Troupe featured on Travel Massive

Trying to plan a trip with friends? Good luck staying sane. With endless emails and text threads, chaotic suggestions, and disorganized itineraries, it can be a nightmare to accomplish.

That’s where Troupe comes in. Troupe helps you plan a trip with friends, hassle-free. The group trip planner app allows all trip members to vote on their preferred dates/destinations/accommodations. Then, you can book directly in the app once you’re ready. Once you’re booked, create an itinerary so everybody has access to the plans.

But what’s the best way to go about planning a trip with friends? After thoroughly examining different group trip planning methods, we’ve discovered the best order to plan and book your vacation. In addition, we’ve interviewed hundreds of travelers to better understand what they find most important when it comes to planning a trip with friends

Let’s take a look at the importance of deadlines, questions to ask before you start planning, and a few additional suggestions around group travel planning.

The best order to plan a trip with friends is:

  1. Narrow down your destination choices
  2. Figure out your flights. 
  3. Narrow down accommodation options to 3 and vote.
  4. Book your accommodation once all group members have purchased flights.
  5. Discuss/vote on/book any activities or restaurant reservations

Group Vacation Planning: order of booking

So where do you start? Do you pick a destination and then decide on activities and accommodations? Or do you let the destination choose you by searching for unique places to stay? You may even first want to decide on a common “theme” for the trip, like hiking or surfing, and then narrow down the rest. 

There’s no “right” answer when it comes to how to plan a group trip, but there are pros and cons to the different methods. 

And no matter which order you decide works best for you, Troupe’s group trip planner can help you plan a trip with friends by helping with group votes, itinerary sharing, booking, and more. 

Steps to plan a trip with friends

Ask the group basic questions. The first things to think about when planning a group trip are any special circumstances.

Some questions to ask group members prior to planning include: 

  1. Is everyone willing to fly? 

 Make sure everyone is willing to fly or your destination radius will be significantly smaller.

  1. Does anyone have any health conditions or dietary restrictions?

Some people may have a harder time dealing with altitude, cold weather, polluted cities, etc. Also, some countries make it incredibly hard for vegetarians/vegans to dine out. Clarify with the group if anyone has special needs to consider that would limit your destination list. 

  1. Does anyone have any budget restrictions?

We all know money can be a sensitive subject. If the group trip planner asks everyone about their budget restrictions individually instead of in a group chat, it can help take the pressure off. If you’re worried about offending someone, try framing it as “What is the max you’d be willing to spend on flights?” and similarly for accommodations. 

In addition, learn more about how to split expenses on group trips.

A group of 8 friends sit on a ledge by the water with their arms around each other

Set. deadlines.

We put an extra period in this header for emphasis. Because that’s how important deadlines are. 

A whopping 95.9% of people we surveyed thought a trip would be more likely to happen when someone took the lead on planning. And the most important thing the leader can do is set definitive deadlines. This includes setting dates for when the group is deciding on a destination, booking flights, booking accommodation, and planning any additional activities.

Additionally, over 90% of people surveyed believe that the responsiveness of the group is important to not missing out on good deals for flights/hotels.

And that’s where deadlines come in! 

Our recommendations for deadlines when planning a group trip are:

  • Picking a Destination: A minimum of 2.5 months in advance 
  • Booking Flights: 6 weeks in advance for International and 4 weeks in advance for Domestic.
  • Booking Accommodation: 2 weeks in advance

Of course, some group trips are planned at the last minute and we love that too. These guidelines are just for the advanced planners among us. 

The best order to plan a trip with friends

That all being said, we do think there’s an ideal order to plan group travel, all things considered. Be sure to customize the destination options to be inclusive of every group member’s budget and restrictions. 

The best order to plan group travel is the following: 

  1. Narrow down your destination choices to 5 or fewer and have group members vote
  2. Once you have a winner for the destination, figure out your flights. 
  3. Narrow down accommodation options to 3 and allow group members to vote on their favorite. 
  4. Book your accommodation once all group members have purchased flights.
  5. Discuss/vote on/book any activities or restaurant reservations 

Troupe helps travelers seamlessly plan their travels from the time you vote on your favorite destinations to when you share links to favorite activity options.

Book your group travel

Once you’ve decided on the destination, accommodations, flights, and/or activities– book them! Get it out of the way so you can focus on getting excited about your upcoming vacation. Often, all it takes to set a group trip in motion is a pull of the trigger.

American passport with ticket inside. Booking flights as part group vacation planning

Additional suggestions when planning a group trip 

There are a few more things you can do to help in the planning of group travel. Here are a few:

  • Set a Price Alert to keep an eye on flight prices (if you’re more than 6 weeks out). Under 6 weeks, book the flights if you find a good price. 
  • If you’re the one doing the majority of the planning but don’t like being assertive, enlist the help of another group member to enforce deadlines.
  • Keep an open mind and remind everyone else to do the same. How often are your favorite experiences the ones you would’ve never thought to have in the first place?

Friend trip FAQ

Is it cheaper to travel in a group? 

Frequently, yes. Group travel opens your accommodation options to shared homes which can frequently save group members money instead of staying in a hotel.

How do I find a group to travel with?

If you can’t get any family or friends to take a trip with you, consider joining one of the many group travel companies that arrange itineraries for groups of solo travelers.

Do airlines offer discounts for groups?

Airlines will frequently offer discounts for large groups but it varies by group size, dates, and airline. Get in touch with the airline you wish to fly for more information of group flight discounts.