If you are in high school or starting college, you might be thinking of taking a trip with you and some of your BFFs. Typically I usually have traveled with adults/parents/chaperones and haven’t had to think too much about the details. Last summer I went on a spontaneous trip to St. Louis with a few friends, but this summer a few good friends and I decided we needed to plan a good and memorable trip. It took a while to get all the details together, but planning ahead of time can save money and sanity.
-decide when you can all go-
Initially my friends had wanted to do a road trip to a state or place none of us had ever visited before. But quickly we found out that between all of our work schedules, we would only 1 day. Since we looked ahead and planned weeks in advance, we gave ourself time to find a time that worked for everyone.
-decide how much money each person wants to spend-
Some people are willing to spend thousands, while others want to keep it around $100. This will affect where you can go because you all need to agree on what you want to spend. Since we had already decided on a day trip, the money affected where we could go and what we could do while we were there. It also might just mean the penny pinchers need to choose to not buy anything at a bakery or buy something cheap while others are purchasing expensive cakes. It will be different for every group, so make sure to discuss this beforehand.
-pick a place-
Once we found out how long we had and how much money we wanted to spend, a day trip to Chicago made the most sense to us. It would be fun to go there together even though we had all been there separately. See the recap of that trip here! If you decide on someplace that will require spending the time, you will obviously need to plan where you are staying ahead of time as well.
-decide on transportation-
Once we decided on Chicago, our big decision was whether we would take the train or drive. Driving ended up being a LOT cheaper than 5 train tickets there are back, so we went with that option since someone from our group was willing to drive. Of course we all chipped in on gas cost!
-pick a route-
What is the best route to drive to your destination? Is there a route that avoids some or all tolls? Where will you park once you get there? These are all important things that we researched ahead of time to save time and money on our trip.
-decide on attractions-
Since we went to Chicago, that obviously has endless options. While I was adamant about visiting the Sprinkles ATM while we were there, we ended up deciding on a different bakery since it was on the way back from The Sky Deck. You don’t have to pick everything ahead of time, such as we spontaneously took a water taxi from Navy Pier to The Sears Tower because we wanted to and it wasn’t too expensive! But by buying our tickets for The Sky Deck online ahead of time, we were able to save a lot of time by skipping lines and even saved money!
-enjoy the trip-
It will go by so quickly, so make sure you are soaking in the fun while you are there! Take pictures, but also be present and enjoy quality time with your friends.
Is there anything else you would recommend while planning a trip? Share in the comments!