Planning a group trip can be a headache: How this new Expedia tool makes it easier

Planning a group trip can be a headache: How this new Expedia tool makes it easier
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From girls' trips to family getaways, traveling with others can strengthen your bond. Unfortunately, planning a group trip can often be a headache – and includes a messy text thread or Google Doc. 

Travel company Expedia Group launched a new feature on Thursday aimed at taking “friction out of every step” of group travel, Vice Chairman and CEO of Expedia Group Peter Kern told USA TODAY. 

Meet the Trip Planner.

In the new tool, up to eight travelers can collaborate and engage with each other to finalize trip details in one easy place on Expedia, Vrbo or (app, website and mobile site.) 

Unfortunately, cross-platform trip planning is unavailable, so your entire trip must be booked through Expedia or Vrbo, for example. 

When you’re ready to plan a trip, you can start saving potential options for accommodations, flights and car rentals. Then, invite your fellow travelers to vote and comment on what they like best. They can add different options if they see something they like better. Everyone can also see an itinerary of what’s been booked. 

More: The easiest reward program? What to know about Expedia Group's new One Key loyalty program

To use the Trip Planner, you need to have an account, which is always free. 

“(It’s) an easy way to connect people traveling together with all the information they need within the conversation,” Kern said.

He added that planning a trip with multiple travelers has been “a big pain point for travelers” since people are “sharing 27 websites with each other.” 

The travel company said the new product is the first of its kind in the industry and is part of the company’s current commitment to new “technology to really drive consumer innovation much faster.”

The first iteration of trip-saving came from the vacation rental platform Vrbo, where travelers could see their itinerary for upcoming and old stays.

Kathleen Wong is a travel reporter for USA TODAY based in Hawaii. You can reach her at [email protected]