Travel tips

The Art Of Planning A Group Vacation

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My family is currently planning our yearly vacation to a nearby water park destination, and asked some friends to come along. Our kids, who are close in age, are also friends so we were excited when they expressed interest in going. My wife volunteered to investigate pricing, and worked hard to find a hotel with the best price and the most value. She found a combination suite that would accommodate all of us, with a promotional package which included a ton of little extras.

It sounded great, but we had no idea whether our friends would want to share a suite, or if the price fit within their budget.

We sent them a quick text, asking if they had a price range that they needed to stay within. The package my wife had found was a little bit outside the range they responded with. But after a short discussion, they texted back agreeing that the package was worth the extra money.

I was concerned that we had coerced them into spending more money than they really wanted to. We’ll never know whether my suspicions are correct, but I certainly wish we had handled the situation differently.

The next time we’re involved in planning a group vacation, I hope to handle it differently:

  • Ask if each party would want to take care of their own arrangements, or if one person should investigate options and bring them back to the group.
  • If it is agreed that one party will investigate options, get a price range from each family or person up front before the investigation even begins
  • If one party investigates options, have them create a “menu” of options to choose from

Planning a group vacation, requires some extra care as the families or people involved may have different capabilities when it comes to their vacation budget. The last thing anything wants is to feel forced into a situation where they feel obligated to spend more money than they can afford. But by following a few extra steps, that can be prevented and a great vacation can be had by everyone!


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Brock Kernin


  • Sometimes it can seem like a social faux-pas to discuss finances so heavily with someone, especially for something like a vacation. But it’s something you have to do, especially for a pretty major trip! I’d definitely add that while it’s fun to go on day trips with all sorts of people, I’d probably rather go on a big vacation with someone with similar ideas on spending money as I am, which would make this conversation with them easier.

  • @Jordan – I agree – if you know someone well enough to go on vacation with them, you would hope you’d be comfortable at least talking about price range as well. I also can see your perspective regarding similar spending ideas….I’ll add in similar economic bracket – it wouldn’t be very fun to go on vacation that can spend significantly more than me….OR significantly less!

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