You and your girlfriends have been dying to hangout and are having serious FOMO the more pics you see of other people in Tulum and Italy, so you decide to plan a fun ‘friendcation’. I’ll be honest being the travel planner for your friendcastion is no easy task, there’s so many elements to consider. We highly recommend to save everyone time and angst to seek out a travel advisor to tackle the friendcation travel planning so that everything is streamlined, you’re able to learn more about the vast options available to big groups at different destinations and the workload of travel planning doesn’t fall … though sometimes unfairly, on the shoulder of anyone in the friend group.
Take a “Test Trip” With Your Group Before You All Splurge on a Longer Stay “Friendcation”
If you are unsure of which friends in the group are ‘travel-worthy’, take some time to consider a weekend getaway together first as a ‘test run’ to a longer or even international trip.
The weekend trip can be so simple to self plan, check in at a nearby resort or trendy hotel and let the fun begin. A weekend together will show you so much about your friendgroups travel style, personality, likes and dislikes and everyone can take into consideration what they gathered from the weekend together to best plan a longer trip together.
For example, some friends love the idea of cramming the entire group into a hotel room and having a true “sleepover” vibe going on, while others may prefer more
Make Sure the Entire Group Is Clear and Aligned on the Cost of the Trip
If I could shout this from the rooftop every time I consult about group trips or friendcations I would, because financials always tends to be a pain point or soft spot when it comes to trip with groups of 4 or more. So to elevate any tensions I suggest every gather together and have a real and raw conversation about their budget and what they feel comfortable contributing to the trip, so no one feels like they’re diminishing the experiences of others or being a party-pooper. It doesn’t hurt to plan some free or super affordable activities for your trip together to off set cost like a trip to the museum or botanical garden.
Don’t Be Afraid to Inquire About Group Discounts
If you are the one leading the charge when it comes to the travel planning, when researching different hotels and resorts, don’t be afraid to inquire about group discounts or rates for parties of 4 or more. You don’t know unless you ask, for example, The Carillon hotel on Miami Beach offers group wellness retreats led by experts including nearly160 fitness classes per week. That could be a deciding factor to go with that hotel because of the cool offerings they have that would be right there at the hotel and super easy for the friend group to enjoy together.
When Vacationing Together With Your Friends Try to Be Fair and Neutral
For example, the organizer of the trip should probably get first dibs on the best bedroom in the accommodation booked and anyone stuck with the sofa bed should get a price break, when it comes time to pay for everything, you see?! When dining in a group often the bill is itemized or split evenly vs each person getting their own with what they ordered individually, in keeping with our fair and neutral goal, here is where the friends who maybe didn’t drink alcohol or only ordered an appetizer could pay less toward the bill compared to the person who ordered wine, entrée, and dessert. Before you book or confirm anything, be upfront about all costs involved, and set a date when deposits are due. Sign up for apps such as Venmo or Splitwise, a free app that allows you to tally and pay complicated expenses. Thank me later *wink*
Lastly… Be Proactive and Plan Ahead
I will always suggest that friend groups 4 or more should consult with a travel agent regarding their trip as it can be immensely beneficial for everyone to invest in having someone handle the research and trip planning. If not, quickly identify a group leader and play into each friends strengths to make the planning process smoother for everyone. For example the friend who loves to look up reviews online can be a great lead for fining the right resorts and hotel options and for the friend who is super organized and detailed could be great for crafting the itinerary to share with the group, if a friend in the group is a wiz when it comes to finance then they can assist with number crunching so everyone is aware of the cost and there’s no surprises. Delegating is a key factor for successful ‘friendcation’ trips also be sure to plan ahead and book early!