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How to Plan a Trip with Friends (With Zero Stress!)

Planning a trip with friends is often one of the most enriching experiences you can have during your international study experience. Not only does it allow you to see more of beautiful Australia but it can also bring your friend group closer together than ever. To make sure the whole experience runs smoothly, it’s important to plan ahead and think about what you want out of your group travel experience. 

Not sure how to plan a trip with friends? We’ve put together this list of handy tips to help you plan fun trips with friends while avoiding any unnecessary stress.

Pick your group wisely

Who you choose to travel with can make or break your holiday. When planning a trip with friends, pick people you know well and with whom you feel safe. Ensure the people you travel with will look out for each other if you run into challenges.

If you’re splitting all your expenses, travelling in a larger group can be cheaper, as your portion will be smaller. However, it can be challenging to coordinate a large group, and people may have conflicting interests. Smaller groups will cost more, but it may be easier to agree on an itinerary. 

Whether your group is big or small, spend some time understanding each other’s expectations in advance. Ask yourself: 

  • Is the group okay with splitting up to pursue their interests or do they expect to stay together all the time?
  • Are you okay with sharing a room or would you prefer privacy?
  • If you’ve planned a road trip, how are you going to split the driving? Hint: it’s a good idea to agree on a playlist, too!
  • Are your friends hoping to party or partake in adventurous activities? Or would they rather relax for most of the trip?

Pick a destination  

A key step in planning a fun trip with friends is picking the perfect destination. Big cities are an excellent pick, as there will likely be activities to suit everyone’s interests. However, if you’re hoping to see certain landmarks, you may need to travel to more remote locations. Consider the activities you want to do, sites you want to see and the amount of time you have to travel, as these factors will dictate your destination. 

If you’re hoping to simply plan a day trip with friends, research nearby amenities and landmarks, such as museums, galleries, parks and more. If you have a weekend to spare, you may wish to visit nearby cities or regions. Be sure to check out our guides on the best short trips for your region, some of which include Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide. If you have a week or longer, you can even travel interstate. 

When choosing your holiday spot, consider Australian destinations that offer a wide variety of activities, such as the Gold Coast. Packed with pristine beaches for those who like to swim and relax, the Gold Coast is also home to several theme parks where thrill-seekers can get their adrenaline rush. Evening markets and cute cafés cater to everyone, and the weather is typically great for being outdoors. 

Read more: The 9 Best Winter Getaways in Australia

Organise your finances 

Decide in advance how you will split expenses with your travel mates. Agree on whether one person will make upfront payments and others will reimburse them or whether you will pool money in advance. 

Trip planning apps like Splitwise and Splitrr make it easy to calculate everybody’s portion for expenses like accommodation and petrol. Keep hold of your receipts until finances have been settled-likely at the end of the trip. 

To avoid conflict, consider setting a daily budget for your group activities that everybody is comfortable with. This may be a bit tricky, especially if everyone has different budgets. But communicate openly and try your best to ensure that nobody in your group feels ostracised due to their financial situation. 

Read more: How to Save Money for Your End-of-Year Holiday

What to bring on a trip with friends

Planning fun trips with friends involves packing the essentials. Get your phone ready with travel planning apps, ensure there is plenty of space in your camera roll and organise that travel playlist! 

If you’re going on a camping trip with friends, divide up the necessities so you each bring something with you. That way, nobody is stuck carrying all the heavy equipment. If you’ve planned a city getaway or day trip, it might be a good idea to invest in a city guide. 

While you don’t have to splash your whole trip across social media if you don’t want to, make sure you all capture your fondest memories on camera. 

Make time for yourself 

Long days spent travelling with a group can be overwhelming. Make sure you take some alone time if/when you need it. Something as simple as going for a walk or grabbing a coffee on your own can help you recharge before returning to your friends.