There is no definitive way to split food costs on a trip; the truth is that it takes a certain amount of creativity and teamwork to split grocery and restaurant bills effectively.
However, there will be digital apps that will allow folks with bank accounts and online mobile banking to transfer funds back and forth with ease.
For instances in which someone does not have that capability, there will be a need to calculate their portion to use cash or another monetized format to pay for their part.
Should you Do it in Advance?
This would be an easy way for the foreplanning family to solve any issues. Creating a savings account or payment plan in which each family pays ahead of the trip will remove most of the issues mentioned solutions would solve.
If going this route, be sure to give each family enough time to budget and save the money for the trip, which the planning might require a year’s notice to give ample time for families to pivot.
There should also be some personal funds per individual, so that midday drink and food purchases can be made on the fly when needed.
Is it Better to do itAfter the Vacation?
When considering the balances, the best policy is to be open to communication and have an overall budget discussed and then saved, which includes the food needs of everyone involved.
Step one will be to have a meeting before deciding the food budget, open communication at restaurants if the group decides to go out, and a final balance tally to discuss any disputes between the families.
In other words, be sure to have your money taken care of before taking the trip and check in with each other afterward to settle any differences.
How Should You Keep Track of the Costs?
There will be specific ways to go about this, but simple ideas to help budget will start with creating an initial budget and having each family fill out an electronic bank account and elect a person as the cardholder and ‘financier’ if you will.
This person, or persons, will oversee securing the rooms, carrying the debit card, and transferring power to other accounts, but also keeping track of each person’s spending to ensure a fair share of the budgeted funds.
Ideally, there will also be a saved emergency fund in case of any injuries or accidents that may occur when out on vacation, all to be accounted for when the travel is over and everyone has settled back home.
Should you Buy Food Separately?
As with any sort of planning, there will be different ways of going about it; when it comes to traveling, there will be websites that will deliver discounts to those willing to bundle travel and lodging accommodation together with their services.
This leaves food in a flexible spot, which can be paid for as a group or as individual families taking care of their own meals.
As for you, this will depend on the people involved in the travel plans, and if a friend’s family is struggling or makes less, it would be a consideration to have the group chip in by pooling funds.
Common Mistakes You need to Avoid
The most frequently made mistake that anyone, or group, can make is to be over budget and overspend while on vacation. This can sometimes lead to stranding a person somewhere; family planning is different, but the warning remains the same.
A mistake similar to that will be to under budget for food. If you splurge, let it be in a restaurant that gives the family one good solid meal, not on any cheap entertainment attractions.
The last mistake to be aware of is not communicating, be sure to communicate about available funds, what is feasible for the family unit, and what each other is willing to help with.
Final Thoughts on How to Split Food costs on a Multi-Family Vacation
The last thing that anyone wants on vacation would be a shortage of money for food, and there is nothing worse than a group of hungry kids and adults.
But, if need be, over budget for food, make sure there is an overspending problem if the funds run out, and be savvy with the money, just as a refresher to the memory banks.
Going as a group will provide a more affordable stay and open up other possibilities regarding activities and attractions. Not to mention having a bunch of familiar faces around when traveling can make a difference in enjoyment levels.