Though there are many ways to make your group travel affordable, we are going to focus on the things that will provide maximum savings with minimal inconvenience to your travel group.
Group Hotel Rates
Getting group rates at hotels is the single biggest cost savings (between 10-70% off regular rates) you can have when planning group travel.
And the best way to save is to get hotels to compete for your group.
Simply fill out this group rates form and hotels in your desired city will email you their group rates in less than five minutes.
It is important to look for group airfare. This is especially helpful if most of the members of your group are traveling from the same location. Many airlines offer discounts for groups and may include bonuses for your group if you are traveling together. Some of the advantages to booking your flight as a group include;
- Discounted tickets
- Free airfare
- Reserved seating
- Package options
Call the airlines you are considering to find out what they consider to be a group. Most airlines will consider a group to be 10 or more but it varies for each one. Just be sure that you understand their policies before you make any reservations.
Group Travel Destination
If your group is trying to spend conservatively, then selecting a destination that folks can drive to may be the most economica
l choice. Selecting a ski town that is three to four hours away or a popular lake that is within driving distance may be good choices for everyone depending on the age ranges in your group.
If your group is converging from multiple destinations then try to centralize the group travel destination for the majority of the folks so that the overall costs are minimized for the group as a whole.
Pick A Not So Centrally Located Hotel
Most hotels in major metropolitan areas are expensive. Our advice would be to try and stay 10-15 minutes out of town and you’ll enjoy savings of 40-50%. Hotel rates are a lot cheaper in the suburbs and most major metropolitan areas have enough public transportation options to get group travel member into and out of the city with minimal cost.
Select A Hotel That Offers Free Breakfast
If making things affordable for your group travel is important then make sure the hotel you select provides a free full breakfast as part of their rate. The cost of a decent breakfast at a neighboring restaurant will run you at least seven to ten dollars per person and even more at the hotel you may be staying at. A free breakfast can go a long way to making your group travel affordable.
Select An All Suite Hotel
Another thing to consider is the type of group you are traveling with. If you are planning a family reunion where folks don’t mind bunking together, you may want to consider selecting an all suite hotel that has two double beds and a sofa pullout that can accommodate another person. This way three people can share a room, further reducing your costs.
Select A Hotel With A Kitchen
Consider selecting an extended stay hotel that provides a kitchen (they are called “Efficiencies” at some hotels). This way your group can buy up groceries so you can cook at the hotel. Plus, you will save significantly on snacks and drinks too.
A Hotel is not your only option
A hotel may not be the only option for your group. If you are traveling with a family, you may want to consider swapping your home with another family. There are many online services where you can arrange for this kind of service, one being HomeExchange.com
Another option may be to rent a house outright. Again there are many websites that cater to that including craigslist, and VRBO.
Affordable group travel activities
- Cut back on restaurants by preparing your own food. Instead use the money you save on food to go to the movies at night.
- Another popular activity is board games. They can be brought from home or even bought at the destination since they are relatively inexpensive and take up a lot of time.
- Some other fun activities are taking a day trip to nearby clothing outlets, or even the movies.
- Bring individual refillable water bottles to all the events and activities for your group.
- Pick an extended stay hotel with kitchens or pick a large house rental
- Avoid traveling around the holidays
- Consider another airport for your destination
- Stay at hotels during the week instead of the weekend
Flying is Not Always Fastest or Cheapest
On the East Coast, bus service between major cities like Boston and New York has become so competitive that you can sometimes find fares as low as $1. Traveling with Kids over 2? Unlike most airlines, many bus services and Amtrak offer discounts for children, making your overall cost lower. For example, on Amtrak passengers 2 to 15 years of age usually ride for 50 percent off the full adult fare. Infants ride free.
Take Public Transit
Taxis can be expensive (and hard to flag down when you need them most). Rental Cars often end up being more difficult than convenient when you are visiting a city with traffic or expensive parking. Instead, invest in a great map (we like the Streetwise Maps and Michelin’s Spiral Bound city maps) so that you can find your way around.
It is true that the season that you travel in makes a difference in pricing. You will often find that traveling during an off season will turn out the best discounts. For example, it is best to travel to the Caribbean in the fall and spring because these are considered to be potential hurricane seasons. This is also true for other places as well.
There are several different ways to save money when you are making reservations for hotel rooms or booking flights. When you know what to look for, who to speak to and what questions to ask, you will be well on your way to saving big on your group travel plans.