5 apps to organize your next group outing

These apps help you collectively organize bookings, sightseeings, and even spending.
Three people standing on a high rock, looking at a beach downhill.
Skip all the boring parts of putting together a group trip and go straight to the fun. Tron Le / Unsplash

There’s a lot to like about going on trips as a group—the shared experiences, the socializing, the deepening of friendships, the support and help when you need it. But it’s not without its problems either.

At the planning stage, trying to make sure everyone’s voice is heard and everyone’s ideas are accommodated can be tricky. But as with so many modern-day challenges, technology can help and group trip planner apps can help your journey go brilliantly.


With Troupe group vacation planning is simple as can be: You create your trip, invite your crew, and you’re up and running. There’s a central message board for each trip that you can use to post text and images, so even when you’re not actually making decisions you’ll all stay connected.

You’ll be able to easily manage dates, destinations, and places to stay, and the slick Troupe interface means that it’s always clear who is contributing ideas and responses in each section. There’s a really handy polls feature too, which means you and the people you’re traveling with can vote on everything from attractions to see to restaurants to avoid.

Troupe is available for free for iOS.

[Related: 5 essential road trip apps that have nothing to do with eating, sleeping, or navigating]


Wanderlog can manage every aspect of a trip, including the sights you want to see, how long it’ll take to get between them, and the flight and hotel reservations you need to sort out. You can use it for free, but you can also pay $50 a year for extras such as offline access to your plans and the ability to export itineraries to Google Maps.

It’s really simple to share your trips with other people, and you can choose to let them edit the various parts of the plans or just view them. Everyone can see what’s happening at all times, and leave comments or simple likes (just as you might on social media). There’s even a tool for managing and splitting costs.

Wanderlog is available for Android and iOS. Unlock extra features for $50 a year.


Pluto’s mission is to make trip planning as enjoyable and as stress-free as possible, and we’d say that it absolutely succeeds in its aims. Right from the opening screen there’s a feeling of calm and control, and the interface is really simple to move around. The app works with Pinterest-style pinboards and you can create one for each of your planned trips.

These pinboards can feature everything from where you want to eat and drink to the modes of transportation you’re planning to use. Pluto will even show you example pinboards for popular destinations to give you some inspiration. You can share all of your boards with other people, and they can then contribute their own ideas in each of the categories.

Pluto is available for free for iOS.


Howbout doesn’t offer as many features as some of the apps mentioned above, but that simplicity has its own appeal. You create a plan, invite your friends, and start organizing. Everyone can see at a glance what’s happening and when, and there are a number of tools for each plan—a chat thread, polls, and a neat feature for finding dates when people in the group is free.

Another nice option is countdowns, so you can all see the seconds ticking away to your big vacation. Howbout is also good at exploring possible places to go within a particular destination, like bars or notable landmarks, and managing multiple trips together is straightforward as well.

Howbout is available for free for Android and iOS.

[Related: 4 apps you didn’t know could help you explore new destinations]


Our last app pick focuses on one particular aspect of your trip: expenses. The hassle of chasing up payments and sorting out who’s paying for what can be one of the downsides of traveling in a group. But TravelSpend takes away some of that strain—you can set up a budget ahead of time, or keep track of expenses while on your trip.

The app also lets you categorize your spending so that it’s easier to see where all the money is going. When sharing the app with others, you can also quickly split bills, settle up payments, and always know who you’re in debt to. You can use the app for free, but a $4-a-month subscription removes the ads and enables you to export your expenses to other apps.

TravelSpend is free for Android and iOS. Remove ads and get extra features with a monthly $4 subscription.