5 group travel planning apps to make traveling with friends and family easier
Traveling is more fun when you can share the experience with your loved ones. On the other hand, planning a trip with a group can be stressful given the different logistics, opinions, requirements and interests. These travel planning apps for groups try to make it easy to come up with an itinerary that all your friends can contribute to and feel happy about.
Each app approaches the problem of group travel planning in a different way. Therefore, you should keep in mind which of your group you feel most comfortable with.
All of the apps on this list are free or have a free tier with enough features to get you excited for an upcoming trip.
1. Hoku (Android, iOS): Super Simple Group Travel Planning App
If your group isn’t too tech-savvy, they’ll be overwhelmed with some of the apps on this list. Simplicity or lack of extraneous features is sometimes the best way to get people to participate in such apps. Hoku makes it as easy and simple as possible, allowing you to travel with your friends and chat about it.
As the creator, you can name the trip, specify the city or location you’re visiting, select start and end dates, and invite travel companions via email. You can add more activities during your trip. When you open the activity panel, the popular tourist attractions of the selected location are displayed. Tap any of them to add them to your route and choose a date at the same time. Activities are then arranged chronologically on the main page.
All members of the Hoku group can use Hoku chat to discuss plans. A dedicated chat area for travel is a great way to keep the clutter out of regular IM group chats. Once your trip is complete, you can export it as a document and send it via email.
Download: Hoku for Android | iOS (free)
2. MiTravel (Web): Travel planning board for group collaboration
Trello or other kanban boards for task planning help you visualize everything you need to do on a project. MiTravel uses this system to create a trip planning board where you can collaborate with others to add different elements to your trip together and even conduct polls to make decisions quickly. The best? It’s completely free with no hidden costs.
When planning a new trip, you must first enter the location (country, region or city) and travel dates. Then invite all fellow travelers to the planning board. By default, each trip has a few columns set up: Transit, Stays, Notes, Attractions, and Foods. You can add a card to any of them and the color of the header indicates what it is. Each card comes with a simple text field, but you can also add attachments such as your flight tickets or hotel reservations.
On the Explore tab, you can find and add places you want to visit. You can save any attraction to your board by adding the group it belongs to. Cards can be easily moved between groups.
When you travel in a group, you have to make several decisions together. MiTravel offers a simple poll builder to get everyone’s opinion on a question that is visible to all participants.
3. Group (web, iOS): planning, polling, voting and shared itinerary for group trips
Troupe is one of the most robust apps for planning group trips. It includes a number of features designed to solve the problems that each group experienced during the trip planning phase. Once invitees join, they can choose whether to mark them as “interested” or “going,” so you can differentiate between certainties and possibles.
Troupe’s dashboard has different sections to help you plan your trip:
- Votes: Create a poll for any travel decision with multiple choices and let travelers vote.
- Appointments: Add your travel dates and related notes.
- Destinations: Select one or more destinations and match them to your complete travel dates.
- Stay: Add accommodations directly or add multiple options for your travelers to vote on. Whether voting is allowed or not is up to you.
- Activities: Like a stay, you can add more activities by searching on Google Maps, adding direct links, or writing custom plans. Choose whether or not participants can vote.
- Travel program: Create a custom itinerary for your trip based on the dates, destinations, stays and activities you select.
- Notes: Provide any additional information about the trip that anyone needs to know.
Troupe also allows anyone to send a “Broadcast” message that reaches all participants. It’s great for things other than reminders and deadlines, both of which you can set up to poll or poll in Troupe.
Download: Troupe for iOS (Free)
4. Harmony Plan (Web): Calendar planning and budget tracking for group travel
With Plan Harmony, you can create multiple trips that you can invite your friends on by sharing a link, then work together to plan them. Once you’ve set your travel dates, a calendar appears in the default view, so you plan as if you were in a shared Google calendar.
Anyone can add an event or idea to this calendar, where the basic difference is that an event is something everyone agrees on, while an idea is something you will vote on. Under the title of the event or idea, you must select a category, such as flight ticket, accommodation, attraction, food/restaurant, etc. Each category has a different prompt for data added to the event, such as flight number, car type. or confirmation code, locations and links, etc. You can also add notes and descriptions, give it a custom color, set the date and time, and finally add how much it costs.
Cost tracking is a major part of group travel, and Plan Harmony aims to make it easy by allowing you to add costs for each event and determine whether to split group costs evenly or cost per person. In the Budget dashboard, you can see a breakdown of all your expenses, as well as a breakdown by person of how much you’re spending on travel.
With the paid professional version of Plan Harmony, you get more robust budgeting tools like exporting to a spreadsheet, multiple expenses for different people, and more. It also unlocks other features like syncing with any calendar app and adding unlimited checklists or attachments. for events.
5. Mobile (Android, iOS): The best mobile app for group travel planning
If you prefer a mobile app to a desktop app, Mobili is your best bet. It has all the main features of apps like Troupe and Plan Harmony in a simple phone interface.
When you start a new trip and invite your friends, the main screen shows the route. There are three broad categories: travel, accommodation and activities. You can add various details to each, such as departure and arrival times, booking numbers or confirmation codes, links, and images or screenshots of your bookings. Any added item can be made private, public, or duplicated for all travelers.
The Split function is a powerful budget tracker. Here you can add any expense, noting the amount paid and the currency, when and by whom, and which participants will share this expense. If desired, the costs can be done privately. As you keep adding, it’s all calculated on the Overview tab. Almost as good as the best bill sharing apps for groups.
Mobili also has a built-in group chat to discuss your travel plans on IM. In the Notes tab, you can add anything important that you want to remember. And in Compare, you can check the different data added by participants, so you can quickly compare things like arrival and departure times.
Download: Mobile for Android | iOS (free)
Ask for non-negotiables, not preferences
When making group travel decisions, you often reach a point where there is no consensus. Most apps and travel experts recommend taking a poll to see what points you have in common. However, this may confuse some people. In such cases, try to approach the problem by changing the question.
Instead of voting, or perhaps before voting, ask everyone what the non-negotiables are. Sometimes people don’t know what they want, but they know what they don’t want. And with that knowledge, others can help come up with a decision or solution that satisfies the whole group.