Travel Plan Collaboration

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Travel Collaboration Tools

Some of the most common tools people use to communicate and collaborate with others when making joint travel plans include Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp, TripIt, Travefy, Kayak Trip Huddle, Prava, and Splitwise. Below, you will find more details.

Methodology

To find the most common tools people use to communicate and collaborate with others when making joint travel plans, our research team started by extensively searching for any study or survey on the most common or popular tools used by people making joint travel. We searched statistic and research databases such as Statista, Market Research, Grandview Research, IBIS World, among others, but we couldn't find any such study or survey. We only found data on the most popular communication and collaboration tools in general for people in the US.

We further searched media and travel industry databases such as CN Traveler, Map World, New York Times, Forbes, Trip Advisor, among others. Although there were several articles and reports on tools used in planning group travel, none of the reports was based on any objective measure or metric of popularity.

Hence, our research team decided to triangulate the data by looking at the top communication tools by active monthly users that are also used to organize group travels in the US. In addition, we also looked at a number of reports on group travel tools/apps and selected the ones that were common among the various independent reports. We have presented the most common tools we found below.

Facebook Messenger

Facebook Messenger is the most popular communication tool in the US with over 104.9 million unique U.S. users and it is actively used by people to communicate when making joint travel plans. It allows the group of friends to easily create a private group and make and share plans for the trip.

Whatsapp Messenger

Whatsapp messenger has over 22.4 million active users monthly in the US and is also one of the most commonly used communication tools to plan and collaborate when making joint travel plans. People can easily create a WhatsApp group and share and make plans for their trip.

TripIt

Tripit is one of the most popular ways people make plans when traveling. The app is designed to enable multiple people plan trips among a group, and it has over 13 million users. It is also rated as one of the most common travel plan apps by several travel industry sources such as The Points Guy, CN Traveler, Skift, One Travel, Map Happy, and New York Times. The reason it is very popular is that it is very easy to use. Group members only need to "forward confirmation emails for your flights, hotels, car rentals, restaurant reservations, tours, and really anything else you can think of to TripIt’s dedicated email. Then they take your messy emails and transform it into a working itinerary that can be accessed and shared with your entire group. No more forgetting which tour you all planned for which day."

Travefy

Travefy is another popular tool among people making group travel plans. CN Traveler and Map Happy list it as one of the top tools. The tool makes it easy for people traveling together "to solicit input or run suggestions by everyone via the built-in chat feature, or even run a Twitter-style poll to settle the final decision." In addition, there is a feature that makes it easy to divvy up expenses at trip’s end.

Prava

Prava is similar to Travefy and it is also featured by CN Traveler and Map Happy as one of the most popular tools for group travel management. The reason it is popular is that it allows travelers in the group "to add activities, share photos, figure out expenses (with bill photo), post their location, and chat with each other (kinda great when you’re in the middle of the trip and you’re not sure what international plan or app everybody is on. Users can see their own agenda and personalized adds to the itinerary."

Kayak Trip Huddle

This is another common tool and it is listed as one of the top tools for collaborating on travel by CNBC, Map Happy, and The Points Guy. It allows users "to pick out a few destinations and then gives everyone in your group the chance to vote on the location and the travel dates. Plus, Kayak will even surface some hotels and vacation rentals for the group to consider."

Splitwise

Another tool that is popular and featured by Map Happy, CNBC, and CN Traveler is Splitwise. It is a tool that is very useful because "by the end of the trip, it can be daunting to calculate who owes what. Splitwise makes it easy by keeping a running tally — so as soon as you get a bill or receipt, you can log it and split the costs. The app also integrates Venmo for easy payments."

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Part
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Collaborative Travel Customer Journey

In this study, we found that the typical customer journey for planning group travel is to choose a group leader who will organize the trip, gather information from group members such as where they want to go and what they want to do, and create a travel plan and itinerary. Below is a detailed explanation of our findings.

CUSTOMER JOURNEY FOR PLANNING GROUP TRAVEL

AFAR suggests steps in planning a group vacation, namely: choose a group leader, assess the group’s personalities, find group rates, use apps to keep everyone organized, and use apps to divide food and drink costs.
LEADER
Planning led by a group leader or a small group with two to three leaders contributes to ease of planning for everyone. Planning ahead of time will allow everyone to make early reservations and invite more friends. The leader can use e-mail, a Facebook page, phone, or anything that works best to invite group members. A follow-up is important to ensure that all group members are notified.
WHERE TO GO
After assembling the group, find out what everyone likes to do. Everyone can express what they are interested in so they will feel that they are part of the group. Having a large group can be fun, but not everyone will necessarily be happy with all the plans. Group members need to prepare themselves in selecting some activities over other activities. A survey for group members may be useful in identifying the type of vacation they look forward to. Doodle is an app that can be used to survey group members through e-mail. Survey questions may include asking when the best time for a trip is, the distance that members want to travel, the number of family members who will come, places where the members would like to go, and activities that members would like.
SETTING PLANS
Logistics for travel should be decided by the group leaders. Pay attention to any special needs of the group members such as food or accommodation and include them in the plan. Use group rates if possible because many airlines, hotels, and venues will offer free upgrades or discounts when booking large groups. However, these offers are not usually publicly stated so it is important to ask about them sometimes. Some travel planning sites including Triporama, TripIt, TripHub, GroupTravel, and Splitwise.com that can help in the planning process and reducing individual expenses. Travefy and Prava are travel apps that a leader or group member can share the travel itinerary to talk with the members of the group, but Google Docs can also be used for many people to add information.
When planning for activities, large groups can be divided into at least two smaller groups if group members have varying interests. This is helpful because compromising for activities is lessened. Restaurants should be booked in advance for large groups. It is also important to remember that everyone’s budget capacities are most likely not the same and to ensure that everyone can handle the costs collectively. Planning for groups tends to go slower than traveling alone. While there will always be a person who will do other activities outside the plan within a group, it is important to plan time to relax alone. Aside from the scheduled itinerary, have an alternate plan in cases when the group needs change while traveling.
Sources
Sources