Summer is finally here, and if you’re like me, you’re dreaming about heading out on a fun girlfriend getaway, spending a night or two – or three – with your gal pals in a luxe resort, enjoying something frozen and pink, spa treatments and other girlie treats.
But planning group travel can be a challenge, we want to help with advice about traveling smart with friends, how to pick the right travel buddy and how to share expenses without bumping heads. GirlsGetaway.com recently spoke with personal finance expert Linda Descano, President and CEO of Women & Co., Citi’s personal finance site for women and she has some excellent tips to share.
What’s your idea of a vacation – Road trip? Yoga retreat? A much needed vacation with a friend sounds like a great idea but it can get tricky once you get into the planning. When you have dinner out with friends locally, it’s easy for everyone to put down their credit card and split the bill but that’s not necessarily the case when it comes to vacation expenses. Whether it’s a tropical beach locale, a ski jaunt, or a road trip there can be a lot of issues to work through before you book anything let alone start packing your suitcase. It’s important to talk to your friend about things such as what type of vacation you like and how you’ll split expenses during the planning process – there’s nothing worse than kicking off a vacation with disagreements over expenses.
Tips to get you started:
- Get on the same page. What’s your vacation style? Do you go first class all the way? Or do you look for deals and savings wherever you can? Talk about this when you begin planning.
- Plan your expense sharing strategy ahead of time.Will you both chip in equal amounts for a pre-paid credit card and use that for all expenses? Will one person pay for everything during the vacation and you’ll settle up after the fact? Will you alternate paying for hotels? How will you handle paying for gas?
- Be flexible once on vacation. Things will arise, such as an unplanned sunset cruise or a hidden gem of a winery so allow for some changes from your initial itinerary and budgeting plan.
- Re-group at home. Once you’re home and back to reality, check in with your friend about the experience. Would you do it again? What would you change?