There’s no better way of traveling than with your loved ones. Whether it’s with friends or family, group travel vacations are a great way to spend time together and can be a lot of fun when well organized.
Group Travel vacations can be challenging, especially when it comes to planning. Staying organized and in harmony is hard when there are so many options and needs to meet, which could lead to travelers bailing out. To help make your next getaway become a reality, we’ve put together a list of tips for planning a trip to ensure everyone in your group has a great time!
Choosing a destination for your group trip
An easy way to choose a destination when there are a lot of suggestions is by bringing the most popular ideas to a vote. If you can’t get your group together, there are many websites and apps to conduct a poll remotely. Our favorite one through Instagram stories.
For more group travel ideas, we also recommend taking a look at our Must-do Canada: Your Travel Bucket List for some of the best places to travel with friends and family in Canada.
Picking a leader and a communication channel
If you are reading this you’ve already taken the first step, so you are most likely a good candidate for the lead role. You’d want your leader to take initiative, be very well organized and a good listener.
The leader’s main role will be considering everyone’s comments to find the best options and ensuring things get booked, noted or done.
As the main organizer, the group leader will also be the go-to contact for all the important details of the trip. Make sure you are open to answer all the travelers’ questions and agree on a communication channel that everyone can have access to. We recommend creating a Facebook Messenger or Whatsapp group.
Setting a Budget for your group travel
Wondering how to budget for a group trip? To ensure everyone’s on the same page, setting a budget is one of the first conversations your group should have.
Being knowledgeable of your destination’s seasonal rates for general services is key for determining how much you will be spending. Research your destination’s peak and shoulder seasons as well as the activities available and costs.
If you are considering staying at a vacation rental, “The Best Time to Book a Vacation Rental and Save!” gives you insights on vacation rental seasonal rates and trends to help you find the most cost-efficient time to book a vacation home.
Knowing how much everyone is spending means that there are no surprises when it comes to paying. Budgeting ahead of time will also help travelers manage their finances ahead of the trip and commit to each other.
Planning your transportation
Are you flying, driving, taking the train or a bus? Research suggests that booking a flight 3 months in advance can save you $300 on average. If you are taking the train or a bus, the booking windows are more flexible, but we still recommend purchasing tickets at least 60 days in advance to ensure all your travelers get a spot.
To make the most out of a road trip, we suggest groups to have an itinerary of things to see on the way to your destination. Check our blog recommendations if you happen to be taking one of our top 5 road trips in Canada or download an itinerary planning app like Google Trips to help you discover your route.
Group Travel accommodations don’t have to be a challenge to find. Usually, when you travel with a group – especially one with kids, the most cost-efficient, spacious and comfortable option is renting a vacation home. Vacation rentals have all the commodities you’d have at home and allow for more flexibility as you usually book directly from the owner.
To find a vacation home that accommodates all your guests, be as specific as possible in your search and be sure to communicate your group’s needs to your host. For example, on CanadStays’ website, you can find vacation rentals based on your party size, budget, vacation home type, and even house rules. If you find yourself with too many home rental options, CanadaStays also gives you the option to add your favorite homes to a Wishlist. Wishlists are a great tool for group vacation planning as you are able to share them with all travelers and then narrow down the options to book everyone’s favorite.
Organizing the trip and payments
Keep everyone in the loop by having all receipts, booking confirmations, pending payments and plans in one single spot that is accessible to all travelers.
Make notes of payments that need to be reimbursed and ask all travelers to keep their receipts if they are purchasing or submitting payments on behalf of the group. When the vacation is over the organizer can go through the expenses and double-check that everyone has been paid out.
Pre-planning some activities
Ask all travelers to research and give suggestions on activities they’d like to do. Once the team has decided on a couple of activities, search for group discounts, seasonal schedules or if you need tickets in advance.
A group vacation doesn’t mean you have to spend all of your time together, so don’t fret if your entire group doesn’t partake in every planned activity. Respect everyone’s decision and include optional activities, especially if the group members vary in ages.
Now that you have the tools to plan a stress-free vacation, get ready to group travel around the globe and have peace of mind that everyone will have a fantastic time!