Traveling with a group comes with a unique set of challenges, but it can also mean being rewarded with some amazing memories. It doesn’t have to be more expensive than solo travel, either. If you know where to look and what to ask for, you can stumble upon some big savings and some big adventures to go with them.

Do Your Homework

Before you plan your trip, check with the tourism bureaus for all the destinations on your short list. Get travel tips for the area before you confirm your plans. You may find that a little flexibility on your arrival dates might save you big money, or it might mean you’re in town for a great event that you didn’t know about.

Check with the hotel chains you are considering using to see if they offer group discounts, adjoining rooms or other rewards that make it convenient for everyone in your group to stay at the same hotel instead of being scattered around town. This results in more time spent together, easier communication and possibly even childcare for parents in the group. For example, Marriott offers group discounts for hotel rooms based on the region you’re traveling to.

You can even score a group discount on some of the major airline carriers if you book all the tickets at once through a group travel website.

Consider a Cruise

Today’s modern cruise amenities mean luxury travel on a budget for families and groups. Cruises also offer lots of excursions and entertainment, so there is always something for everyone. Being on one ship together means that you have lots of time with the entire group and also have plenty of opportunities to enjoy a little private time.

Consult the various cruise line websites to see what deals are available and what incentives they offer to encourage your group to choose their cruise over the competition. Royal Caribbean cruises, for example, offers different discounts depending on the size of your group.

Update Your Cell Phones

Before you leave on any trip, visit your cell provider. Make sure you have the latest technology that meets your needs and has features that make staying connected with your group and your family back home easy and seamless. Don’t worry about affecting your vacation budget because you can add phones and pay monthly for the new device.

Make the Most of Wi-Fi

Another step that help you stay in touch with the group is making sure you have a clear idea of what places offer free Wi-Fi and where you need to rely on your data package. Places like hotels and airports offer free Wi-Fi, so they are good places to connect with your email and update social media pages. There are even apps that help you pinpoint the nearest hotspot when you’re on the go.

Today’s technology is a big part of our lives, and vacation is no exception. Plan ahead, and do your homework on the Internet before, during and after your trip to make sure you’re taking advantage of every feature that will enhance your experience.