Destinations Travel Tips

Helpful Tips for Traveling in a Group

Helpful Tips for Traveling in a Group

I’ve been lucky enough to travel to some really fun places with a really fun groups of people quite a few times. I’ve been on several ski trips with family and friends, to Puerto Rico with my extended family (11 people in all), on road trips with a small amount of friends, and to Harry Potter World with another couple, among more.

Planning for group travel and knowing how to do so is imperative. There are so many things that can go wrong with a group – even more than solo or couple travel, seeing as there are many more people with their feelings/desires/needs to account for.

While I can’t handle group travel ALL the time (or even some of the time!), I do love traveling with people I care about every once in a while. These tips make it easier for me to travel with a group and still love each other at the end of the trip! 🙂

Helpful Tips for Traveling in a Group

Make a list of what you want to see/do.
Each person should make a list of things they want to see/do before the trip. Alternatively, you can talk about it in a group. Narrow down that list. Mostly likely, many of the same things will be on several people’s lists. Pick the common things for everyone to do based on the group’s desires and based on if people can afford it. 

Plan for a ‘solo day’ or ‘date day’.
If you’re the only one that wanted to visit a particular museum, you can do it on ‘solo day’. It will be a good way to do something you might have wanted to, but knew it was too much money for others in the group, or vice versa. This will also be a great break from group travel to get some much needed time on your own. Alternatively, it can be a half day.  

Make an itinerary together (or with most of the group).
After you’ve decided what to do together in a group and on solo day, write down an itinerary, keeping in mind how much time everything will take. When you’ve made the itinerary, make copies or e-mail (slash use cool iPhone app or whatever) to share the itinerary with everyone, ensuring that every last person in the group is literally on the same page throughout the whole trip.

Talk about plans for paying for things before you pay for anything.
Talk about how you will pay for things, like eating at a restaurant, while there so you don’t have any miscommunication when the trip comes. Should we rotate on who buys dinner? Or should we all split it equally, or ask for separate checks? If you’re making food and have to buy groceries, I would suggest splitting the bill equally. With things you need to plan in advance, like booking a catamaran trip, it’s easier for just one person to pay for everyone at one time to ensure that everyone gets a reservation. In that case, you may want to talk about who will reserve what, how much it will be, and when everyone will pay each other back. 

Designate a navigator, time keeper, ticket holder, etc.
Designate a navigator, time keeper, and ticket holder. Things can get pretty hectic in a group. Utilizing the strengths of one person instead of relying on the whole group can save everyone a lot of drama and chaos. You might be having fun and laughing, but completely forget about your dinner reservations because of all this group fun. Who is the most punctual of the group? They get to wear the watch and make sure everyone is where they need to be at all times. Who NEVER loses things? They get to hold the tickets. Who has the best sense of direction? There’s your navigator. Think of other titles you might need to designate. The negotiator? Designated driver? French speaker?

Help each other out.
If you’re traveling with nieces or nephews or young cousins, offer to play with them on the beach for an hour or two, or offer to carry them on your shoulders when touring a city. If someone forgets their purse at the hotel, pay for their meal. If you help each other out and show how much you care about a person while on a trip that could get chaotic really quickly, then your relationship can probably last forever, and definitely until the end of this trip. 🙂

Document.
Document things that happen – with photos, videos, or even writing stuff down. You’ll be able to cherish those memories and laugh later about a particular misfortunate event, even if it wasn’t that funny while it was happening. 

Take everyone into consideration.
Remember that you aren’t the only one on this trip with feelings. Everyone has their opinions, everyone has a different line that can be crossed, and everyone has a different point in time in which they can’t tolerate things as well as usual. Be as light and casual as possible, especially at the end of the day when everyone is tired. Even if you are slow to anger or slow to get offended, that doesn’t mean that others are the same.

Be flexible.
Things change. All the time. Even more if there are several people involved, all with different feelings, desires, and things to deal with. Learn to roll with the punches and be thankful for the time that you’re on this trip, even if you have to go way off schedule for something.

Be the first to say ‘sorry’.
With more people comes more drama. Some arguments can’t be foreseen to stop them before they start. If an argument happens, try to deescalate the tension as quick as possible. Be the first to say ‘sorry’ so you both (or all) can move on as quickly as possible. And then buy them a drink or a pastry to ease the tension. 🙂

Be fun and don’t complain.
No one likes to be around a ‘Debbie Downer’, much less TRAVEL with them. If your feet hurt, take a minute to sit down (and wear better shoes tomorrow), but don’t make everyone else pay for it with your complaining. If your travel buddies want to see something that you don’t particularly want to and it wasn’t on the itinerary, don’t worry about it if it’s only 30 minutes out of your day and doesn’t make you late for something else. 

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42 Comments

  • Reply
    Vlad
    February 6, 2015 at 3:05 am

    Great tips! I’ve traveled with a group of friends last year and this time it seems the group will be even larger. This terrifies me because despite my best efforts of organizing everything properly, it didn’t go as smoothly as planned. We got there and discovered that some people who said they didn’t want to see a sight suddenly changed their minds and wanted to go, but they didn’t want to wait for everyone else, so we split up into smaller groups a lot. I’m hoping this year will be better though..

    • Reply
      Bailey K.
      February 6, 2015 at 11:36 am

      Oh I hope it will be better! Sometimes if the group is that large, breaking up into smaller groups is a good thing, though.

  • Reply
    Roselynn
    February 4, 2015 at 2:36 pm

    I’m looking to travel during the summer with some friends hopefully so I’ll keep these tips in mind. Up till this point I have only really traveled alone lol.

    • Reply
      Bailey K.
      February 4, 2015 at 5:46 pm

      Hopefully they’ll help. Good luck!

  • Reply
    tim
    February 4, 2015 at 2:29 pm

    Nobody likes a Debbie Downer but there is always, without exception, one in a group. But Debbie should not be underestimated. Her power to bring the rest of the group together and more cohesive is paramount. For every great group trip there is more often than not a common thread; often it’s Debbie.

  • Reply
    Melissa
    February 4, 2015 at 12:57 pm

    These are excellent tips…but I just CAN’T travel like that. Just the thought of it completely stresses me out!

    • Reply
      Bailey K.
      February 4, 2015 at 2:20 pm

      Haha! I understand. Coming from a large family (on both sides…my husband is one of 7 children), I don’t really have a choice! 🙂

  • Reply
    Sarah Ebner
    February 4, 2015 at 12:10 pm

    These are such excellent tips – they should be printed out and handed to everyone on every group holiday!

  • Reply
    Rachel H
    February 4, 2015 at 11:39 am

    What great tips! Thanks so much for sharing!

  • Reply
    Sophie
    February 4, 2015 at 6:47 am

    thanks for sharing. I’m about to head out on a trip with 5 friends so a bit concerned about how it will be – my last group trip didn’t go so well. Hopefully with your tips everything will be fine!

    • Reply
      Bailey K.
      February 4, 2015 at 12:39 pm

      Yikes, sorry about your last group trip. Good luck with this next one!

  • Reply
    Jordan
    February 4, 2015 at 4:19 am

    Such a great idea…seriously, all these tips are awesome! I love the idea of having a solo/free day. I think that’s such a great idea. Every one needs a bit of down time!

    • Reply
      Bailey K.
      February 4, 2015 at 12:39 pm

      Thanks! And I completely agree!

  • Reply
    Nina Travels
    February 4, 2015 at 12:41 am

    Good tips! I don’t really travel in groups, but I guess a group is already when 2 people travel together and there always have to be compromises and planning.

    • Reply
      Bailey K.
      February 4, 2015 at 12:38 pm

      If it’s just the two of us (being married), it’s not hard at all. But add just ONE more, and there’s a lot more planning and compromises that have to be made. 🙂

  • Reply
    lizzie
    February 3, 2015 at 10:13 pm

    All great advise. We are getting to take a trip with a large group, and I am totally going to use these tips!

  • Reply
    Pristine
    February 3, 2015 at 7:52 pm

    Great tips. I think the “solo day/ date day” is a MUST!

  • Reply
    Lauren
    February 3, 2015 at 7:11 pm

    These are really good points. I second what Kim said, the only role I would add would be a treasurer, who takes money, makes sure things get paid for, handles the budget & ensures that one person isn’t fronting too much money if things are being booked as a group.

    • Reply
      Bailey K.
      February 3, 2015 at 9:18 pm

      Yes, good idea. Handling money is a tricky thing!

  • Reply
    Megan @ All That Glitters
    February 3, 2015 at 6:27 pm

    These are such great tips! There is nothing worse than getting somewhere with a group and having no plan!

  • Reply
    Brandi H
    February 3, 2015 at 6:26 pm

    Great tips! Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply
    Kim
    February 3, 2015 at 3:09 pm

    Planning for mode of payment is sometimes one of the most overlooked tips. We may save for a vacation but once we get there spending sometimes go awry. A spending plan is definitely necessary especially when travelling to a foreign country.

    • Reply
      Bailey K.
      February 3, 2015 at 9:14 pm

      You’re so right. Money can bring so much tension!

  • Reply
    Elizabeth
    February 3, 2015 at 2:04 pm

    Traveling in a group can be stressful. Thanks for these tips!

    • Reply
      Bailey K.
      February 3, 2015 at 2:09 pm

      No problem! Hope they help!

  • Reply
    Jess
    February 3, 2015 at 1:45 pm

    This is an absolutely fantastic list! Just getting back from a girls weekend and this definitely helped. I’ll have to keep these in mind for our euro trip 🙂

    • Reply
      Bailey K.
      February 3, 2015 at 1:58 pm

      Awesome! Good luck on your Euro trip and have fun!!

  • Reply
    Losa
    February 3, 2015 at 1:42 pm

    I find group travel so stressful, probably because I needed these tips haha. Thanks for sharing them! I usually end up being the Debby Downer because I get so stressed out.

    • Reply
      Bailey K.
      February 3, 2015 at 1:57 pm

      Yep, it definitely can get stressful. I hope you have better luck and use some of these tips for future group travel!

  • Reply
    Tori
    February 3, 2015 at 1:27 pm

    I think you covered pretty much everything! Traveling in groups can be fun but you definitely want to make sure you have some alone time so you get a break from all the different personalities.

    • Reply
      Bailey K.
      February 3, 2015 at 1:40 pm

      I completely agree! It’s a great way to recharge for the next day of being with everyone again.

  • Reply
    lisa
    February 3, 2015 at 1:23 pm

    These are great tips! We are always going on family trips and I could always use a teenie tiny bit of alone time, but unfortunately, not everyone thinks so. I have shared your post. Lots of love, Lisa

    • Reply
      Bailey K.
      February 3, 2015 at 1:40 pm

      Yes, it’s hard when others in your group think you should be a certain way. Just because they are that way doesn’t mean everyone is! I’ve learned this the hard way, of course. 🙂

  • Reply
    Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine
    February 3, 2015 at 1:07 pm

    I’d much rather travel alone or with just one or two!

    • Reply
      Bailey K.
      February 3, 2015 at 1:39 pm

      Oh, me too, but every once in a while is fun. And you can’t really get away from it when you have a family as big as mine!! 🙂

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