When it comes to organizing a group trip, the Type A member of your crew already has enough to do, what with booking sunrise yoga classes and laminating copies of the itinerary to distribute to everybody.
That tortured soul shouldn't also have to maintain a multitab, color-coded spreadsheet showing who owes whom what for which train tickets, dinners, cocktails, cover fares, bail money, and other travel expenses.
This week Venmo introduced a new feature designed to make things easier.
With Venmo Groups, users of the popular peer-to-peer payment app can, according to a press release, "track, split, and manage multiple or ongoing expenses among groups" on, say, family ski trips in Colorado, bachelorette parties in Nashville, boy band reunion tours in North America (an NSYNC fan can dream), and so on.
Once everyone concerned has joined the group, new expenses can be added and calculated throughout the duration of the trip, making it simple to see what's owed to whom and letting members pay each other back in a tap or two.
(Venmo Groups | Credit: Venmo)
Payments, tracking, and calculating are all handled right there in the app, and management of the group (adding expenses, figuring out amounts due, and settling up) is shared so that you don't have to designate one person to handle everything.
“We know managing ongoing expenses in a group can be challenging, in particular when each member covers different costs with different amounts at different times,” said Erika Sanchez, Venmo's vice president and general manager, in a statement. “As one of our most requested features, Venmo Groups offers a seamless solution for users to better track and settle shared expenses in group settings.”
You don't have to limit use of Venmo Groups to travel, either. It can be employed for standing engagements with any assemblage of people you're affiliated with, such as your kickball team or book club.
As USA Today points out, Expedia recently launched a tool of its own called Trip Planner that similarly allows travelers to "collaborate and engage with each other to finalize trip details" in a shared itinerary.
Venmo Groups has the added benefit of giving users a way of both figuring out and paying group expenses in one place—provided, of course, everybody on the trip has Venmo.
To create a group in the Venmo app, go to your "Me" page and select "Create a group" to invite other users. Once they've been added, members can enter expenses and settle up in just a few taps.
Venmo Groups began rolling out to "select customers" this week, per the news release, and "will be widely available in the coming weeks." (When I tried to create a group using my phone, the Venmo app told me I "can be invited to groups, but can't create one just yet.")
For more information or to download Venmo to your Apple or Android device, go to Venmo.com.