Skip to main content

6 ways to keep travel with friends stress-free

What we'll cover

  • How to talk about money with your friends

  • When to agree on a plan — and when to disagree

  • The importance of a group itinerary

Group trips with friends are an opportunity to create incredible memories and deepen your relationships. But the stress of travel and budgeting could bring about some serious strife. A little group planning ahead of time can give you more time to focus on the fun stuff and less on the finances.

Fess up about finances

Depending on how close you are with your travel group, you might already have an understanding of your friends’ financial situations. But either way, it’s a good idea to open up a conversation about what kind of cash they have for the trip. Volunteering some affordable options and agreeing on a group budget can help set the tone. Even with the group’s money in mind , there’s no shortage of ways to creatively enjoy a vacation. 

Read more: Ally Bank spending buckets, a feature of Ally Bank's Spending Account, can help you prepare for your next group trip.

Nail down your dates and rates

One of the first financial hurdles to overcome when traveling with friends is agreeing on a destination , transportation and accommodations. To avoid the headaches and fees that come with cancellations, make sure everyone is on the same page about reservations before booking . It can be helpful to have conversations about buying tickets in advance so everyone can set aside some cash for the large up-front expenses of lodging and transportation. 

A little group planning ahead of time can give you more time to focus on the fun stuff and less on the finances.

Be real about your expectations

Ahead of your departure, have a discussion about what exactly you’re hoping for from your trip. Everyone has their own travel style, so it’s good to get it all on the table. Some friends might want to prioritize shopping, while others are looking for nothing but a chill day on the beach. Being upfront about your must-do experiences (and the things you want to avoid) can help the group prioritize what to do and when. 

Align on an itinerary

Even if you have some impulsive travelers in the group, creating at least a loose itinerary for each day will help keep everyone on the same page. This is also a good time to make reservations or buy tickets to any of those can’t-miss items from your planning chat. This way, you’re able to research ticket availability, compare options for events like tours and adjust your schedule accordingly. Needing to make a purchase when you’re in a pinch might end up costing you extra.

Agree to disagree

The larger the group, the harder it might be to reach total agreement on what to do every day of your trip. Having opportunities to split off from the group for solo activities or smaller group adventures helps relieve some decision fatigue and can prevent you from spending money on something you don’t really want to do. 

Determine how to divide

It’s tough to avoid the question of splitting expenses when you’re traveling with a group, but it has to be done. Take the time to figure out what costs should be evenly split, who wants to score the credit card points and what purchases are too small to divvy up. 

You could designate one person as the spender if they don't mind the extra work of splitting the checks. Or you can rotate the responsibility for each group expense. If each of you are making small purchases for the group, it could be helpful to decide to just call it even. The most important thing is agreeing on an approach that works for everyone.

Friends (and memories) forever

Traveling with a group is an opportunity to make lifelong memories and grow your relationships with your friends. With a little conversation and planning, you can help make your next trip a stress-free adventure for everyone. 

Explore more

Save Budget Spend

Read next

Money solutions and strategies sent straight to your inbox.

Tips and tools to help you build your best financial future.

Let's Connect