The roundtable pub conversation about how great it would be to all go away together on holiday is finally happening. Now the hard part: how to keep the feelgood vibe going once you’re actually planning it. How will you split the money, who should be in charge, and what does everyone actually want to do when you get there.
Here are some tips to help your planning.
Turns out Michael isn’t on Facebook and Jenny refuses to use anything other than text. This will not do. Choose a messaging app that works on iPhone, Android and get everyone on board. The obvious picks are WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, but you could also try WeChat or Viber. Get inventive and use some of the colour coding or naming functionalities in the messaging services to keep track of different discussions.
Decide on a budget and stick to it
You’ll need to figure this one out ahead of time rather than arguing on a sand dune when you should be swimming. Group travel only works when everyone is on the same page, so it’s important to decide on a budget that suits everyone’s finances.
Apps such as Trail Wallet keep track of your budget independently, or you can nominate someone in the group to update. You could also try a group budget tracker such as Splitwise, Splittr and Split, all user-friendly group budget calculators. You can add in bills as you plan your trip, including train tickets, group tours or accommodation. Some even allow multiple currency input, so you don’t have to spend hours on currency calculators before you’ve stepped off the plane.
Use a fare-splitting service
Group flight bookings are stressful. Here’s how to avoid it: Jetstar’s FareShare service allows you to split the cost directly through the payment process, alleviating the need to nominate a member of the group to fork out a sum and hope everyone pays up.
During the booking process select “split booking”, pay the $5 FareShare fee, add all your group members’ details, and flights are held for your group for 48 hours until every member pays.
Start an itinerary
Flight times, booked tours, hotel check-in times, addresses, contact numbers – put it all in one spot for everyone to refer to at any time. There are a number of apps that do this – Travefy allows you to create an itinerary everyone can access. And the soon-to-be-released Combo Trip will have options to purchase accommodation, tours and more through the app, with special deals for app users only. It also transfers the bookings directly into your itinerary. So if you’re flying with Jetstar to Honolulu, you can type in your destination, select “attractions” and book it all from the one app.
Shared wish list
Start a Google Doc with categories (activities, food, lazing) so people can add ideas when they choose. Get everyone to write their top breakfast, lunch and dinner options in the doc so when it comes to the fateful group-dining decision time you can do a quick scan and go.
This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with Jetstar. Book your group trip with FareShare now.