Nicole Tj
January 20, 2022

The ultimate checklist for planning a group trip

Understandably, though, planning isn’t for everyone, with so many things to take into consideration and the many organizational measures you need to keep in place. 

Consider us your sidekicks with this handy checklist from our serial planners — we've got your back. Create the ultimate getaway experience as a group with zero hitches, all thanks to the hard work you put into your planning phase. Thank us later!

1. Decide on a destination

Once you've made the decision to embark on a good, old group trip, the next step is to consider where you’ll venture off to in the first place. 

If you already have a destination in mind, you’re halfway there, but let’s face it – half the struggle is coming to an agreement on where to explore and for how long. If this is you (and your group of buddies), you can find travel stories from real travelers on Travis, giving you all the inspiration you need to start your brainstorming.

Additionally, if you’re really stuck on where to go, social media platforms like Pinterest and Instagram can even shed some light on what to expect in various locations.

The aim is to agree on a destination as soon as possible, so that you can jump onto the other to-dos in your list.

Consider the length of your trip

2. Consider the length of your trip

Getting away for weeks on end isn’t easy for everyone, so your trip might mean you’re only jet-setting off for a few days at a time. On the other end of the spectrum, you could be planning a lengthy trip that sees you roaming city after city – the world’s your oyster. 

Tip: Remember that the longer your trip, the greater your chances of actually saving money. This is especially true if you plan on visiting multiple countries in places like Europe; while the cost of airfare to one country may be high, once you're there, most transportation is relatively inexpensive.

3. Estimate your group budget & find travel hacks

When you're organizing a trip for four people, the costs can quickly add up. Researching expenses early on will help you establish how much money everyone should be contributing, and ensure everyone has funds left to spend while they're away. It will also eliminate any hiccups before the big day comes.

Tip: Apply for a credit card that gives travel rewards and benefits to gain discounts on certain experiences or resources while you’re out and about.Options like Amtrak for US adventurers allow you to reap those nifty guest rewards through their Platinum Mastercard® (two points for every $1 spend on Amtrak travel). If you’re heading out to the UK, American Express’ Gold credit card is perfect for beginners, giving you 20,000 bonus points to reduce the cost of travel, as well as no annual fee. Meanwhile, Chase Sapphire offers two great cards for all-round rewards in Europe.

Another option is to switch over to a no-fee ATM card, as this may be your Saving Grace when you’re abroad. On that note, also remember to let your bank know that you are traveling so that they mistake overseas transactions as something more negative.

Collect travel ideas

4. Collect your travel ideas in one place 

The worst thing that could happen as the designated group trip/travel planner is that you start to get a barrage of 42 different suggestions sent to you in all directions – group chats, website links, emails, etc. And of course there’s also people's varying preferences, on top of your own furious research on socials, figuring out how far places are from each other, opening hours, and so on. The point is, it very quickly becomes a mess of websites and tools often don't connect to each other to make things easier. 

The solution? Have Travis handy so that you can collect all of these group trip ideas together in one place – think a visual travel moodboard, where you can: 

  • Save places shared by other travelers and creators
  • Save links from websites and publications you trust
  • See all places automatically mapped (yep, no copying and pasting on Google Maps)
  • Share your group trip Moodboard with a link – so everyone can see saved places in a shared view.

A good ol' spreadsheet and Google Maps will definitely do the job, but if you want it to be more visual and interactive, the Moodboard tool on Travis is a very good alternative.

Easily create different moodboards for the different days of your trip, or different areas that you're visiting – and share them amongst your friends. Best of all, you can see all places automatically mapped with business info – like addresses and opening hours – saving you and your mates precious time that could be used for looking up even more inspo instead!

5. Book your flights

Once you’ve locked down where you want to go and for how long, the next step is to secure your flights. Because there are so many options to choose from and costs that continuously fluctuate, keep these handy questions in mind when assessing available tickets:

  • What airlines fly to your destination?
  • How much will your flight be? 
  • Are there any different deals with various dates? 
  • Are there any discounts available? 
  • Do you have any miles/points with this airline? 
  • Do you have any credit card rewards that I can use for your flight?
  • Do you need specific seating or accessibility arrangements?

An important note on travelling and COVID-19:

While we recommend taking a single flight, if you do find yourself booking through transit flights, make sure you have ample time in between, especially COVID situations changing all the time. Most airlines also allow free cancellations for when circumstances call for it

Pro tip: A nifty trick for booking flights is to use the Incognito function on your browser to search for the same flight; most times you'll find price drops ;)

6. Pick your accommodation

Gather as a group and consider what kind of accommodation you’ve going to need and how long you plan to actually spend inside it. If you’re stopping over from one location to the next, a six-star hotel isn’t necessarily your highest priority; if you’re spending a lot of time in a specific place, you may want to choose something more fitting for the duration.

Remember to also shop around for deals and packages – you never know until you look.For example, Travis neatly integrates and partners with various awesome hotels, as well as, so we recommend checking in frequently to see the latest deals.

Get packing

7. Get packing 

This is as literal as the heading. Don’t procrastinate – hop straight into packing everything you’ll need on your adventure, and cross-check with your itinerary to make sure you haven’t missed anything. Feeling unmotivated? Amp yourself up with these handy tips:

  • Create a packing list. Do you throw everything and the kitchen sink into your bags at the 11th hour? Or are you a methodical packing checklist-ticker ready two weeks ahead of your trip? We've learnt the hard way that a simple packing list can go the distance and save you unwanted headaches on the road.
  • Pack a weather-friendly wardrobe. Even better, mix and match like a pro with a super flexible capsule wardrobe.
  • Check your baggage allowance. On average, flights allow 15kg of carry-on luggage and up to 32kg for checked baggage. Double-check with your chosen airline to make sure you’ve ticked all their boxes here.
  • Get organised with packing cubes.
  • Have a dedicated ‘tech bag’ for all your chargers, cables, etc. 
  • Don’t forget your adapters! Especially if you're going overseas.
  • First Aid kit (think Panadol, Band-Aids and general medical essentials).

More on this in another post.

8. Consider travel insurance

In our eyes, travel insurance is a must. You never know when you’re going to get caught out with medical bills, cancellation fees, or other hurdles along the way and with COVID-19 changing circumstances every day, this protection has never been more important. In a post-pandemic world, we see travel insurance as an ongoing essential, allowing you to negate many risks and giving you coverage when you need it most. 

Enjoy your trip

The final step: Enjoy your trip

Having done all the hard work to plan and prepare, the only thing left to do is marvel at your organizational skills and just enjoy the moment. While we know trudging through the preparation and planning stages can seem like a hassle, it will all inevitably make your trip far easier in the long run. And it doesn’t have to be boring! Travis will even help the non-planners of your group by encouraging them to participate and contribute ideas to your adventure, and you’ll be able to visualise it all in the fully mapped out Moodboard tool. 

Sound like a treat? It is. Start planning your group trip with Travis now!

Plan your next trip with our free travel app

Whether it's a road trip, solo trip or group trip, Travis easily helps you and your friends create beautiful, visual interactive Moodboards of your ideas in one place.

Visual trip planner with place on the left and map on the right