June 1, 2020
Due to travel restrictions, plans are only available with travel dates on or after
Due to travel restrictions, plans are only available with effective start dates on or after
There are six of you sitting at a table. You’ve just wrapped up dinner and the bill has arrived. The following conversation ensues…
Now imagine an entire vacation of tough and awkward conversations just like this one. It’s maddening, right?
Just because there are many of you traveling in one group doesn’t mean you have the same travel budgets. And if wide-ranging travel budgets aren’t addressed before you board the plane or jump in the mini-van, they can be a source of stress and unrest that fester well beyond your arrival back home.
In this article, we’ll provide tips and advice for ensuring your group trip is smooth sailing when there are different travel budgets at play, whether you’re heading to a destination bachelorette party in the Caribbean or a big family reunion in America’s Heartland.
It’s going to be almost impossible to make a group trip with different budgets work unless everyone first acknowledges the elephant in the room: not everyone has the same budget.
So while it may not sound like the savviest step in your typical travel planning, the best place to start out is simply to talk. Have everyone taking the trip, or as many as possible, get together or even schedule a conference call (UberConference is a great free option) to share their hopes, dreams, fears, and budgets for the upcoming trip. Talking about money can sometimes be uncomfortable, so try and steer the conversation by talking about what you want to do or the tiers of service you prefer. Stating you want to be pampered with first-class service from the minute you leave your door vs. being smart and thrifty don’t translate to specific dollar amounts, but they can get the conversation started.
You also might find that you’re all in the same ballpark in terms how much you want to or expect to spend. Conversely, you may find you’re miles and thousands of dollars apart. Or more than likely, you’re somewhere in the middle. Simply sharing this information before you embark — and not at the dinner table that first night — is a huge first step in making a trip work with different budgets.
Now it’s time to take it one step further and create potential itineraries for your specific destination. The reason? Travelers may believe they have a certain budget in mind, and once they actually do the math, realize they have a different one. For example, they may initially plan to be a big spender, but realize they need a budget travel plan once the reality of the true cost hits them.1
Here is why that scenario is becoming a more common occurrence: the average American spends 10 percent of their annual income on vacations. But the problem is that 55 percent don’t account for them when it comes to budgeting. In other words, one of the biggest line items on American budgets is an afterthought, setting up the frequent scenario in which they spend more than they planned on travel.2
Once you’ve started talking with your travel mates about how you’ll handle the fact the different members of your group have different budgets, and consequently different ideas about lodging, meals and more, there are a number of tactics you can undertake to create an itinerary that everyone can enjoy and afford.
On the high end, there is no limit, really, just like that exclusive blackjack table set up behind the casino’s velvet rope. But when it comes to a high roller dinner, you can’t do much better than the tasting menu at James Beard award-winning chef José Andrés’ Bazaar Meat, which can go for close to $200 a head before you add drinks.4
Your typical family vacation isn’t likely to spur arguments over budgets. That’s because everyone is on the same one.
But there are several common types of trips that frequently bring together travelers who aren’t on the same page when it comes to how much to spend. Be sure to apply the tips and strategies shard above. Here are a few of them…
There may be a great distance between what you and a second cousin or long-lost college roommate intend to spend on a trip you’re taking together. But that doesn’t mean that either of you would feel any less frustration or relative financial loss in the event that your scheduled getaway was canceled, delayed or interrupted.
Much like hotels, airline seats and restaurants are available in tiers featuring varying price points and benefits, so is travel insurance. At Allianz Global Assistance, we’ve created a well-rounded selection of travel insurance plans that can serve budget-minded travelers, such as the OneTrip Basic Plan, to plans with higher limits, including the OneTrip Premier Plan.7 That way, it’s easy to find the right plan for you.
Taking a group trip with friends or family who have different travel budgets may seem daunting, but it’s absolutely doable. You just need to break the ice about money up front, structure your trip accordingly, and be sure to pack a load of empathy for your fellow travelers.