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There are times when I look at films like Why Did I Get Married and think about taking a vacation with friends… minus the cheating and drama of course. It looks like a ton of fun and an experience you can share with people near and dear to your heart. Why share photos on Facebook when you can invite them?

No matter how great a trip with friends might appear, it certainly isn’t for everyone. You would think rest and relaxation would bring folks together, but sometimes, it can do the opposite. The last thing you need is a trip from hell with no refund and a severed relationship. Here are a few tips to consider when planning a group vacation.

Don’t assume everyone’s finances are the same. When planning a group vacation, keep all parties involved in mind. As great as a five-star resort sounds, it might not be feasible for all traveling. Hopefully there’s some destination that will work for everyone. Note: If one person seems to be the only one giving you opposition, they might not have the money to travel.

Do set deadlines. The more organized you can make your trip, the better. Establish payment deadlines so you can fulfill any and all reservations. Start planning now so you can spread out your financial commitments. Make everyone stick to the same due date that should (hopefully) keep things on track.

Don’t do IOUs. Do not even think about charging this trip and having folks pay you later. This idea while generous is extremely dangerous as some might take advantage of your kindness, and not pay until they fully have the money. Everyone needs to pay their own way, and if unable, can’t go — simple as that.

Do look for group rates. If you plan on traveling with a large group, there’s a good chance you can score a group discount. This will save your party some coins when it comes to activities, accommodations and even local transportation. Why pay full cost?

Don’t invest in too many group activities. Just because you plan to go on vacation with a large party doesn’t mean everyone attending will want to do the same things. Some might enjoy shopping while others like outdoor activities. Rather than try to force a single itinerary, give options people can purchase should it interest them.

Do have fun. Rain and shade might be in the forecast, but not when it comes to your parade. Let folks stay in their feelings if they want. You worked too hard and paid good money to enjoy yourself. People are going to have disagreements and even blowups. Your job is to keep calm and try hard not to let it ruin your vacation.

No matter how wonderful the trip sounds, think about who you invite. Let’s be real, not all of your friends make good traveling companions. If you know someone is a wild card, they probably shouldn’t score an invite. I don’t know about you but have zero time to deal with a circus.

Something else to consider is a third-party expert like a travel agent who can make planning less of a hassle. Yes you have to pay for their expertise, but in the end, it just might be worth the money.

What are some ways you plan a group vacation?

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