Sapa Plan a Trip with Friends-Creating an Itinerary for Everyone
1 Decide if the itinerary will be planned by one person or everyone. Some people may not want to be part of the planning process now that the major decisions have been made, so give them that option. Decide as a group to designate one or two people as the planners, especially for groups larger than four people.
- Use online documents to share ideas as you create the itinerary, and send out a final version when it’s all done.
2 Find accommodations. For an easygoing group on a tight budget, hostels may be a good choice, as they’re less private than hotels but quite a bit cheaper. A group that’s more high-maintenance might be better off sharing rooms at a hotel. For a large group, consider renting a full house or apartment.
- Let your group know early on if you’ll be sharing rooms, so they can choose roommates and work out any issues.
3 Plan transportation. Buy plane tickets early to avoid higher prices. Use public transportation if your group is small enough to keep together. Consider renting a car if you’re traveling with small children or a larger group.
4 Decide on daytime and nighttime activities. Research popular attractions in your destination and share them with your group. Ask everyone to tell the planners one or two things they definitely want to do. This will allow everyone’s voice to be heard and ensures that the planners don’t have to make all the hard decisions.
- If some activities are similar, like boating and snorkeling, try to merge them. For example, you can rent a boat for the day and bring snorkeling equipment for those who want to swim.
5 Factor in downtime. No matter how adventurous and energetic your group is, and no matter how much you want to cram into your trip, you won’t be able to enjoy yourselves if you’re tired and cranky. Plan frequent food stops and set aside time to go back to your rooms for a quick nap if the group is getting tired.
- Plan for downtime in the afternoon, especially after lunch when the group may be full and sleepy or as a quick pick-me-up before dinner.
6 Provide options for solo trips or splitting up. No matter how tight-knit your group is, chances are everyone will want some time to themselves at some point. Give everyone a bit of free time every day, even if it’s just an hour before dinner to take a nap, shower, or get some shopping done. Depending on your group, you may want to dedicate half or even a whole day to solo exploring.
- Plan a meetup spot and time, especially if you’re in a foreign country where not everyone has phone service.
7 Find food options. Ask your friends if they have any dietary restrictions and what their general preferences are. Research restaurants online or in travel guides and write down a couple possibilities for each day.
- Remind your friends that you won’t be able to accommodate everyone at every restaurant. If your group has widely varying tastes, compromise: choose a burger place one night, and go out for sushi the next. Not everyone will get their favorite food every night, but they’ll be happier to compromise knowing that their voice was heard.