Whether traveling with your school or planning a massive Spring Break for yourself and 20 of your closest friends, group travel can seem a bit daunting.

Finding flights, coordinating the bookings, arranging hotel rooms, coming up with rooming lists, planning airport transportation and even arranging dinner reservations can become a real headache, but lucky for you the travel experts at STA Travel are pros when it comes to groups.

Here’s a few things to know before you go!

Just a warning…it’s not always going to be this harmonious.

Airlines never offer a bulk discount in the traditional sense

Ever tried to book multiple tickets directly from an airline? You may find a great fare on your first 5-6 tickets, but after that the fare can skyrocket, leaving some of your travel mates out of luck and paying a much higher rate than the rest. That’s because airlines only offer a limited number of seats at a certain price point, and once those sell out, they increase to the next price point.

What our group travel experts do is negotiate with airlines for groups of ten or more, to contract an average fare for the whole group to be sure everyone pays the same amount. While the seats might seem higher than what you might find for just one seat on your own, the fare will be much lower than what the last person in your group might end up paying. The larger your group, the better your savings.

Be sure to allow at least 4 hours between connecting flights, minimum

Unless you want to see this out the window

When you travel alone, a short layover through another city isn’t a big deal, as you can usually hustle to your next gate with no problems. Groups are a bit tougher to wrangle, between bathroom breaks, stops for snacks or just good old fashioned wandering off. Sticking together is easier said than done with large groups, so allow yourselves time to get together, get organized and get on that next flight. Another reason for this is in the event of flight delays, which usually only happen on days that end in “y”. A flight delay can cause you to miss your connecting flight, and accommodating a large group to stay together and get on the next flight isn’t always possible. There may not be room on one plane, some of you might get sent to another city, and your arrivals could be scattered at your destination.

Allowing extra time, especially for international travel, is the number one way to avoid these headaches and keep on schedule. Better to have an extra hour or two to spare at the airport rather than getting stuck scrambling to get where you need to go.

Only a portion of the plane can be booked for group travel

Typically airlines will only permit 50% of the seats or less to be purchased by groups, the rest of the seats must remain open to single-ticket passengers. So just because a flight has seats available online, the groups limit could be at capacity and it may not be available when your groups’ agent requests that flight.

Pre-booked Airport Transfers are your best friend.

Getting 20 people into one of these is a nightmare.

Once you arrive, odds are that your day of travel will have you worn out so the last thing you want to do is seek out 3-4 taxis to take your whole group to your hotel. Ask your travel agent about any free hotel shuttles if they are available, or book your airport transfers before you go. The transportation company will need your flight details, but they will watch for delays and be waiting curbside for you and your gang to hop in and stretch out on the way to your hotel. Easy.

Book early

Airfare and hotels can sell out quickly, especially when they only allow a portion of their availability to be booked for groups. Most airlines and hotels know their availability about 300 days before your travel, so get a jump on those plans, save money and avoid some major headaches for yourself down the road. Some even allow for cancellation about 90 days before departure for a small fee, so if your plans change you won’t be liable to pay for seats or hotel rooms you don’t need.

For more information about group travel, click here.

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