In theory, nothing sounds better than an epic weekend getaway with your besties, whether you鈥檙e taking advantage of cheap travel to Europe, visiting breathtaking destinations threatened by climate change before they disappear, or hitting some of the real-life inspirations for your favorite Disney rides. In reality, just navigating an unfamiliar place can be stressful 鈥 even before you even factor in whether everybody鈥檚 having a blast. But don鈥檛 fret: It鈥檚 possible to preserve your friendship and your sanity when you travel with your squad. Here are seven planning tips to de-stress your girls鈥 weekend for the best group trip ever.


1. Get a sense of what everybody absolutely does and does not want to do. You don鈥檛 have to love every part of the itinerary, but it鈥檚 important for there to be something for everyone. On the flip side, you want to make sure that no one feels downright uncomfortable with anything on the agenda. Let 鈥渂alance, balance, balance鈥 be your ultimate planning mantra.


2. Find out what everyone鈥檚 ideal day looks like. Chances are there鈥檚 going to be a mix of early birds and night owls in your group. Taking stock of when people usually like to kick-start the day and when they want to get some zzz鈥檚 will help when compromising on a group schedule or deciding what activities to split up for.


3. Agree on a general budget. We get it 鈥 talking about money is uncomfortable. But that鈥檚 exactly why it鈥檚 crucial to make sure everyone鈥檚 on the same page. Besides having a rough total of how much you want to spend, remember that budgeting is all about priorities. Someone might prefer to skip the luxury hotel in order to splash out on a fancy dinner, while others might want to save on meals so that they can splurge on theater tickets.


4. Make a spending plan and track those expenses. Once you have a budget, it鈥檚 time to get into the nitty-gritty. Does the group want to spread out booking costs, or keep it simple and have one person pay up-front? When it makes sense to put a bigger payment on one card 鈥 if a restaurant can鈥檛 split the bill eight ways, for example, or to save time in ticket queues 鈥 how important is it to rotate who pays first? Create a system for tracking every purchase, be it a Google spreadsheet or a trip-planning platform like Travefy.


5. Don鈥檛 be afraid to split up or go solo. Let鈥檚 be real: There are very few people you really want to spend every waking moment with, so don鈥檛 feel like you have to do everything together. After all, splitting up ensures that people will get to do what they鈥檙e most excited for. And if someone wants to bow out here and there? Agree that there won鈥檛 be any hard feelings from either side. (Remember, JOMO is the new FOMO.)


6. Group chat the right way. We鈥檙e all for diversity, but group texting gets messy when iOS and Android phones mix. Late for breakfast? Found an awesome boutique on your own that you think everyone should come check out? It鈥檚 best to have an app-based messaging option that will work equally well on all devices 鈥 whether it鈥檚 Slack, WhatsApp, or Facebook鈥檚 Messenger.


7. Know your tools. Technology will make your life a whole lot easier. You鈥檝e probably heard of these already, but Venmo and PayPal let you settle the tab without worrying about cash or exact change. Travefy 鈥 mentioned earlier 鈥 has a payment feature, in addition to other capabilities like collaborative itinerary building and chat, while apps like TripCase and Kayak provide flight updates and itinerary organizers, with the addition of receipt filing in TripCase. If your trip involves long-distance driving, Roadtrippers shows you restaurants, attractions, and other stops along your route.

What are your travel-planning tips for a great group getaway? Let us know @BritandCo!

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