There’s nothing quite as fun as a group trip. Organising one can be just as fun as the vacation itself – but only when done right. Get it wrong, and it could break the tightest friendships.

To make sure your memory bank gets its fill, your friendship circle returns back from holiday as tight-knit as it was when you left and your finances survive the adventuring, you need to do some thorough planning.

Luckily for you, and with the help of an expert travel agent at Pentravel, Schanel Oosthuizen, we share tips for getting the most out of planning a group vacation, including saving and budgeting for it.

1. Decide on a Destination and Dates

Vote on a destination

Your group has probably daydreamed about a few bucket list destinations, so narrow the options down and take a vote on where you’ll holiday next.

Create a poll on your group chat with three destinations to vote on, taking into account visa requirements for international trips. Budget will also be a factor, so now is the time to do a sense-check with the group about what is manageable.


Figure out your group travel dates

Got a winner? Look at the ideal months for travel to that destination. Ask each member of the group to ‘invite’ you to a digital calendar event spanning the days during that period that they’re available.

Once you have everyone’s dates added to your own calendar, you can easily see where the most overlap is and begin to lock down your departure and return dates.

Don’t forget to start the countdown timer so the group can get pumped about your upcoming excursion!

2. Appoint a Leader

“Appoint one person in the group as the leader,” suggests Schanel. The bigger the group, the greater the need for, err, herding. A coordinator takes the responsibility of communicating updates and bringing the itinerary together, with input from everyone else.

“They will gather all the necessary travel documents, like passport copies, ID copies and so on.” If you’ve been coordinating until now, decide whether you want to lead the organisation for the rest of the trip… or hand over those duties.

3. Book Your Transport

One of the biggest mistakes Schanel notices her clients make is not booking far enough in advance. “They end up paying a lot more,” she adds.

Need to fly? Book as early as possible!

This is also the moment when the group gets a true sense of whether that “I’m ALL IN! Zanzibar, here I come! 🏖️😍” message on the WhatsApp group has any follow-through. You’ll know someone is serious about the trip when they’re prepared to back it with bucks.

Set a target date for the group to purchase their tickets so that the real fun of booking accommodation, planning meals and arranging travel experiences isn’t delayed.

Franc App Hack: Set a Holiday goal. One of the greatest hurdles to travelling can just be getting there, whether flying or filling up your tank. Save for this and other holiday costs in a dedicated goal fund on the Franc app. When you set up the goal, the app will help you set a target amount and calculate your regular contributions to meet it.

4. Decide On a Budget

To stay on the same page about accommodation, group meals, travel experiences and other holiday details, agree on a budget range for these expenses.


The benefit of travelling as a group is that you could be eligible for special rates on hotel stays. But does everyone in the group want to spend on hotel accommodation?

You may want to go the self-catering vacation rental route to keep costs low. With apps like Airbnb and or LekkeSlaap for local digs, if you create a group account, everyone can log into it on their devices and contribute ideas that fall within budget using a Lists or Favourites feature.

Whatever the choice of accommodation, communication is key. Make the terms clear by setting a deadline by which all group members need to pay their contribution to secure the booking. Add it to a shared spreadsheet (a tool Schanel suggests using), and have no shame in pinging on the WhatsApp group to remind everyone of their deadlines. 👉

Franc App Hack: Set a Shared Savings Goal. With the new Shared Goals feature on the Franc app, your group can contribute towards a shared group trip budget goal, like accommodation. Simply set a target amount everyone agrees on, a time frame and your investment strategy.


Dining out adds up, but you’ll be on holiday, so of course some loosening of the purse strings is okay. It’s also a great way to boost the holiday group dynamic and make memories that will last.

Give the restaurant planning to the foodies – trust me, there’s nothing they love more when it comes to trip planning – so you can all get a sense of what you can expect to pay for a nice meal at one of the popular spots at your destination.

If the group can agree on budgeting for that group lunch or dinner, add the estimated price per person to the shared sheet and send a reminder on the group chat (ideally with some images of dishes from the menu to up the excitement and get mouths watering!).

If you’re doing the self-catering thing, research the estimated cost of a week’s worth of groceries for the size of your group and remind members to factor this in when saving.

Travel Experiences & Transport

What’s the public transport situation at your destination? This can help you guys get around without burning cash, saving for other more memorable experiences.

To make sure everyone’s included, ask each person to add their chosen activity with its ‘price tag’ to your shared sheet. Not everyone has to do all activities, but this provides visibility to the entire group to show what others have in mind, when, and what to budget for it.

Planning a group vacation should factor in well-timed gaps for doing absolutely nothing. Downtime is crucial to keep the group dynamic fresh and relaxed, swapping cool stories over meals at the end of a long day spent exploring, and recharging the group’s physical and mental batteries. Run the rough itinerary by your group a month in advance and ask for feedback in time to make any important tweaks.

5. Embrace minor hiccups

You are planning a group trip, after all. Enjoy the planning process, do what you can, and speak up when you need a hand.

Happy planning!