One of the biggest issues about traveling as a group is money – particularly in the event you do not have equal amounts to spend. You may also likely find things cost more than you thought they would, and that alone can cause some tension when you are accounting for all the money spent.
This is exactly why you need to be prepared for anything that happens. Traveling alone is not much of a problem, since you can quickly adjust your budget in case of anything, but a group situation is more complicated because you must take into account what everyone is spending. If you are going to travel as a group, you need to consider some budgeting advice, which will make your journey more enjoyable and stop thinking too much about the money in your wallet.
Make sure to decide on a rough budget before the journey begins
Chances are high you already have a significant level of access to money, even if you take a certain sum and divide it among all the members of the group. Of course you cannot flaunt it in front of others because that is just being insensitive, but you also know you cannot let others in the group hold you back if you want to spend the money.
That makes it important to understand that every person in the group will have different goals when it comes to spending. When you set a rough budget before the journey, it gives everyone a better chance to plan and coordinate with each other. You will even be able to know the things you can and cannot do.
Understanding the budgets of each person
The moment you have decoded on a budget, you should do your best to stick to it. in addition, avoid calling out members of the group is they decide to bow out of activities because of financial matters, and let everyone work out their own budgets in the ways they want.
It is important to respect the fact that not everyone wants to spend their money in the same way and on the same things. Avoid the idea of bringing in tension when you notice someone does not spend their allocation as expected, and also do not get offended when someone in the group does the same to you.
Maintain a written record of what people owe you and what you owe them
When it comes to the details of spending, you might not be offended by the spending of a little money in various activities. However, there may be someone who will be offended about you spending money on trivial items or things.
Keep such individuals in mind, because they want to make the process as accountable as possible. Maintaining a written record of spending by everyone ensures that no one perceives the process as unfair, and keeps everything in check. For instance, you may have someone in the group that feels they have been paid more, so having a backup electronic or manual record assists in keeping everything up to date.
There are also apps that can help with the process of accounting. For instance, Splitwise, which helps you to record the spending details of everyone and then setting it up to give the totals at the end.
Do not forget to relax, and always have some extra funds
When you are going in a group, it is very challenging to keep a lid on your personal finances. For instance, you go somewhere and find a nice restaurant, but it is expensive yet the food looks so nice and you want to eat there every day. Or someone in the group can suggest that you go somewhere, and you end up spending money when you were not supposed to. When traveling alone, it is not so bad – you can adjust your finances – but in a group, that is likely to cause misunderstandings.
You may feel upset that you cannot spoil yourself sometimes when traveling within a group. However, that does not need to be the case, because these incidents can make up lifelong memories. Make sure you have a financial buffer, and this will help you have some extra money when you decide to spoil yourself sometimes.
Avoid being tight
On the other hand, you must adhere to the rule of balance. If you are too stingy, you will definitely ruin the fun for everyone on the trip, including your own experience. Travel is meant to help you loosen up and take a break from the stresses of life – do not add to the stress by scolding yourself and others over money issues.
If you happen to be traveling on a tight budget, which is okay, just let your friends know. Do not bring up the issue too much afterwards; you do not want to be that complaining friend. If you cannot participate in something, you can always bow out graciously, and avoid making it into such a big deal.
Have initiatives to save money as a group
When you are within a group, you have a chance to save money on all things regarding activities you do (view here for suggestions on that), accommodation, and even your transport.
Even as you do your research on all these places, do not forget to look out for any opportunities that involve discounts for group travelers, and make the most out of the opportunity. Everyone can also contribute in their own ways, for instance, renting out an AirBnB or sleeping on sofas in hostels, which can save you much money.
Stock your necessities and other items
When traveling to certain destinations, it can be useful to have your own car with you – especially in Europe. If you do your research, you can find some nice deals for renting out cars at a cheap cost, instead of going by plane to various destinations (and it also allows you to stock your own items easily). If that is not possible, using public means of transport can also be another way to save money.
Traveling as a group is nice, but not when it has tension because of money issues and spending. It is therefore wise to have a plan before you start, and stick to the plan as much as possible.