Summer Savings: Affordable Last Minute Ideas for Group Travel
3 min

Do you have a big family or friend crew you’d like to go on a last minute vacation with? It may seem intimidating trying to wrangle all the logistics so you aren’t spending more than you can afford. Follow these tips to have a memorable trip with minimal financial stress.

Bring your pups

Boarding all the pets in your group could cost thousands of dollars. Instead of leaving them at home or with a kennel, bring your pups on vacation by downloading the Whimstay app and grabbing a last minute pet-friendly rental. Pack dog crates so you can leave the dogs at the rental and have adventures out and about. Or, if someone wants to hang back and relax, they can keep an eye on everyone. Stay at this West Beach cottage near Pensacola Beach, FL, with a full kitchen within walking distance of amazing white sand beaches.

Talk budget ahead of time

It can be tough to agree on the financial aspects of a group trip. Thankfully, people can make a variety of choices based on their budget and still share a trip. For example, your family might drive to your vacation rental while your friends fly. Some people will want to do more expensive activities or eat at higher-end restaurants, while others will stick to lower-cost activities and eateries. You can save money on your trip by creating and sticking to a budget.

If you plan on sharing accommodations, you will have to agree on a budget that works for everyone. Renting a larger place with multiple bedrooms and bathrooms can make staying in a really cool place more affordable for all. Look for cool amenities like a pool, hot tub, or beach access. Check out this San Diego-area ocean view home with three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a gorgeous terrace.

a group of friends in a flower field on a last minute group vacation

Seek out affordable and fun options and save.

Stay close to home

You don’t have to go somewhere exotic to have a break from real life. There’s probably a city in your state or region that you’ve always intended to go to but never actually visited. Go there! Book a last minute vacation rental like this condo in Orange Beach, AL, with three bedrooms and two bathrooms plus a gulf-front view! You’ll spend less on traveling to your destination, and have more time to enjoy the vacation.

Consider booking timing

Many people swear by booking airfare several months ahead to get the best rates. You may also save on booking activities like food and walking tours or fun rentals (UTVs, kayaks, paddleboards, scooters) several months in advance. (Plus, then you know you’ll have access to these tours or rentals and can factor that into your trip itinerary.) Check coupon sites like Groupon for additional savings for booking well in advance. To save on lodging, reserve a last minute vacation rental through Whimsay. Wait until a month before your trip to look for the best 11th-hour deals on spots like this vacation home near Destin, FL, where you can walk out to the beach and enjoy a private patio with your crew.

Use apps to split the cost

It can quickly get complicated to tally up lodging, rental cars, food, and activity fees and figure out who owes what. Make it easy by using apps to split the cost. Rely on Venmo or Zelle to exchange money on the spot, and try Whimstay’s Split Payment feature to book your awesome last minute vacation rental and invoice the rest of the group in one place. Reserve this private home in Galveston, TX, that has a secluded back deck and breezy front patio. When you go to pay, select Split Payment, and the app will divvy the cost and email your group to collect payment, so you don’t have to!

Cook together

Look for a vacation rental like this mountain cabin near Gatlinburg, TN, that has a full kitchen, so you can make several meals a day. Rentals with large tables are even better because they’re the perfect place to eat together or hang out playing cards or board games. From scrambled eggs and bacon to elaborate barbecues on a back deck, cooking one or two meals dailyf can save your group thousands of dollars on your summer vacation. Plus, it’s easy to cater to everyone’s dietary needs when you make food at home. Foodies stoked on trying local restaurants can use the money they save on cooking meals toward a few stops at eateries, cafes, and dessert spots.

Check out these group travel tips for more ideas to have an awesome vacation this summer.

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