The Tips You Need for Planning a Group Trip: Checklist Included

Are you planning a group trip but don’t know where to start? Whether group travel seems like a far-off dream or you’re ready to pack your bags, we’re here to help. Your vacation doesn’t have to be stressful, even if you’re bringing lots of people along. We’ve got our favorite tips for planning a group trip, along with a checklist that will keep you on track and worry-free. 

How to Plan a Group Trip with a Checklist - Groups Are A Trip

*Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something that we have recommended. Please check out our disclosure policy for more details. Thank you for your support!

What are the benefits of a group trip?

People go on a collective vacation for different reasons. Maybe you’re bringing together a group of friends or booking a family reunion. No matter what you have in mind, your getaway will be the perfect opportunity to discover new places, have fun, and enjoy quality time. 

How to Plan a Group Trip

It’s also a great way to bring together loved ones who live far apart. If almost everyone needs to travel to visit each other, why not have everyone travel to a fun new place? 

When should you start planning a group trip?

The time frame for planning your trip depends on your vision. A simple long weekend getaway will take less time to organize than a big international trip. A larger group will also take more time to coordinate. 

You also want plenty of time to reserve accommodations – some in-demand venues book up a year or more in advance. 

As soon as you have everyone’s travel dates confirmed and decide on a destination, it’s time to start making reservations. This could be a year or more in advance, but planning something in a shorter timeframe is also possible. 

Where should you go on a group trip?

You can go anywhere you want for a group trip! Many people choose cities that are easy to fly or drive to or places that have good accommodation options. But choosing an international destination is also okay if your travel crew is comfortable with it. 

Here are some of the best places for where to go on a reunion or friend getaway:

  • National parks
  • Theme park destinations
  • Retreats or camps
  • Dude ranches
  • Tourist-friendly cities

We have more ideas for the best places for a family reunion and where to travel with friends recommendations too!

How to work with everyone’s travel budget

One of the most important things to consider is the budget of all your group members. For smaller groups, like a bachelorette weekend or friend getaway, you may need to agree on costs and split it evenly. You likely will be staying in one place, traveling together, and eating the same meals. 

If many people are coming along, offer a lot of flexibility. Allow everyone to choose their own transportation and accommodation options. You could plan a few collective meals and let everyone dine within their budget for the rest of the time.

Glass with a pink budget label and filled with money for a girlfriend getaway trip.

Another suggestion is to plan minimal group activities so everyone can do what they can afford the rest of the time. 

The best tip for working with everyone’s budget is to talk openly about it and don’t ask anyone to stretch their finances to make the trip work. 

How to choose the right destination?

Whether you’re opting for international travel or a small-scale trip, you must choose a destination that works with everyone in your travel party. Here are the best questions to ask as you choose the right locale for your vacation:

  • Each person’s/family’s budget
  • What activities does everyone like to do (For example, theme parks or hiking? Bar hopping or scenic drives?)
  • Would you like to meet at a “halfway point” between different homes, or do you want to meet at a distant place?
  • Which destinations have your ideal accommodation type, like a retreat, luxury hotel, or simple lodge?
  • What time of year will you be traveling? Some places are better suited for different seasons. 

How to find the best accommodation for a group

It can be tough to find accommodations for a large group. You’ll want to begin looking early to make sure you don’t miss out on the best option or best deals. You also want a place that has room for everyone. This may mean having everyone stay in individual hotel rooms or splitting the cost of a rental home or lodge. 

Be mindful of everyone’s price points as you make this choice. If you can’t agree, let everyone pick their accommodations within the same town or destination. 

Which activities would everyone enjoy? 

After deciding on your destination and accommodation, you can begin looking at activities your vacation crew will enjoy. Here are some great group activities to enjoy during your vacation:

  • A day at a theme park 
  • A walking or driving tour with a travel guide
  • A boat excursion
  • A beach day
  • A night on the town (possibly with a chauffeur) 
  • A long hike or nature walk
  • Horseback riding
Group activities
Find something everyone can enjoy!

Think of everyone’s ages, physical limitations, and interests as you plan activities. Ask everyone what they would like to do!

Tips for planning a group trip

Are you looking for the best tips for planning a group vacation? Sure, a checklist is helpful, but you also need advice on how to flesh out your plans in a stress-free way. Here are some favorite tips to plan a good trip for parties of all sizes. 

Let everyone book their accommodation

Nailing down a universal budget is tough, and many people have different accommodation needs. 

If you can’t make everyone happy with a rental house or large accommodation, just let everyone book their own places to stay. You can choose one hotel or property (then each family books individual rooms), OR you can select a city or neighborhood and have everyone go from there.

This is the best way to keep things simple for a larger crew with a range of needs and price points. 

Delegate tasks

Organizing any trip is hard work. Just because you’re the group leader doesn’t mean you have to do everything yourself. Your main job should be creating the master to-do list and then delegating from there.

Check in to make sure everything is getting accomplished, but don’t try to do all the organizing yourself. 

If delegating tasks won’t work for your travel party, consider partnering with a travel agent who can help put together all the trip details for everyone. 

Download apps that will keep everyone on track

Did you know that there are apps and online tools made especially for group getaways? Wanderlog helps everyone share their activity and cost preferences, and Splitwise helps everyone pay for their share of the vacation. 

Social Media is also an easy way to keep everyone excited and in the loop. Make a Facebook group to share travel details, create a countdown, and share photos throughout the trip.

Whether you opt for social media or a mobile app (or both), help everyone get online to make the planning process easier.  

Plan out dinners (reservations or cook meals)

No one wants to spend their entire getaway in the kitchen. And you also don’t want to spend valuable vacation time waiting for restaurant tables. So you need to plan your meals. 

Group dinner

If you’re staying in a rental with a kitchen, create a schedule so that each family/person is responsible for a certain meal – including clean up. Be sure to double-check everyone’s dietary restrictions and special requests for kids. 

If you are dining out, restaurant reservations are a good idea – especially for a big crowd. Otherwise, you’ll waste time debating dinner options and waiting for a table each night. 

Have someone responsible for a big grocery trip (if staying in a rental)

Another thing that could waste time during your vacation is repeat trips to the store. The easiest way to make sure that you get all the groceries you need AND that costs are split evenly is to make one big grocery run. 

Gather up everyone’s meal plans and snack requests, and then do all the shopping done at once. Put it on one credit card and then have each person/family pay back their share.

Keep the shopping outing limited to just a couple of people (perhaps the trip leaders). This helps limit any impulse buys and keeps it quick. Stick to the list, divide the expenses, and enjoy a vacation with all the food items you will need. 

Decide how everyone will get around 

If you’ve ever been on a group vacation, you may know the struggle of getting everyone from Point A to Point B. Avoid running late or feeling stressed by figuring out transportation in advance. 

If you’re staying in a central location, you may be able to rely on walking and public transportation to get to most activities. Otherwise, you will need to make sure everybody has rental cars. 

A small party could get by with one rental car or van, while multi-family travel may require multiple vehicles. Having several cars can also make it easier for everyone to get to different locations at one time. 

Once it’s time to go on a collective tour or activity, consider booking a charter bus or large van to help everyone arrive together. 

Book at least one activity that appeals to everyone in the group 

It’s ok to split up and do different things during a multi-family vacation. But you also want to enjoy time together, so organizing an activity that everyone will enjoy is worth it. 

Survey each family member to see what kind of activities they would enjoy. It doesn’t have to be big and fancy – a day out at the beach or a sightseeing tour could be just the thing to bring everyone together. But this could also be the chance for everyone to step out of their comfort zone and try something new. 

Have a flexible itinerary

The key to having a good time during your group vacation? Stay flexible. This means having patience, expecting delays, and enjoying the simple moments that pop up between planned activities. 

This could be the perfect chance to explore new places and try out fun activities. But you also want it to allow for lots of quality time together. So, as you nail down your detailed information and begin booking activities, don’t overpack your itinerary.

Instead, create some backup plans, enjoy the little moments, and be flexible when things get off schedule. 

Planning a Group Trip Checklist: See Below!