Get hyper-organized with the itinerary and budget
Sure, having a neat, color-coded spreadsheet may garner a few laughs and jabs from the family, but they’ll thank you for it later, when you have a detailed itinerary and budget that saves everyone time and money. It’s especially helpful during the busy holiday season when you’re already paying hefty prices for airfare and hotel stays. To keep the budget transparent, set up a shareable document that lists not only hotel and travel expenses, but group dinner reservations and activities -- as well as how much they’re likely to cost. Make sure everyone has editing access to write in their preferred activities with pricing details, too, so the group can decide on the itinerary together. This ensures everyone knows what to expect on the trip, and can save accordingly beforehand. Of course, you’ll want to set aside a small discretionary fund, too, for those unexpected extras that pop up along the way (looking at you, small-town hot chocolate festival).