How to Plan a Cheap Group Vacation

Photo by: Flickr
Photo by: Flickr

With the economy the way it is, people are planning vacations on a tighter budget. They are more careful in spending their hard-earned money. One way to get more vacation for less money is by traveling with others. Whether it is a large group or just a few friends, you can save money by pooling your resources.

However, for all of the benefits, there can also be a downside in traveling with more people. You have more personalities and more opinions and more people to please. There is a way to plan a group vacation and make everyone happy and to come home with a few dollars left in your pocket.

The first thing in planning a group vacation is to have a meeting with everyone together. Find out what everyone is expecting in this vacation. Is it supposed to be relaxing or a lot of sightseeing? Do they want to get away from it all or be in the center of everything? It would be easiest to appoint one person to be the vacation planner and they can delegate tasks to others if they choose. The planner needs to ask the questions and take notes for when they are making reservations later.

The vacation planner also needs to find out what everyone requires in accommodations, cost, what their budget is, any tourist attractions they want to see and anything else that is important to them on a vacation. It’s at this stage that everyone must decide if their ideas are compatible with each other. Not everyone can travel well together and you don’t want them to be unhappy during the trip.

Planning a vacation yourself can take a lot of time so it would be easier if another person is responsible for handling the travel arrangements. They would rent a car or get airline tickets, depending on where you are going. It could also include getting passes for trains or other transportation. To save the most money on travel, you have to watch several websites and wait for the prices to get to what you are willing to pay. The popular travel websites like Expedia and Orbitz are great for travel bargains, but sometimes the airlines and rental places have deals that aren’t listed and they can end up being cheaper.

To find accommodations, the best places to look are the tourism websites for the place you are going. You might also consider looking at official websites that are geared more towards people who live there. You can find places that are not as popular with tourists but still good locations that will be cheaper. This is also where you will find destinations that don’t rate as high on the tourist websites but would save you money.

If you are willing to travel a little farther to the tourist attractions, you can find some great bargain places. For instance, Nassau is the place everyone thinks of vacationing in the Bahamas but there are a lot of small islands where you can stay that don’t cost as much.

When getting tickets for tourist attractions, it’s often cheaper to get them before you leave on vacation, especially if they might sell out when you want to go. One thing to find out is if the ticket is for a specific time or good for use any time while you are there. Some people don’t like to have a tight schedule on vacation. If they are open tickets, it would be helpful to purchase them ahead of time. However, if they are for a specific time, like show tickets or boat excursions, you might want to let everyone get their own once they’ve arrived. Plans often change after getting to your destination and discovering there are other things to do.

Before leaving for your trip, you will want to discuss everyone’s expectations for the vacation. Will everyone be expected to check in or will they come and go as they please? Will certain people be traveling together or everyone doing their own thing? This isn’t too important if you are staying in one place the whole time, but if you’re visiting different areas and changing accommodations, you will need to know. You don’t want the group getting upset because someone is late or doesn’t show up. And if you’re staying in a location that might not be as safe, you want to know if people will be traveling together or going out alone. And while you don’t like to think of bad things happening, you want to have a plan of action if someone isn’t seen for a certain amount of time.

If traveling out of the United States, you will also want to find out if everyone has international cell phones and if they will work in the location where you’re going. A little extra planning ahead of time can make for a carefree vacation.

Traveling with a group can be fun and save a lot of money but there are special considerations that must be thought of to make the vacation enjoyable for everyone. If it is organized, it can become the preferred way to travel and provide a lot of great memories.