There’s a lot of information out there about solo travel (including how great it is) but I have to admit, given half the chance, I’d much rather travel with friends.

This is not a judgement about solo travel (in fact it has very little do with it as I’ve done solo travel quite a bit in the past) – I just like having friends with me on holidays. 🙂

Sunshine, Sangria, Pool Diving, Friends, Fun in Ibiza, Spain on Holiday (14)

There’s something about shared travel experiences that just helps bring you closer and there’s also all the amazing stories you get to get to tell later on. You also have someone to count on if you need any help on holidays and someone to egg you on to get up early and do as much as possible when you travel (unless of course if you’re ‘that someone‘ in your friends group, in which case, let me thank you for getting us out of bed early enough to see the sunrise and making us stay out until we’ve made firm friends with the locals wherever we are 🙂 ).

Touchdown In Berlin, Germany (38)

This being said, the logistics of planning a group holiday can go to pot quite a bit – not least because having everyone involved can be very much a case of too many cooks spoiling the broth. Then there’s the whole aspect of trying to coordinate everyone which can be like herding cats.

Sightseeing In Berlin, Germany - Part 1 (23)

After planning many-a-group holiday (and with one coming up very soon), I figured it made sense to share some easy travel hacks to help you when planning a holiday with your friends.

7 Quick Travel Hacks To Help You Plans You Group Holiday With Friends

1.) Before you even get started with contacting everyone, try to narrow down your holiday choices. These are your friends so you probably already know what kind of holiday everyone wants (broadly speaking) though to be honest, you all can probably have as much fun in an industrial estate in Slough, as long as you are all together (and if there’s enough wine – must never forget the wine).

The choice of course must be down to actual practical and justifiable reasons e.g. cheap/affordable flights, a destination you’ve all wanted to visit, a brilliant deal on hotels…etc). If there’s reason behind why you’ve chosen the destination(s), its easy and sensible for everyone to get on board (and to narrow down the choices if you come up with more than one destination).

Phi Phi Islands, Thailand. A Photo Diary... (4)

2.) For any choices you have to make, create a poll/voting system and ask people to cast their choices. The highest option wins. This throws all emotions out of the window and makes the whole thing as straight forward as possible as. This works only if you’re going on holidays with proper friends of course – people you can be honest with and have fun with (not acquaintances).

Things To Do When Sailing From Island To Island in Phang Nga Bay, Phuket, Thailand: The 2nd Part (14)

3.) Renting a shared property ends up being so much cheaper than booking individual hotel rooms though if you really want to go for the hotel option, it is worth contacting the hotel in advance to see if there’s any discount/special promotions for making a bulk booking. You’d be surprised at how much you can save doing it this way (it can help reduce costs quite a bit in a way that everyone wins).

How To Spend A Weekend In Hong Kong  (6) First Impressions Of Hong Kong! (11)

4.) If you rent a share place, again – don’t let emotions decide who gets the ‘best/worst’ room (unless of course if someone needs – not ‘wants’ – a specific room for specific health/physical reasons). Do it in a straightforward luck-based way (e.g. flip a coin or assign room numbers and make people randomly select a number from a bowl). The problem with having people decide based on emotions is that it can start up an unnecessary long-winded conversation that’s just best avoided.

Sneak Peak Of My New Flat + New Year's Eve Celebrations In London With Friends! (12)

5.) Let everyone have a role. Someone sorts out flights, someone sorts out hotels, someone sorts out that vineyard trip, someone sort out the joint finances…etc. This way, everyone feels like they’ve contributed and no one is left feeling over-worked or stressed out.

Yaya and Lloyd Travel Photos, Singapore, Marina Bay Sands, Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City, Infinity Pool (1)

6.) Create a joint-pool of money and have everyone contribute the same amount towards it. This helps keep things clean and easy for joint expenses (e.g. tax on your villa or food & drinks shopping budgets). If there’s any leftover, its so much easier to split the remainder back amongst the same people.

Photo Diary: People and Places... Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (2)

7.) This is less of a hack and more of general advice – be considerate to everyone in your group. Some people are just more laid back than others and just because they don’t complain or say anything doesn’t mean they don’t need to be consulted. Make sure everyone is happy/content/aware of everything that’s planned at every stage and this saves everyone any upset feelings or unexpected surprises later in the game.

The Blue Lagoon in Iceland on Hand Luggage Only - (31)

Final Point: Most of the points above boil down to one simple thing – Don’t let unnecessary arguments brew out of unnecessary conversations. Everyone should have a say in planning and contribute towards it but its kinda like the way you might find yourself when you’re staring at hundreds of movies on Netflix – you suddenly find yourself absolutely confused about what to watch! Too much choice can actually be one of the biggest hassles in planning a brilliant group holiday so nip that in the bud early on…. oh, and make sure you do your bit to help everyone have the best holiday every! 🙂

You May Also Like

  • What great tips! I once wrote a blog post on a similar thing, how to travel with friends. This post has so many great ideas about avoiding the awkward and potentially emotionally charged conversations… mostly about money and logistics. Proper planning can make awkward money moments almost non-existent and lead to a much more relaxed and enjoyable bonding time!

    • HandLuggageOnly

      You’re so right Susanna! It makes total sense, everyone can be on the same page with the same information well before the holiday begins! 🙂

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • GUYS, you always get me at a great time! A group of friends and I are currently planning a Winter excape to Thailand, and I can’t wait! 🙂


    • HandLuggageOnly

      Yayyyyy! No way – winter in Thailand… that’s it, we’re coming with you!

      Wow! You’re going to have an incredible time! Can’t wait to see all your pics and hear all about it. 🙂

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • I really enjoyed your tips!
    I have to plan a trip for my family, and that is gonna abe so much harder :/ but im sure some of these would be useful!

    If you do have tips for family trip planning, i’d love to read a post on it 🙂

    x Carina
    Blog-Running White Horses || YouTube

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Family trips can be, especially with so many different age groups too all wanting different things. We planned a family trip in June and the most important thing was to get everyone on board with the destination/place first – then, each person could do there own thing if they wished and wanted time away from the group (though this never happened).

      Can’t wait to hear where you decide to go Carina!

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • I love the idea of handing out roles and having a voting system!

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Diplomacy at it’s best, eh! 😉

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • Great photos! Looks like everyone had a spectacular time – look how happy you guys looked!

    I’m a solo traveller through and through – I prefer being on my own most of the time because then I don’t have to worry about anyone else and fear upsetting them over something petty and stupid. I’m not totally AGAINST travelling in groups, I just think there are too many things that could go wrong. However, having said that, I’d actually really like to try a trip with friends! See if I like it or not! Maybe a cruise?

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Definitely, I think you’re right – both solo and group travel have their merits for sure. Group travel can most certainly be tough, especially when it comes to managing everyone’s feelings.

      Haha! A cruise is a great idea in theory though, don’f forget, there’s no escaping! Haha! 🙂

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

      • Haha! Well, I suppose you could always throw your “friends” overboard 😛

        JUST KIDDING!!

        • HandLuggageOnly

          Haha! True! 😉

  • Those are great tips. But beware, if you are the one who suggests it, chooses a location and finds a house, people will look to you when it sucks. Unless your friends are all super chill.

    And on location I think the best way to be, is to treat activities a bit like you would at a hotel full of strangers. No one is forced or coerced, not everyone has to do everything, if you want to stay home and read, that’s fine too. Make that clear from the start, its everyone’s own responsibility to have a good time. Nothing worse than one person sulking for days because nobody wanted to go to the aquarium and they had to sit at a bar as the only nondrinker instead…
    Oh, and if two people create Drama every time they meet, do not invite them both. Or opt out, if they are going, especially if they are family, especially if they ruined Christmases before.

    • HandLuggageOnly

      You’re so right Dalia – thanks so much for the tips too. There really is nothing worse than all the focus (or blame) going onto one person in a party. Totally agree that each and everyone should be ready to do what they want, when they want – that makes the whole ‘group’ aspect much easier.

      As you mentioned holidays should be fun.. that’s the most important thing! 🙂

      Lloyd & Yaya

  • This post couldn’t have come at a better time! My friends and I are thinking of planning a couples group trip in the spring and we have started to throw ideas around about where, how to get there, and what we plan on doing. Thanks for sharing these tips =o)

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Yay! The initial stage of ideas is always so much fun… especially when friends are bringing up ideas that you’d never have thought of!

      Can’t wait to see where you decide! 🙂

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • Alfredo Ciano

    Chronicles of a Dream…

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Thanks Alfredo! 🙂

      Lloyd & yaya 🙂

  • Pingback: Busy Bee Update + Favourite links lately >

  • kvr tour

    Great tips!
    Giving priority to everyone in the group is a must need, because some may not like the place of our choice. These things look silly but true..!

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Exactly, so glad you agree too! 🙂

      Lloyd & Yaya