Travelling with friends is a fun way to foster deeper connections and make lasting memories. But group trips can be stressful, especially when it comes to agreeing on expenses and if everybody has different budgets.
“But behind those smiles can be some potentially very uncomfortable conversations about money — ones that you, too, should be having when you plan your next group trip.”
Bookings for large group holidays surged in the UK after Covid-19 restrictions were relaxed, according to travel technology company Amadeus.
“We expect to see the growth of group trips continue among friends throughout 2022,” Amadeus said.
Here personal finance experts offer their advice on how to plan a holiday with friends without stressing over finances before and during your travels.
Decide on a budget
Sit down with your friends and put together a list of how much you are allocating to each expense, such as travel, accommodation, food and transport, among others, says Ramzi Khleif, general manager at digital wealth manager StashAway Mena.
“Once you know how much each thing will cost, make sure you keep that sum aside and try to stick to the budget,” he says.
Having a budget that suits everyone’s financial situation is key to enjoying your holiday, says Sophia Bhatti, a partner at financial advisers Hoxton Capital Management.
“It is important to be upfront from the beginning about your budget and what is affordable to you. Setting a budget helps when planning a trip and ultimately avoids any arguments because you have managed spending expectations beforehand,” she says.
If you plan well in advance, you can even invest in low-risk portfolios, such as a money-market fund or a mix of bonds and fixed income to make a little profit before the trip, Mr Khleif says.
Make an itinerary
Do your research and create an itinerary to plan the main parts of your trip before time. This can help you and your friends get a rough estimate of how much you’re going to spend on the trip and ensure that everyone in the group knows what to expect, allowing no surprise expenses that you and you friends have not accounted for, StashAway’s Mr Khleif says.
“An itinerary allows you to book early for excursions and, in some cases, get online discounts. It also helps the group to decide whether to separate for certain activities — not everyone has the same tastes or interests,” Ms Bhatti says.
“Making an itinerary avoids extra costs for last-minute bookings or excursions and avoids anyone missing out by knowing ahead what they will be doing and spending.”
Create a fund pool
Use an app to split bills
There are many cost-splitting apps available, which allow groups to divide bills quickly and easily.
On many trips with friends, one may end up paying for dinner, the other may have hired the car and another friend may have booked an excursion, Ms Bhatti says.
“Rather than worrying that you will not be paid what you are owed and to avoid the ‘I’ll pay for the next drink or taxi’, these apps do all the maths for you,” she says.
“Splitwise is a very handy app, just invite your friends, everyone adds their own expenses that they are due and the app calculates it all for you.”
Look for group discounts and shared accommodation
Most countries and cities have discount apps and websites that you and your friends can research and download before the trip to find good deals for entertainment, shopping, food and travel. Some attractions even offer discount rates for groups of four or more than five people, Mr Khleif says.
“Many holiday and excursion companies offer group discounts, buy one get the second person free and percentage-off walk-in prices,” Ms Bhatti says.
“Restaurants, beach clubs and hotels offer promotions on their social media pages. If you have a particular place you want to visit, always check their socials.”
Sharing an Airbnb or equivalent can also save you a lot of money, Mr Khleif says.Source: