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Budgeting for Your Next Outing

Planning an outing for a large group of people requires more than simply picking a destination and hitting the road.

There are schedules to consider, trip objectives to plan for, and most importantly there is your budget.

How much you have to spend on a group outing will depend on a number of different factors. In some cases, it will depend on your departmental or corporate travel budget. In others, your budget will be based on how much you are charging per person for the trip — either to the individual or to their school or a senior center.

Begin with the Budget

For most trip organizers, the budget for an outing is the starting point of the planning process. Only when you know how much money you can afford to spend on the trip can you start to make decisions on how to allocate those funds for the various aspects of the outing. Then it becomes simple math: If you have $1,000 to spend, for example, you simply can’t allocate more than that in expenses for the trip.

In other instances, the trip organizer may be asked to come up with an anticipated cost for a planned outing, rather than simply planning within budget. This requires contacting vendors and venues related to the trip. For example, if you are planning a school field trip to the local zoo, you should research admission costs, including any student discounts or group rates zoo owners may be willing to offer.

Transportation Costs

Then there is the cost of getting people where they are going. Accounting for transportation costs — whether trying to come in under budget or compiling information for a trip cost proposal — usually requires contacting charter bus companies and other transportation vendors and gathering information about rates.

Only when you have all the information you need about budgeting and costs can you make an informed decision about where and when to plan your outing.

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