Traveling is a fun activity, and each of us may have different preferences on how to do it. For some of us traveling solo makes the heart sing, but for others, group travel is the way to go. If you belong to the latter one (or would like to belong) then this article is for you. We will talk more about the aspects of planning a trip with friends here. What are the steps to follow, and which are the best places to go on a trip with friends? How to use the resources efficiently, and most importantly - make it an enjoyable experience for everyone coming along. After all, traveling is one of the toughest tests even for the closest of buddies, and knowing what things to look out for will help to stay amicable, and even enjoy the ride. So let’s start from the beginning, and see what is there to know about group travel, and then delve into more detail, like what to bring on a road trip with friends or why visiting a visa service together is a good idea.
How to plan a trip with friends?
This question obviously will help to understand how to plan things in general. Just as any planning process, group travel planning starts with decisions on the goals, too.
Decide who will be the leader
Believe me, it will make the process much easier and faster. Just make sure there is one person responsible for managing the main arrangements, and let them do their job. Similar to what my grandma said - there can be only one chef in the kitchen, or otherwise you get a big mess of it all. The same applies to planning a trip. Let one person be in charge of putting some order in the “serious” side of the travel. And after all, it will be easier on everyone, because you will be able to relax more when responsibilities are divided!
Start planning well ahead
This is a rule that generally applies to most travel, but even more so - to group travel. Planning a trip with friends will take way more time because there are more opinions to take into consideration. Making joint decisions is more complicated, and if you are a bigger group then making arrangements for more people also isn’t as easy. Because finding a good price for accommodation for 2 people might be easier, for example, than for 10 people! And sometimes booking well ahead for a bigger group might give you extra discounts, too.
Also, remember that in some places you won’t be able to make bookings for a large group. For example, some hostels have a policy of no large traveler groups (10+ people), or WizzAir allows booking tickets for 5 people in the same booking only. It should not make many hurdles in the way of the trip itself, but keep this thing in mind and remember that you might do several bookings or have other arrangements to fit in this rule.
Additionally, with planning - to make the process faster and easier on everyone, think ahead about things that could be booked or done together. For example, booking joint insurance or going for an appointment to visa service together. Not only will it save some time and effort, but also be a fun way to get the mindset of all travelers on the same wavelength.
Decide on the destination
Another tough question. Deciding on a destination will depend largely on the group of people you are traveling with and their interests/goals for the trip. My suggestion is to organize a group meeting to talk about the expectations for the trip. Do you and your friends dream about an all-inclusive holiday or an adventure hike in the mountains? Or maybe a road trip with kids, and a visit to Disneyland? Talk about this before deciding on a destination, and you will ensure that the trip is set on the right path from the get-go. Don’t forget to talk about the length of it, and the preferred timing in the year. Some will be able to travel only during the holiday season, but others will be more flexible.
The next step to consider is - what amount of finances would you be ready to spend? As soon as you know this, you will be able to see how far and how luxurious your destination can be. And only then you can start looking through options for destinations that fit your group of friends.
You might ask what are the best places to go on a trip with friends? I will try not to delve into too much detail on this question because figuring out the best places to go on a trip with friends can be very individual. As I mentioned already - there are many variables to consider, because there are many types of travelers. But for most trips, I would say, a place that offers activities for the group, as well as a variety of options for individual activities, might be the best. The keyword, in this case, is - options for choice! If there are things to choose from then it will be easier to satisfy all of the people in the group. And that makes traveling to bigger cities more convenient (with the only downside being the complicated arrangements of transportation for many people simultaneously). Or all-inclusive hotels, as they are built to accommodate especially large numbers of people. But as I said - the decision is in your hands and depends on what you prefer.
Make a to-do or activity list
Surely, with a bigger group, it is very hard to plan a very detailed schedule as many things might create changes in the process. Nonetheless, planning is one of the key aspects of success. And making a list of activities or things to be seen during the trip will help immensely, especially with the setting of expectations and getting aligned in the bigger group. My suggestion is - ensure there is time for fun together, but also optional individual activities, or free time to do something separately from the group. This way you will be able to ensure that everyone gets their wishes fulfilled and will save some time on needing to deal with endless decision making in a group about the smallest activities.
So what are the fun things to do on a road trip with friends? Depending on the level of energy, and the interests, you might plan different activities. There are so many options to consider, but the particular ones depend really on the goal of the trip and the travelers themselves. I will suggest a few fun things to do on a road trip with friends here, but always be open to finding the stuff that fits your travel buddies the best. And the most important piece of advice - do some research about the destination, as it might reveal some activities you didn’t even consider! For example:
- A hike in the mountains. Low-cost activity that will bring a group of friends closer, and allow unwinding from the city.
- A visit to the aquapark. Great fun for grownups, but also the families!
- A group cooking lesson. Learn more about the local culture, and bond with your mates in a special way through the senses of your body!
And always remember to be open for some spontaneity! Some of the best places to road trip with friends will offer opportunities for a fun activity on the spot. Maybe you pass by a nice and authentic tavern where you might enjoy a dinner with locally sourced produce. Or maybe you see a spectacular view, and suddenly decide that all of you should take a group photo. As I said - be open for unexpected moments, as these experiences in a group are the ones you will probably remember longer!
Think about the logistics
When you have considered everything you want to do and will want to experience, consider all the technicalities that will make the journey smoother. Accommodation means of travel, other bookings. Don’t forget to consider places where you will eat. Or at least, put some ideas on paper so you don’t lose precious time during the trip. And also think about the management of finances - should you have an app that helps to account and divide the expenses among travelers?
One more thing to consider might be what to bring on a road trip with friends. If you are many, it is smart joining the forces and not tag along 10 hairdryers, or bottles of sunscreen. Discuss this aspect in the group, and be smart about your luggage. This way you will have to carry less, and might bring more of those souvenirs to your loved ones that stayed at home!
So let’s bring this home. So now you know the main steps to how to plan a trip with friends. Just remember that communication and planning are the two main things to work at the most, and the rest will fall into place way easier. If you are good friends already then knowing what the rest of the group wants will be much easier. But confirming and making sure that everyone feels great is always a good idea! Even in the best places to road trip with friends - what makes the journey fun is the company, not necessarily the landscapes and the views. This is why investing in the group feeling, and even a ride to the closest village in your own country will be a great experience. With that said, I wish you the best of times, as traveling with friends might be one of the most gratifying and heart filling experiences if you are all on the same wavelength!