(Family Features) The arrival of vacation season means it’s time to stop daydreaming about that getaway and start making some travel plans.
Getting organized for a grand adventure, especially if you’ll be traveling with a group, requires some careful planning before you begin making reservations. Get started planning your dream vacation with these travel tips from the experts at Vrbo:
Narrow down the location. Vacation planning often begins with an idea more than a specific destination. For example, you may want to lay on the beach or visit the mountains. The first step should be figuring out exactly which beach or which mountain range captures your attention. Research your options online and look for information such as lodging, food and activities you may want to explore.
Set a budget. Daydreaming about a luxury excursion may be appealing when it’s all in theory, but your bank account may have a different opinion. Also remember that if you’re traveling with a group, you’re likely to encounter household finances different from your own, so you’ll need to set a budget that works for everyone.
Determine how you’ll get there. The smaller your group, the more options you have for reaching your destination. As the group grows, you may have fewer alternatives, particularly if you want to travel together. For example, it can be difficult to get a large block of seats together on a commercial flight.
Think about where you’ll stay. Vacation rentals typically offer more space and privacy than hotel rooms and allow everyone to stay together. Many offer amenities like a backyard or pool, and guests can split the cost several ways. You can give others a chance to weigh in with a tool like Trip Boards, a feature on the Vrbo website and mobile app that lets friends and family members collaborate during the decision-making process and find the perfect vacation home together. With inviting, voting and commenting capabilities, fellow travelers can see each other’s favorited properties, vote and leave comments on which vacation homes they like best.
Discuss an itinerary ahead of time. With multiple personalities and interests involved, it can be challenging to keep everyone on a set schedule. Some may prefer to sleep in and others may have specific ideas about what time meals should be. Even if you don’t have a formal itinerary, it’s a good idea to talk through the schedule ahead of time, so expectations are clear. Breaking off into smaller groups part of the time may work better than keeping the entire group on the same schedule throughout the trip.
Look for group discounts. Though a larger group poses some challenges, there are also some perks that make bigger better. As you’re planning activities and making reservations, be sure to inquire about specials and rates reserved for larger parties.
Use apps to get organized. From organizing everyone’s travel schedules to voting on activities and coordinating payments, you can rely on apps to orchestrate most of the minutiae of a group getaway.
Find more information to help plan your next group vacation at Vrbo.com/tripboard.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images