If you’re like most people, you are probably terrified of the idea of planning a group trip. Even for travel experts, planning group trips can be pretty exhausting. I’ve planned quite a few group trips (not saying everything went perfect) but I can surely give you a few tips on what you can do make things run a little smoother. Learn from my mistakes! At the end of the day, I prefer sharing moments with my loved ones over going anywhere solo. With that being said, this guide was created to assist you with everything that should be mentioned upfront to save your trip from a total disaster. So let’s get started on group trip etiquette shall we!
Rule #1: PLAN THE ITINERARY
Once you’re ready to start planning, start a Groupme; it’s a free app and works on every phone. It’s also an easy ice breaker and everyone can get to know each other before the trip even starts. While planning, everyone should have an input and be respectful of all activities chosen. DO NOT leave the itinerary for one person to plan; it’s stressful and you’ll be upset if you don’t get to see something important. There should be time for everyone to do activities together as well as time where people can wander off and do what ever they please. Planning works best if everyone finds something they want to do and share it with the group. There should be one head planner who then creates a list/time line, and the flow of the trip can go from there. Don’t stress out when everything doesn’t go as planned because sometimes things happen!
Rule #2: PAY ON TIME
This is probably the hardest part about group traveling. Paying on time is important because that’s when the REAL planning begins! That’s how the planner knows who’s serious about going and they can figure out the best accommodations needed for the group. If you know you can’t go, it’s best to just be upfront about it as soon as you find out to avoid any extra stress. As a planner, I find it easier for people to say they can’t go and then just add on later if they change their mind. Just be completely open with communication during the entire planning process. Buy everything ahead of time (like your passport and toiletries) so you aren’t stressing about budgeting for the common necessities.
Rule #3: SHARING PICTURES
One of the most unfortunate parts about group travels is photos! There’s always one person with the newest phone that has the best camera-wellllll congratulations you have been promoted to cameraman. I’m here to warn you, everyone is going to want to use your phone for photos AND they expect you to send them their pics immediately. Trust me, I know it’s a headache but thanks to airdrop/dropbox/private Facebook albums and other sharing sources, it’s so much easier to share photos than sending them one by one via text. Save yourself the headache and try to send the pics as soon as possible! Also, don’t forget to pack an extra portable charger because you’ll need it lol. I find it best when groups have a buddy system; two people team up to be each others photographers the whole trip.
Rule #4: PORTABLE CHARGERS
That brings us to the next rule: #BYOC- bring your own charger. No seriously, this is a huge deal! We’re “doing it for the gram” the entire vacation and our phones can’t keep up! I know most of us feel useless when our phones die lol. Invest in yourself and grab a charger asap. I posted a few below just so you can see different options. This is definitely one of those “you get what you pay for” situations, so make sure you choose a quality charger and not something that’s only $5. I highly recommend you buy this today if you don’t already have one! Even if you aren’t going on vacation soon, that will be one less thing you have to worry about when budgeting for your vacation later.
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Rule #5: DOWNLOAD ALL APPS NEEDED
EVERYONE needs to download AND sign up for whatever apps that apply to the trip before you catch your flight. We’ve caught on to the friends that try getting out of paying for all the Uber rides because they don’t have the app! Yup I’m calling you out lol. Most apps will send you a text code to verify your number and you need cellular service to receive it so you definitely have to download it in advance. The basic necessities should be money transfer apps like Venmo and Cashapp or transportation apps like Uber and Lyft .
Rule #6: BRING CASH
Take out cash before you head to the airport! Try to avoid the overpriced international ATM fees and take out a minimum of $100 to convert when you land. It’s important to already have cash ready to exchange when you land because the first taxi ride to your destination is going to require cash and trust me, most people will scam you if you pay in American money. I personally find it more convenient when I pull out a set amount of money, that way I know when I’m spending too much.
Rule #7: BRING GROUP CASH
Bring a minimum of $100 cash for group purposes only! This is separate money that you technically don’t plan on spending, but just incase something comes up (like extra tips or splitting taxi fares) just be prepared. It’s a challenge trying to keep up with all of the “I owe you’s” and that can really cause stress on the person dishing out all the funds.
Rule #8: PACK YOUR OWN EVERYTHING
Toothpaste, hair products, shower gel etc. etc. etc. pack your own! It’s called travel etiquette! I know this may seem like it’s not a big deal but little things add up and you’re reading this because you want a drama free trip. Don’t be the friend that packs light because you plan on using everybody else items-that’s annoying. If you forget something that’s fine, but make sure to buy it before the trip is over.
Rule #9: PACK SMART
This one isn’t too serious, but a lot of people don’t consider the way they pack. When you’re packing, don’t forget to think about car space. Is 4 people with oversized suitcases going to fit in one taxi? I remember 4 of us going on a 3 day road trip and there wasn’t enough space in the trunk because everyone packed large luggage #fail.
Rule #10: BATHROOM ETIQUETTE
First things first, you will be the joke of the trip if you blow up the bathroom. Save yourself the embarrassment and use the bathroom before you get to your room lol. If you’re at an Airbnb, bring a pack of matches with you or buy poo-pourri. Next concern is usually the showers. When you travel in big groups, you have to have a shower arrangements. If you go first on day one, you have to be considerate and rotate on the rest of the days. Example: (1,2,3) (2,3,1) (3,1,2) you get the point
Rule #11: COORDINATE FOR THE GRAM
This is probably the most asked rule & I’ve been getting these same questions for so long: “How the heck did you get everyone to wear the same thing” “Where did you get your swimsuits” etc. Well here’s what you gotta do: hype your crew up! It’s that simple. With all the group photos going viral now, it shouldn’t be that complicated. Get creative and keep it affordable. I prefer to stick to matching swimsuits and they can easily be found on amazon. When I chose my Hawaii swimsuits, I literally sent all the girls a ton of options that they could buy and I checked everyones before they bought it! Sounds harsh but guess what, we was fly and we made it to the shade room lol so it was all worth it.
Rule #12: WATER PROOF POUCH
It should be mandatory that EVERYONE purchases a waterproof phone pouch before the trip! You can put your phone, I.D. and money in a pouch and that will save the hassle of worrying about your possessions while in the water. Having this pouch also guarantees everyone has their phone with them for their own photos. As I’ve said before, it’s just easier when you use your own phone for your pics to avoid the photo sharing complications.
Rule #13: LEAVE THE DRAMA AT HOME!
The last and final rule is leave the drama at home. Don’t make others feel uncomfortable because that can really ruin the whole trip! This especially goes for couples *cough cough*! Ladiesssss you too! Leave all that drama at home and if you see a problem arise on vacation, just let it go. It’s not the right time or the place to address it, you aren’t on reality t.v so no, you don’t get to throw someone over the boat or break expensive wine glasses. You should be out living your best life so be the bigger person, have a drink or two and get yourself together.
Rule #14 HAVE FUN
The most important rule! Breathe and just let it go.
The next time you’re planning a trip, make sure to share this post with everyone so you will all be on the same page! I hope this list helps clear the air and makes your next trip a breeze #seewhatididthere.
Please share any other rules I have not posted!