Planning the Perfect College Group Trip: Step-by-Step Guide to Organizing a Memorable and Affordable Adventure

Traveling with friends is a staple of the college experience, but what if you could travel with a large group of your favorite people from your greek society or college club, would you do it? We hope you answered yes because it’s not as complicated as it sounds and can actually be a breeze if you prepare correctly and have a team of travel lovers on your side. 

Traveling in large groups not only builds lifelong friendships, but it also offers some unique advantages over solo or small group travel. If you’re considering planning a large group trip of 10 or more of your friends, continue reading to discover some of the benefits and tips for a successful adventure. And of course, consider checking out ScholarTrip’s group travel where we can get you exclusive fare prices, take care of all the logistics, and leave you with the most important task: making memories!

College students exploring a lively street market on a group trip, perfect for those interested in local culture and unique travel experiences.

Benefits of Large Group Travel

Large group travel can be fun and a unique way to explore new cities and although you might have heard otherwise, there truly are some great upsides to a larger group. Here’s some of them:

  • Cost Savings: When you travel in a large group, you can often negotiate better deals on accommodations, transportation, and activities. The larger the group, the more bargaining power you have to score discounts and group rates. When booking a large vacation rental or hostel dormitory you can save up to 40-50% on accommodation costs and some airlines offer discounted rates for groups of 10 or more travelers that usually range from 5-10% off the regular fare! This means you’ll have access to deals that are usually not available to the majority of travelers. We love a good discount!
  • Shared Responsibilities: When traveling with a large group, responsibilities like navigation, language translation, and budget management can be divided among several people. Sharing these duties takes some of the pressure off and ensures everyone can at some point in the trip go on autopilot and relax. You can even take the route of making it a game where everyday one person can pick an activity or location to visit giving everyone the opportunity to have an experience they’ve been looking forward to. 
  • Increased Safety: As the saying goes, “there’s safety in numbers.” Traveling with a group reduces the likelihood of getting lost or being targeted by pickpockets. Plus, it’s reassuring to know you literally have a support network if anything goes wrong. Fingers crossed nothing does!
  • Diverse Experiences: Traveling with a large group allows you to meet and interact with a wide range of people, each with their own interests and perspectives. This diversity can lead to a richer and more memorable travel experience, as you’ll likely encounter activities or places you wouldn’t have thought of on your own. The key here is to be open and willing to get out of your comfort zone. You got this!

Breathtaking view of Lisbon's historic cityscape, ideal for college group trips focused on architecture and urban exploration.

Planning Tips for Large Group Travels

Now that you know all the reasons as to why large group traveling can be a good idea, it’s time to spill our top tips on how to actually make it happen.

  • Early Planning: When organizing a large group trip, start planning early. This will give everyone enough time to coordinate schedules and make necessary arrangements. Unlike that essay you turned in last minute and still got an A on, procrastination in this instance won’t work!
  • Define Objectives: Understand the goals and objectives of the trip. Are you aiming for relaxation, adventure, or something else? Establish the trip’s purpose and ask about any non-negotiables. This helps minimize misunderstandings and potential conflicts. At the end of the day everyone wants to have a good time.
  • Designate a Leader: Appoint a leader or coordinator to oversee the planning process, they will handle most of the communication, and make final decisions when needed. Think of them as the group’s spokesperson! But of course, don’t just let them carry ALL the responsibility on their own.
  • Set a Budget: Yes, this one can sometimes be an uncomfortable topic, but it can save a lot of future headaches! Determine a realistic budget for the trip based on the group’s preferences and financial constraints. Discuss and agree on how costs will be shared among the group members and always be transparent with everyone involved if there are any changes. 
  • Choose a Destination: Pick a destination that aligns with the group’s interests and objectives. It’s super important to take into account factors like climate, activities, and travel restrictions. Here are some of our suggested locations that are popular destinations for large group travels, especially suitable for college students: Barcelona, Spain; Lisbon, Portugal; Bangkok, Thailand, and Cancun, Mexico!
  • Select Dates: Coordinate schedules and select travel dates that work for everyone in the group. The more flexible those dates are the better! Be mindful of peak travel seasons, local events, and public holidays as they could make or break your experience.
  • Research and Book Flights: Research flight options, compare prices, and check for group discounts. We recommend booking flights well in advance to secure the best deals. We know this can be stressful, but don’t freak out! We can help you during this process. Simply get in contact with us HERE and our group travel specialist got you!
  • Secure Accommodations: As we mentioned previously, choose accommodations that suit your group’s budget and preferences. Consider large vacation rentals, hostels, or budget hotels that offer group discounts. Cha ching!
  • Stay Flexible: While it’s essential to have a plan, it’s equally crucial to allow some flexibility in your itinerary. This enables group members to explore personal interests and have some free time on their own. Vacations should be fun and spontaneous so make sure to have a lot of time for that as well. 
  • Establish Communication Channels: Set up a group chat or messaging platform for real-time communication during the trip. Treat this like a festival and always dictate a meetup spot in case someone loses their phone or separates from the group unexpectedly. It’s important to always keep everyone informed of any changes or updates.
  • Prepare for Emergencies: Now this is SUPER IMPORTANT! Share emergency contact information amongst everyone and discuss procedures in case of illness, accidents, or other emergencies. The best case scenario is to be overly prepared and not needing to use it.

Clearly, traveling in large groups can be an adventure on its own, but it can also be an unforgettable and smooth experience with the right tools and preparation. As the saying goes, it’s not about the destination  but the journey and we can help you get there as trouble-free as possible!

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