Money Saving Tips for Traveling as a Group
“Two can live as cheap as one” effects are multiplied when you travel with friends.
One of the best parts of traveling is the company you keep and having the right group of people with you on your adventures can really make or break a trip. Plus, if you’re looking to save money along the way, traveling in a group is one of the best ways to do so. However, it’s not always easy and there can be many bumps in the road. It can be pretty confusing figuring out who paid for what and who owes who how much, and that’s just stress you don’t need when you’re trying to see the world. Lucky for you dear reader, I’ve got some tips that have saved me and my friends a lot of grief.
1. Pool your cash
At the beginning of the trip, have everyone put in the same amount of money into a designated wallet, envelope, piggy bank, etc. That way when it’s time to pay for gas or any other unexpected expense, you won’t have to worry about who needs to pay what and can just pull it from the cash pool. It’s all worked out ahead of time and everything is split equally. Just be careful not too have too much cash in there all at once.
2. Renting vs. Hostels
Hostels are quick and easy to book through a number of great apps on the market like WeHostels but if you’re going to be traveling with a lot of people you might want to look into renting an apartment. The daily rental of a house or apartment could end up being less than what a bed at a hostel would cost depending on how many people you’re traveling with. There are plenty of great sites to use, but I personally recommend airbnb. This rental site has a huge range of options when it comes to prices, as well as a convenient app for your phone. A rental apartment will give you guys a lot of amenities to take advantage of, as well as privacy.
Hostels are still a great option. If you are squeamish about sharing a dorm style room with strangers, you may be able to book an entire room with all of your friends thereby avoiding sharing with people you don’t know. Hostels provide comfortable, clean facilities at a reasonable price and often have a communal spirit not found in hotels. Many also have the added benefit of laundry rooms, kitchens and free Wi-Fi.
3. Cook together
Once you and your friends are nice and cozy in your rental apartment or hostel, take advantage of the kitchen! Going out to eat can be expensive, but supermarkets are relatively cheap. Make yourselves at home by cooking for yourselves. Bonus cultural points if you take on a new recipe from wherever you happen to be traveling.
4. Rent a Car
If there are a lot of you all going in the same direction, it’s a waste of money for everyone to pay for individual transportation tickets. Instead you could save a lot of money by renting a car and splitting the costs. You can take turns driving and the journey will be more exciting you don’t have to be stuck on a bus. You’ll have the freedom to take detours and stop whenever you want, which personally is my favorite part of traveling. Just make sure to check what the local laws are on car rentals before you make your plans. Estimate costs for gas, tolls, parking and insurance.
5. Book Adventure Activities in a Group.
Traveling is great for bringing people closer together and as it turns out, bringing people together is a great way to save money while you travel. Student Universe offers group discounts from many travel hubs for groups traveling together. It may take some extra planning but the financial reward could be worth it. While planning a group trip, if you have some flexibility with your dates, make use of Hotwires ‘Trip Watcher’ to scan a time period for the best prices.
6. Make use of local guides
Employing the services of a local guide can make a particular destination more enjoyable as the guide imparts his or her knowledge about their own culture, peppered with anecdotes and local customs not found in typical guide books. When traveling with a group, the cost of such a personal guide is split between the group meaning savings for all. Even if the guide charges more for a group your share will likely be less than that of an individual traveler. Great options to check out for local tours are WSA Europe, Viator, Fat Tire Paris and London, and Sandemans.