, suitcases, shoes, and clothing get strewn about almost instantly. As a good rule of thumb, ask everyone to limit their packing to one duffel or carry-on suitcase. That way, no one overpacks, everyone’s belongings are contained, and you won’t feel like you’re stepping on people’s laundry all weekend.
Take advantage of apps.
Venmo and Paypal are true lifesavers when you’re traveling in a group. Whether you’re buying groceries or paying the bar tab, these apps are a simple way to split the bill. In addition, make sure the group agrees on a rideshare app to use, whether it’s Uber, Lyft, or a local service (like RideAustin in Texas) so you can easily share cars around town.
If you’re escaping a big city, chances are you’re going to be stuck in terrible traffic or smushed on a crowded train. And wherever you are, plans sometimes fall through, the weather’s unfavorable, or you spill guacamole on your white jeans. The best rule of thumb is to keep a good attitude. It’s a vacation, remember?