How to Share Vacation Costs With Friends and Family

How to Share Vacation Costs With Friends and Family

Traveling with others can save you money! 

When you take a vacation with friends or family, you can split the big expenses (like the cost of the vacation rental). Not only that, you can work together to create a meal plan that saves you money (and cuts your work in half). The best part? Traveling with friends or family makes the vacation more memorable and fun! 

Today's blog will explore some strategies you can employ if you are planning a vacation with another family. 

Happy vacation planning! 

Some considerations: 

Travel Budget | Ward Realty

How will you divide expenses? 

You can just split costs in half (or thirds, depending on how many families are participating).

Or, split costs based on "percent". 

For example, if your family has only three members but you are traveling with another family of 8, you may want to pay by percentage. It's only fair! 

How will you pay? 

Sometimes it's easier for one person to pay for every single thing and then divide it up later (Zelle, Venmo and PayPal are great ways to pay friends and family). But, you have to have a lot of trust in your travel buddies! 

Another option would be to split fees as you go. For example, Ward Realty could put your charges for the vacation rental on two or three credit cards. 

Consider using an app

While spreadsheets certainly have their place when you are planning a vacation, an app can come in handy once you're there. After all, who wants to keep track of a bunch of receipts, or try to remember who bought ice cream and who paid for the kayak rental? Here are a couple of apps that will track your spending as you go: 

What about meals? 

There are a few ways to share this large expense: 

🍳 One family plans (and pays for) every breakfast, while another plans every lunch. 

🍔 Take turns for dinner, or split the check when you go out to a restaurant. 

🍎 One family buys all snacks for the trip and the other pays for all drinks (including adult beverages). 

🍦 One person pays for all meals, snacks and drinks and the expenses get divided by percent at the end. 


In general, it's usually easiest for each family to pay their own way for activities (like mini-golf, kayak rental, fishing, day trips and events). If you want to share the expense (take turns on the paddle board, for example), that is also easy to do! 

Great tips for traveling with others: 

☀️  It's ok to go out for some meals with just your immediate family. If y'all prefer cheap burgers or pizza, but the other family wants to splurge for an expensive seafood feast, no one has to feel awkward about it! 

☀️  It's also ok to plan activities without involving the entire group. Let the teenagers have the afternoon off while you take the littles to search for seashells. Or leave the kids with grandma while you go out for a drink. This is the benefit of traveling with others! 

☀️  Figure out who gets "the big room" ahead of time. Ward Realty takes great pride in having amazing property descriptions. You will be able to see just how many beds are in each room, check out the view, and see if there is one master bedroom (or several). You might need to do a coin toss to see who gets the best rooms! But hey - all the rooms are great when you're at the beach. 

You could also offer to pay a little more of the vacation rental costs if you get the master suite. 

☀️  Talk about your activity budget ahead of time. After all, if you have the budget to let your kids buy expensive souvenirs and rent bikes for the day but your sister does not, it's better to set that expectation in advance. 

☀️  Be considerate about chores. After all, staying in a vacation rental still means dishes, cooking and laundry! 

If you have ever wanted to rent one of the amazing (and large) beach houses here on Topsail Island but thought you couldn't afford it, think about finding some travel buddies. They can share the expense of the rental, and make your vacation that much more fun and exciting. All it takes is a little planning and cooperation. 

Do you have any tips for vacationing with others? 

Share them for our readers!
How to Share Vacation Costs With Friends and Family

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