Dealing with Money While Travelling in a Group
If you’re a solo backpacker who has never travelled in a group before, you are missing out on a lot. Group tours can be a lot of fun while also being light on your wallet as most expenses are shared among the members. There’s also the fact that some tours offer huge discounts on groups, adding further incentive.
However, the division of expenses can be a huge issue within groups, especially if you are travelling with them for the first time. This can lead to boiling tensions among members that can spoil the trip for everyone. To ensure that doesn’t happen, here are a few suggestions:
Prepare a Budget Beforehand
Even if you are the closest of friends, there’s a high chance that you all don’t earn the same. While you might have a six digit salary, your group members might be financing their trip through loans. It is important you understand these differences and plan out a budget accordingly.
Talk to the group members on how much they are willing to spend. Based on their budget, come up with a rough estimate of how much you can afford as a group. Look up the possible locations and accommodation that will fit in the total group budget. If you feel that the budgetary differences are too much, it might be a good idea to reconsider going as a group as these issues are bound to come up a few times during the trip.
Document All Payables/Receivables
Often times, there will be situations where splitting costs for each individual would be impractical. For example, it would be quite difficult to split an eight dollar ferry ride among a group of 20 people, so one person might pay for the entire group.
It may not be evident, but some group members might feel that they have contributed an unfairly high amount to the total budget. This is why it’s a good idea to keep a record of all the expenses that you are owed or owe. Though it may seem petty to document each and every small expense the group incurs, doing this will ensure that no one in the group harbors any resentment.
Don’t Be Too Uptight
Along with different income figures, the group might also have different interests. While you might want to check out the best nightclubs within the city, others would rather wake up early in the morning to go on a trek. As such, differences might arise when it comes to choosing locations.
Remember that you are there to have fun, so don’t be too picky when it comes to exploring places. Try to stick with the group and accept a majority decision if they can’t decide on the next travel spot. Doing this will not only open you to new experiences, it will also help save money as many frequented tourist spots offer discounts on bulk passes.