The 3 Best Apps to Download If Traveling In Groups

I share a lot of solo travel tips, but the reality is that I also do a fair share of group travel each year, whether that’s on family vacations, trips with a couple girl friends, or bigger trips with business school friends. Traveling with groups requires a bit more organization than traveling solo. The two biggest challenges I’ve experienced traveling in groups are 1. keeping everyone’s travel plans organized and 2. figuring out expenses.

These 3 apps have truly simplified traveling in groups by addressing these two specific challenges. Whether you are traveling with 1 other person or 20, I highly suggest downloading all 3 (and making sure all of your party downloads them) prior to taking off on your travels!

The 3 Best Apps to Download If Traveling In Groups

1. Splitwise

Splitwise is a god-send for managing expenses while traveling! Splitwise allows you to create a trip and add members so that each person can input expenses made while on the trip. The beautiful thing about this app is that it allows you to pick who specifically was a part of each transaction and the option to split the total in equal parts, by a percentage, or by specific amounts. The app also allows you to pick what currency you paid in so that you don’t have to do any currency calculations.

At the end of the trip, and once everyone has input their expenses, you can hit submit and the app will calculate on the backend how much each person owes or is owed. No more excel sheets or long calculations!!

Each person has the option to link their Venmo or PayPal accounts and “settle up” and pay their respective amounts within the app in a matter of seconds!

2. Plates

Let’s face it, we’ve all dreaded the moment the bill is placed on the table while you’re out with a large group. If you’re the one that didn’t drink or only ordered an appetizer, you may feel uncomfortable telling everyone that you’d rather not split the bill evenly. If you are someone that has been constantly stuck overpaying or you are the one doing the dreaded calculations, Plates is here to the rescue!

Plates (iOS; Android) is an app by Splitwise that allows you to quickly calculate exactly how much each person owes from a restaurant bill. Plates has become an integral part of my life, not only on group trips, but also living in New York City, where eating out is part of the lifestyle.

Plates allows a group to quickly calculate exactly what each person owes (pre and post-tip) based on what they consumed. The app allows you to choose how many people were present (up to 10 people, each one represented by a different colored plate on the app). Individual charges are added to the app, allowing the user to drag and designate who specifically shared this dish or bottle of alcohol.

Once all items are submitted, the app will show exactly how much each person owes, giving you the opportunity to each pay that amount on your credit card/cash or allowing one person to pay the entire bill (and reap those points, wink wink) and each person pay that person back. You can share the totals via text or email and even integrates with Splitwise!

3. TripIt

If you read my last blog post on the top things that have fundamentally changed how I travel you’ll recognize this app.

TripIt is a wonderful travel organization tool for solo travel, but especially for group travel because it allows you to add members to the itinerary and aggregate all confirmations and travel plans in one streamlined place. If you have certain parts of the trip that only involve some members, you can easily select which members are involved in this part of the trip.

My two favorite features of this app are 1. that you don’t have to manually upload anything (you just forward your confirmation emails to and they automatically get input into your itinerary) and 2. that the plans are organized in chronological order and are grayed out as you progress through the trip.

There you have it, 3 free apps that will make your group travel a breeze! So next time you’re planning a group trip, don’t forget to download these 3 apps and make sure everyone in your party has downloaded them, as well!

Til next time!


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