How do you currently plan and organize group travel that you are in charge of?
We love group trips at WeTravel and have quite a bit of experience in the matter. Read on for tips on how to plan a group trip without a sophisticated website.
How To Plan A Group Trip Without Using A Sophisticated Website
In the ideal world, you would have a website to help you organize your group trip. All the trip information would be found on the site, attendees would have access to their own account and itinerary, as well as be able to facilitate online payments.
Think of an accommodation provider and tour operator website combined.
However, unless you are a professional travel organizer or business, you probably do not have access to a site with that sort of functionality. Even if you are a regular group trip planner, the skills needed to set up single or multiple pages depending on the number of trips you are organizing can end up becoming a task for professional designers or developers.
The alternative is to do things manually with the help of various organizational tools. No doubt this likely takes up quite a bit your time. Not to mention the margin of error that can occur when you have to collate information between the various tools you work with.
Relay of Information
With a trip outline in place, it is time to reach out to your attendees. Usually, you would start by sharing the relevant travel information and images with them, and after that, begin collecting their respective information and payments.
Email is typically the first choice for communications. In order to get everyone in one place for communication purposes, you set up a custom mailing list. While this is not difficult in itself, it is keeping track of the incoming chains of emails that can be overwhelming.
Of course, another option is to use a social media platform like Facebook, and/or a messaging app like Whatsapp or Messenger. Here it is possible to create a group so as to keep everyone in one place. But again, keeping track of conversations can be tiresome.
With communications in place and information and payments coming in, you need to take down the finer details.
First is to record the personal information and trip preferences your attendees have sent through. The obvious option here is to use a google sheet or spreadsheet to keep tabs of this.
Then reminders need to be sent out to your attendees leading up to payment due dates. Naturally, if they miss it then you need to follow it up with them in good time.
Managing Incoming and Outgoing Payments
As you are dealing with a group, you can expect to receive as well as send out multiple payments against a single trip.
You will likely receive payments on a staggered basis as and when attendees confirm a booking, and you may have to keep track of partial payments and due dates if you offer a payment plan. The same applies to your supplier transfers.
Without some sort of accounting system in place, you may find it simpler to use a separate bank account to monitor transactions more easily. Then there is the question of bank charges for credit card or international transactions starting to pile up.
Although just a rough outline of how to plan a group trip without a sophisticated website, we are sure you can relate to some of the points above. On the whole, in addition to the time you spend collating information and organizing people, there are bank charges to consider.
Now, imagine using a single platform that brings it all together to simplify your life. Here is what organizing a group trip could look like.
Relay of Information
Without professional assistance, you create a beautiful booking page with images and information showcasing the destination, accommodation, and activities your attendees are signing up for.
Then by either embedding a generated code onto your own website landing page and directing attendees to it, or sending out a link via email which recipients can click on, you give them access to the booking page.
There is no need to email attendees the trip description or set up a facebook group to display images, it is all available on your custom booking page.
From the dashboard managing your booking page, you customize a form to send to your attendees to fill out. You ask for their name and phone number, dietary requirements, next of kin information, etc.
The information they provide pulls into a profile which you, as an organizer, access on the dashboard and can export to excel if needed. You can also send messages to them via email directly from the dashboard.
For this trip, you are offering attendees a payment plan. You set the relative due dates for the deposit, progress, and balance payments, and the platform automatically emails payment reminders to your attendees. It also automatically sends out a follow up should the dates be missed.
How does it know the payment dates have been missed? Because it is an online payment platform too and keeps an account for each attendee. A glance at each attendee profile will tell you how much the person has paid and how much is still due.
Managing Incoming and Outgoing Payments
The payment and transfers section of the dashboard keeps a record of all transactions relating to the trip. Once attendees have paid up either by bank transfer or credit card, you transfer money out to your bank account. Alternatively, you can transfer directly to your suppliers, local or international.
While international transfers attract a charge, it is flat and competitive.
Again, although just an outline of another version of how to plan a group trip without a website, it costs a lot less in time and headaches and only between 1% and 3% of the total trip value. Your life is made easier through the amazing platform, which offers an intuitive dashboard and simplifies organizing a group trip.
Yes, you guessed it, we are talking about WeTravel – the payment platform for travel organizers which allows you to collect payments securely and manage bookings efficiently. Find out how it works in our short video below.