Traveling with all your best friends can make for the trip of a lifetime. But this can also be a source of chaos and confusion if not done well. To help you keep your next group trip fun and chaotic-free, here are five steps to success.

1. Decide on Leaders

Most groups tend to need one or two leaders who will take charge of coordinating plans. These people should be natural go-getters who communicate well and enjoy arranging things. However, they shouldn’t be autocrats who want to do everything their way.

If you have to make a lot of plans, consider assigning tasks instead. Look to which individuals have what strengths and then use them. If someone likes to cook, perhaps they can coordinate the meal budget and arrangements. If you ski, have your most experienced skier oversee making sure people have the equipment they need or find the right slopes.

2. Have Good Communication

Group trips live or die based on communication. This not only includes communication from the leaders to the group but also the group’s willingness to give input and voice opinions respectfully. Have face-to-face meetings as much as possible, and encourage everyone to participate openly.

Use modern technology to facilitate the planning as well. Look for apps that coordinate group travel and payments, such as Travefy and Splitter. In addition, use cloud storage services (like Google Drive, for instance) that allow everyone to access the plans. Set up a group text and email so you can keep everyone updated with one button.

3. Don’t Overplan

The planners might have a tendency to try to plan every bit of the trip. But this will likely only cause frustration and annoyance among the group members. Start with the big stuff — flights, vacation rental house, and transport between the two — and then only continue to plan details as necessary.

Remember, the more flexible you make the accommodations, the less you need to arrange in detail. A vacation rental house means only one set of lodging arrangements and one person to correspond with. Choosing a rental in town allows you to buy a bunch of food for the group as well as having nearby restaurants to choose from. Ski-in and ski-out rentals help everyone come and go as they please.

4. Decide When to Split Up

Group members shouldn’t expect — or be expected to — stick together all the time. You’ll probably get tired of one another at some point, so give everyone a break by not organizing everything as a group activity. Some travelers may feel that a city tour is a must-do, while others just want to hang out at a local pub and listen to music. Make doing their own things easy for people to accomplish.

If you do the planning, build downtime into the schedule. Try planning a group dinner one night and leaving another night open for everyone to make their own plans. If you go to an amusement park, make a meeting plan for the end of the day in case you get separated.

5. Keep Your Chill On

Finally, do your best to remember that this trip should be fun! If you do the coordination, don’t become so invested in your arrangements that you can’t enjoy changes. Remember the old adage that no battle plan survives contact with the enemy. Yours will suffer changes, have delays, and encounter mishaps. This is part of life, so don’t be afraid to let some things go and remember to enjoy the results.

If your group trip plans take you to a ski resort town this winter, start with the flexible and luxurious vacation rentals available at Access Winter Park. Undoubtedly, you’ll find exactly what you need to make planning a breeze and keep everyone having the best time ever.