How to Budget Group Travel Without Breaking the Bank

(Credit: How to Budget Group Travel Without Breaking the Bank) How to Budget Group Travel Without Breaking the Bank
July 23
8:44 PM 2021

Group trips-They sound great in theory, right? And while it's true that a group trip can be a thing of legend, what can make or break a trip comes down to proper planning.

While there are many factors you need to consider when effectively planning a trip - the most important by far is how to budget within a group dynamic.

And a lot of factors go into the budgeting process, like:

  • How many people are traveling?
  • Where you're traveling to?
  • What exactly each person's expectations are for the trip?

Budgeting a trip isn't difficult at all, but it requires organization and healthy communication - without this, a group trip can turn into a nightmare that can potentially ruin friendships!

Let's look at a few tips you can use to budget for a group trip effectively.

Manage Expectations

Okay, so you and your friends have all agreed to take a trip! From multi-day camping to flying halfway across the world, this is exciting! Click this link.

But this is where a lot of mistakes in group travel start. They think that the group dynamic will carry over to wherever they go, and it is nothing but great times ahead.

Well, this simply isn't the case. While you're planning on relaxing by the beach with a cold cerveza, one friend may be looking forward to the sightseeing, while another is looking forward to exploring what the nightlife has to offer.

While all valid, it quickly becomes apparent that people travel for different reasons, in different styles, with different expectations, and different budgets.

The worst thing you can do at this stage is avoid the conversation of what exactly everyone is looking to do. It may be weird and a little uncomfortable, especially when talking about money, but it is the foundation of a successful trip.

You will be glad you did it as soon as you arrive at your destination, and a member of your group inevitably says, "I'm kind of hungry - where should we eat"?

Designate a Planner

If you have a member of your entourage that is exceptionally organized and an avid planner, it is wise to designate that person as the official planner of the trip.

This way, the planning gets done properly, and expectations are established right from the outset.  

And, while it will inevitably come to be that not everyone will be able to do every single thing they want - compromises can be made.

These compromises are best made in the planning stage to avoid surprise and disappointment in the middle of the trip.

Luxury or Low-Key

It's essential to book your accommodations as well in advance as you can. Prices are usually cheaper the farther out you book.  

  • Are you looking for a profoundly intimate and authentic experience, staying at hostels and living out of a backpack?
  • Or are you looking more for an all-inclusive resort where all logistics are pretty much figured out for you?
  • Or maybe you are looking for something in between, like an Airbnb?

While none of these choices are wrong, they all come with very different price tags, and your group should decide what kind of accommodations they are looking for.

Also, it may seem tempting to let everyone book their own accommodations. However, this can result in a lot of unnecessary confusion and chaos.

Group Size Matters

The size of the group you are traveling with plays a significant factor in what type of accommodation you may want to go with.

If traveling with 1 or 2 people, a single hotel room with two beds or a hostel may be the best way to go. However, if you are traveling with a group of 6+, an Airbnb will probably provide the most bang for your buck.

With Airbnb, you can apply many filters while searching to find your perfect destination. Once decided, divide the total by the number of people in the group, and - voila!

You have your accommodations for the trip booked and paid for! Doing this well in advance will save many headaches and a lot of money in the long run, so make sure this is one of the first things you do.

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

As you are probably already aware, travel can get pricey, particularly when it comes to flights.

Booking your travel should be a top priority, as, again, the earlier you book, the cheaper the flights are.

It is also wise to do this early on so you can arrange when everybody will be arriving and leaving the destination as well, which helps when planning the logistics of the first and last days of the trip.

Food for Thought

An important subject that is on everyone's mind - what will be done for food? If you're looking for the most cost-effective approach, find a place that comes with a kitchenette so that you can buy groceries and cook meals for the group.

Otherwise, be prepared to spend a fair amount daily on eating out. If going the latter route, try to plan ahead and budget out a daily per diem, as eating out can add up fast!

Enjoy Yourself

Whether traveling with 1 or 8 friends, the importance of planning and sticking to a budget is crucial for a successful group trip. While money may be no object to some, it can be a point of worry or contention for another.

The best way to get the most out of your trip is to budget and plan accordingly.

This way, everyone will know what is to be expected, and there will be no surprises. Remember, the goal is for everyone to enjoy themselves, and that will take some compromise from everyone.

Happy Travels!

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