Daniel at Sweating the Big Stuff recently took a vacation with a group of friends. He posted that one of the group cancelled resulting in everyone having to pay 33% more for lodging. It didn’t change his plans but did change the budget.
It got me thinking about the perils of vacationing with more than your immediate family. I’ve had a situation similar to Daniels with the same result. We all paid more.
Here’s some tips on how to avoid this in the future although nothing is fool-proof.
Be Choosy About Companions
Make sure you’re going with like-minded individuals in terms of likes and spending philosophy. My husband would be fine at Motel 6. Although I don’t have anything against the chain, I’m a 3 star or better gal.
You also want to make sure you’re vacation style is compatible. Are you someone who wants to visit historical sites or lay on the beach? Pick someone who you can enjoy things together and enjoy time apart pursuing separate interests.
Plan the Budget
Discuss the vacation budget ahead of time and come to an agreement on how much to spend for shared categories before spending any money. An important item to discuss is what is some one’s share even if they cancel. When it’s time to pay or make a deposit let everyone know what they have to pay no matter what.
Decide what will be shared expenses. Is it just the lodging or will the group share meals? My extended family rented a beautiful 5-bedroom home in Orlando successfully but we couldn’t agree on pizza. The group shared breakfast and snack foods and ate dinner out on our own.
Vacationing with a group will test your patience at times as you adjust to living with new people and their habits. Remember you have quirks too! Overlook bad moods and harsh words as new situations are sometimes stressful.
Don’t worry about splitting every bill to the penny or having your favorite pizza toppings. Compromise will let you all return with good memories and friendships intact.
My family group has vacationed several times together after the Orlando house deal and each time gets better. The group size changes depending on people’s schedules and plans but we always have fun.
Have you taken group vacations and if so, what tips would you suggest?
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