I've often discussed elaborate plans for trips and fun activities with my friends that never quite pan out. We're always so excited to behave over the top, then laugh about how it never happened six months later.

Group trips become a lot harder to organize as you grow up because there are many variables which come in to play. Work schedules, finances, and weather, can derail your trip faster than a speeding locomotive. And it also can be hard to keep up with a group chat that's constantly buzzing.

If your friends are committed and everyone’s itching for getaway, though, here are my suggestions to plan an effective group trip.

Elect A Group Leader

This may seem silly and you may be thinking, “We're all grown adults who can work together in cooperation to organize a vacation.” Well, I'm here to let you know that assumption is completely false. Someone will certainly make it extremely difficult or want to do it their way. By electing anyone to serve as the group leader, the responsibilities for the overview of the trip fall in one person's lap. From the itinerary to coordinating arrival/departure, this leader would be the liaison for the whole trip.

Use An Online Calendar

One of the biggest obstacles when planning any trip is locking down a date. By using a service such as Doodle or Survey Monkey, your group includes a selection of dates that will help narrow plans down. It may also help everyone see each other's availability or lack thereof..

Set Expectations Up Front

It's your responsibility as a grown adult to voice your opinion. Should there be certain activities you prefer or places you need to visit, make it your pursuit to communicate that. Every group will plan their trip differently, but prioritizing your wishes could make everyone a lot happier. Setting expectations also means being honest about how much you're willing to spend on the trip. If you are on a budget, make sure the group knows. However, if you can afford something top end but everyone else can't, you shouldn't be an asshole and suggest things you know are out of peoples' price points. Learn to compromise.

Venmo Is Your Best Friend

Venmo is definitely an app that allows people to transfer funds to others.   For any group trip, try to figure out what needs to be paid in advance and allocate funds for this.  Venmo will help you keep track of who has paid and just what the group paid for, which keeps everyone accountable while removing any potential conflict. Venmo has all of the receipts!

Set Up Reminders

This should go without having to say, but ensure that every person on your trip remembers that they've dedicated to this trip. You don't want to have your bags packed then have somebody say, “Oh damn, I totally forgot about that!” and bail around the trip. Whether you send out email reminders or text alerts, stay on top of your group to avoid last-minute cancellations from happening.

Leave Room For Spontaneity

Your vacation is precisely that: a vacation. It doesn't need a set structure that feels like you're in prison. My fondest memories of trips with friends would be the completely spontaneous moments. Sometimes unplanned events hold an extended shelf life in your brain than the pre-planned ones.

All in all, group trips should permit you and your friends to escape your day-to-day lives. Whether all of you live close to each other or are convening from various places, vacations are a time to reconnect, have some fun, and make new memories (with obnoxious Instagram posts). You'll thank me after the next group trip when you listen to me and see how much better the experience was!