That awkward moment.
A bill for $142 arrives after dinner with friends.
You’re on a group trip together and while it’s the perfect getaway, splitting travel expenses has been somewhat annoying. Some people pay less than they should. Others don’t take the initiative. And then, there’s that one person who always seems like they feel they have overpaid.
Like anything in life, money shouldn’t put a damper on your group holiday. You can quite easily avoid that. A lot of it is planning and discussing ahead. There are also tools and routines that make splitting the bill amongst friends a lot easier, especially travel expenses.
Have the money talk before paying a dime
Nobody likes to talk about money because it can lead to the most awkward moments. Yet, you wouldn’t want to put it off too long as it can quickly becomes an issue. Have an open discussion about how to split up travel expenses even before leaving. Are you going to evenly divide everything or each pay separately? Will someone pay the hotel prior and then get reimbursed or foot the bill for other activities on the trip?
Not everyone in a group go on the holiday on the same budget. If you are on a much smaller or larger budget than the rest of your group, make it clear. Your friends will just want you there for the vacation and should totally understand if you have to miss out on a dinner or a few activities during the holiday to keep it in your budget. What’s important is that you discuss it prior so it’s not constantly on your mind.
Put together a kitty for the trip
When everyone is paying for something different, keeping things fair can get very confusing. To make it easier, gather all your money before hand and just draw from that with each travel expense.
You can either have a kitty, bag of cash, or open a bank account dedicated to your trip. Everyone on the trip puts in the same amount of money to cover gas or snack or small things like that. That way you don’t have to gather money or worry about being paid back every time you buy or book something.
If you need to reserve three hotel rooms for the group, use the kitty. Did you finally manage to get tickets to a sold-out show? Quick, use the kitty. Time to fill up the gas tank? Always use the kitty so one person isn’t bitter about having to pay higher rates in California than the girl whose turn it was in Nevada.
This is only for the things everyone needs or does. You’ll also have your own money if you want to splurge on something for yourself and if you don’t want to join in with the group on something, they won’t use the kitty for it. At the end of the trip, split whatever is left after all travel expenses are paid out.
There’s an app for that
Settling travel expenses has become much easier for our generation. With the rise of the smartphone, you are sure to have a calculator on hand. You could even have access to a quick spreadsheet to easily keep track of travel expenses.
When things start getting complicated, you could always rely on a good and reliable phone application to do the job. Splitwise, for instance, is a great free tool to track bills, rents, and other shared expenses with roommates. However, when you go on a holiday with a party of three or more, you need a serious travel expense manager.
Luckily, Travefy’s travel expense manager is that kind of tool; plus, it is free and absolutely automatic. Just set up who paid what on behalf of whom and the app takes care of splitting the travel expenses. And since it is integrated into the travel planning dashboard, plan your trip from A to Z with serenity, and be sure that no one will never get stuck with the bill.