Who doesn’t love to travel with friends? Whether it’s a birthday, bachelorette, or a ‘just because’ friend trip, the vacations we take with our friends are often some of the most memorable. But the more people involved, the more complicated planning group travel becomes. And it all starts with getting people to commitment to the friend trip in the first place.

RSVP: Getting group members to commit when you travel with friends

There’s a lot that goes into planning a friend trip. Locking down dates that work for everyone, sticking to a group budget, and coordinating flight times are just a few of the obstacles that can feel seemingly impossible at times.

Troupe is designed to help make group travel easy. In doing that, we’ve interviewed loads of travelers about the biggest hurdles they face when planning a group trip. Time and time again, we hear the same answer: getting people to commit. In fact, 76.6% of travelers we surveyed say that when planning a group trip, how committed others are to going is a major factor in deciding whether or not they’ll go.

76.6% - Travelers who say that the commitment level of others is a major factor in their decision to join a group trip

How to get people to commit to a friend trip

Without an official number count for a friend trip, everything is left up in the air (pun intended). Accommodation costs can fluctuate by hundreds of dollars per person if less people end up joining. And no group member ever wants to be the first to book their flight. Sometimes on group trips, you may be on the fence about commiting until you know who else is in or out. 

While we can’t force anyone’s hand for you, we have plenty of suggestions on how to get group members to commit.

travel with friends: four young adults stand with their back to the camera on a hilltop overlooking the sunset

How to get group members to commit when planning to travel with friends:

  1. Deadlines!
  2. Track the deals 
  3. Offer to do it for them 
  4. Require a down payment 
  5. Make the planning a fun event

1. Deadlines 

Deadlines are a group trip planner’s best friend. And this comes down to the person in charge being straightforward and firm.

“I need a 100% commitment from everyone who is coming by X date. The cost will be between Y and Z depending how many people commit. I’ll let you know the final cost on X date and you can Venmo me to secure your spot!”

Of travelers we surveyed, 79.6% either agree or strongly agree with the sentiment that a trip is more likely to happen if deadlines are set for when decisions must be made. So group trip planners should take solace in knowing that deadlines are appreciated by the majority of the group. In fact, only 5.4% somewhat disagreed with the importance of deadlines, and the rest had no feelings towards them at all.

79.6% - Travelers who agree or strongly agree that a trip is more likely to happen if deadlines are set for group decisions.

2. Track the deals

Set price alerts using Skyscanner and/or Google Flights in order to get notified when flight prices drop for any of the dates you were looking at traveling. Then, use this as a catalyst to commit to dates and get group members to commit to the trip. 

“Hey guys, I’ve been tracking flight prices and these are by far the lowest I’ve seen. We should book now in order to not miss out on this deal.”

Since you’ve been watching the prices and you’re an authority on the matter, people will likely be grateful to know when they can nab their ticket at the cheapest price and book it as a group. 

booking travel with friends, a hand holding a credit card beside the back of a silver MacBook
Photo by Pickawood on Unsplash

3. Offer to do it for them

It almost always comes down to booking a flight as the ultimate sign of commitment to a friend trip. 

Sometimes group members are more than happy to commit, but booking their flight or paying upfront for accommodations isn’t at the top of their to-do list. Often, simply asking lagging group members if they want you to book their stuff for them will receive a resounding ‘Yes!’ in return. 

In addition, a group message to all group members that says “I’m booking my flight tonight, this is the cost, whoever wants to Venmo me before 6 p.m. I’ll be happy to book their ticket!” will usually work. Once one person publicly hops on board, others are often quick to do the same. 

Interesting Fact: Nearly 70% of travelers admit that they’re reluctant to book a flight before someone else has already booked theirs!

-Troupe SURVEY

4. Require a down payment 

Nothing gets people to commit to a friend trip like requiring a down payment in order to secure their spot. For the one in the driver’s seat planning the trip, this is where you need to be strictly business. Remember, everyone understands that firm commitments are required in order to know the final costs involved. 

If you’re not quite ready to book yet but you need to know who is committed, ask everyone who is 100% ‘in’ to Venmo you (anywhere from $50-$200 depending on the cost of the total trip) to secure their spot. Depending on the logistics of your individual trip, this can either go towards their share of accommodation once it’s booked, or you can simply refund everyone after the trip has started. 

5. Make the planning a fun event

Last but not least (in fact, this is our favorite method!) is to make an event out of the planning and booking of the trip. Gather all your friends who are interested and meet at a bar. The travel planner can bring a laptop so you can all order drinks and decide together where you’re going, where you’re staying, and purchase your tickets as a group. The fun atmosphere takes the pressure off making decisions and committing to the adventure.

group of four sits at a counter with coffee, laptop and tablet, smiling  planning travel with friends
Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

Ready to start planning travel with friends? Discover all the ways Troupe’s group travel planner app can help you seamlessly plan, book, and share flights, hotels, reservations and more.

FAQ

Where can I go on my trip with my friends?

Some of the best domestic destinations for a trip with friends are Las Vegas, Denver, Nashville, Austin, New York City, and Chicago. Internationally, look to travel with friends to Prague, Paris, Cancun, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, or Colombia.

How can I enjoy my friend trip?

The best way to enjoy a friend trip is to remember that you’re on vacation. Everyone should be relaxed and try to go-with-the-flow as much as possible. Group trips can get stressful but if everyone has a good attitude, it’ll go a long way. 

Where can I travel with friends for cheap?

Some of the best, cheap group travel destinations for friends include Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Colombia, Thailand, and Vietnam.