Three essential apps for group travel

While I must admit I tend to travel more as a duo, or on my Pat Malone, group travel can be a fun way to see a destination with guaranteed good laughs and shared memories.

Organising a group full of people is however easier said than done. In fact, the term herding cats comes to mind … as I found out ‘first hand’ on a group weekend away to Budapest for a birthday. With fourteen people in total all flying in and out at various times, staying at different accommodation and jumping in and out of plans, thankfully there were a few key technology developments that made life much easier.

Here are three apps to make sure your next group trip is as straightforward as possible.

WhatsApp
Creating a WhatsApp group with all your fellow travellers in gives you a central place to have a conversation and ensure that everyone can get in touch with each other. Removing the need to circulate phone numbers (as long as everyone can access the internet at times during the trip), you can send messages, pictures, discuss plans and keep in contact. Our group chat was created before Budapest and was a great way to access details of our plans, check people’s movements and contact everyone at the same time.

happy middle aged group tour

Find My Friends
Erring slightly on the side of stalking, this app does have its major benefits when travelling. Allowing you to give other users (found by their contact details) access to your location at any given time, it’s essentially like a Google Maps with your friend’s real time location. While you may feel rather like a private detective while chasing your friend’s floating head around, it’s much easier than sending countless messages back and forth trying to coordinate locations, not to mention those infuriating phone calls when you’re both certain you are at the right meeting point yet can’t see each other anywhere. You can also limit the amount of time that contacts can access your location, for example you could grant them access for 24 hours after which time they would need to request it again.

Photo sharing
One of the challenges of group travel is how to share your photos and memories. Though not a specific app, the photos section on your phone allows you to use iCloud to share photos by creating an album and inviting others to join it. They can then download photos directly to their camera role or contribute any other pictures that they may have to the shared folder.

Another great tool on your phone is the AirDrop feature which, when two phone in close proximity have AirDrop switched on (swipe up at the bottom of your screen and select AirDrop on for contacts only or everyone), allows you to literally select and ‘drop’ photos from your camera roll into your friends.

Social media platforms such as Facebook now also let you create shared albums with more than one contributor, so you can share your photo memories with the rest of the world as a group, rather than individually.

Do you know any other apps that have helped your group travels? We’d love to hear them in the comments.

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Written by SJ

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