Google Tool for coordinating vacation dates between friends?

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cbr shadow
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Joined: Wed Jul 10, 2013 2:12 pm

Google Tool for coordinating vacation dates between friends?

Post by cbr shadow » Thu May 23, 2019 1:00 pm

This is something that I run into every once in a while and I'm sure there are better "shared document" tools than what I'm using.

A few friends of mine and I want to plan a vacation. We need to decide on a time of year, location/activities, and an exact date.

I could create a Google Sheet (basically Excel) that we can all edit. Is there a better Google tool for doing this? It doesn't have to be Google but we all prefer it is in the Google suite. Also it can't have a steep learning curve. Thoughts?

daheld
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Re: Google Tool for coordinating vacation dates between friends?

Post by daheld » Thu May 23, 2019 1:06 pm

I don't understand why having folks send dates that don't work for them isn't acceptable. It kind of seems like you're trying to techno-engineer something that's pretty simple.

Topic Author
cbr shadow
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Re: Google Tool for coordinating vacation dates between friends?

Post by cbr shadow » Thu May 23, 2019 1:20 pm

daheld wrote:
Thu May 23, 2019 1:06 pm
I don't understand why having folks send dates that don't work for them isn't acceptable. It kind of seems like you're trying to techno-engineer something that's pretty simple.
There are 9 of us and all have different schedules and preferences for where we go, what activities we do, time of the year, and then an exact date. IMO having a shared document to coordinate is an ideal use case.

LOL at the techno-engineer comment. I understand not everyone is open to using new technology, but this could either be done by adding everyone to a link, or 9 people sending emails with someone having to coordinate all of the dates that do/dont work for people. It makes things much easier unquestionably.

boogiehead
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Re: Google Tool for coordinating vacation dates between friends?

Post by boogiehead » Thu May 23, 2019 1:31 pm

cbr shadow wrote:
Thu May 23, 2019 1:20 pm
daheld wrote:
Thu May 23, 2019 1:06 pm
I don't understand why having folks send dates that don't work for them isn't acceptable. It kind of seems like you're trying to techno-engineer something that's pretty simple.
There are 9 of us and all have different schedules and preferences for where we go, what activities we do, time of the year, and then an exact date. IMO having a shared document to coordinate is an ideal use case.

LOL at the techno-engineer comment. I understand not everyone is open to using new technology, but this could either be done by adding everyone to a link, or 9 people sending emails with someone having to coordinate all of the dates that do/dont work for people. It makes things much easier unquestionably.
Personally use google trips myself... not sure if there is an ability to share with others feature

teniralc
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Re: Google Tool for coordinating vacation dates between friends?

Post by teniralc » Thu May 23, 2019 1:32 pm

See if this might work:
https://doodle.com

daheld
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Re: Google Tool for coordinating vacation dates between friends?

Post by daheld » Thu May 23, 2019 1:32 pm

cbr shadow wrote:
Thu May 23, 2019 1:20 pm
daheld wrote:
Thu May 23, 2019 1:06 pm
I don't understand why having folks send dates that don't work for them isn't acceptable. It kind of seems like you're trying to techno-engineer something that's pretty simple.
There are 9 of us and all have different schedules and preferences for where we go, what activities we do, time of the year, and then an exact date. IMO having a shared document to coordinate is an ideal use case.

LOL at the techno-engineer comment. I understand not everyone is open to using new technology, but this could either be done by adding everyone to a link, or 9 people sending emails with someone having to coordinate all of the dates that do/dont work for people. It makes things much easier unquestionably.
I'm open to using new technology. But a shared Google sheet where people tell when they're not available and, as you say, where they'd like to visit is literally all you need. Yes, someone is going to have to physically look at the document and find a date that works for all. This is not complicated.

greenflamingo
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Re: Google Tool for coordinating vacation dates between friends?

Post by greenflamingo » Thu May 23, 2019 1:35 pm

Google Forms might be a better tool. You could push out a survey to check on possible dates and locations, maybe design it such you can see whether things are a yes/no/maybe for everyone, then dump it into Google sheets for your analysis.

Or you could just have people do the same in columns in Google Sheets.

The survey approach is better if folks don't use spreadsheets consistently. You can control inputs better that way.

jpelder
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Re: Google Tool for coordinating vacation dates between friends?

Post by jpelder » Thu May 23, 2019 1:45 pm

PollEverywhere has some ranked-choice polling options if you can choose a list. Maybe have everyone send their nominations.
A conference call would honestly be my preference for deciding the location, since everyone can pitch their ideas and people can come to win-win compromises.


Someone suggested Doodle for finding the time, a recommendation that I second.

Of course, neither of these are Google, but they are free

bob60014
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Re: Google Tool for coordinating vacation dates between friends?

Post by bob60014 » Thu May 23, 2019 1:46 pm

Google Trips, TripIt or Kayaks Trip Huddle https://www.kayak.com/mvp , may be worth a look. Ive heard of but have not used Trip Huddle.

mrb09
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Re: Google Tool for coordinating vacation dates between friends?

Post by mrb09 » Thu May 23, 2019 3:22 pm

Maybe create a shared calendar, and folks can start with their blackout dates? Then you can add planned dates once you find a good time for all.

BuckyBadger
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Re: Google Tool for coordinating vacation dates between friends?

Post by BuckyBadger » Thu May 23, 2019 4:47 pm

I've used combinations of shared Google docs and Doodle polls to schedule numerous tennis vacations that included court times, clinic schedules, and dinner reservations.

I think that's probably your best option because it's flexible enough that you can really use it for anything...

SublimeBri
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Re: Google Tool for coordinating vacation dates between friends?

Post by SublimeBri » Fri May 24, 2019 6:40 am

teniralc wrote:
Thu May 23, 2019 1:32 pm
See if this might work:
https://doodle.com
+1 for doodle.com. we use it all the time to schedule an event across many people.

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RickBoglehead
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Re: Google Tool for coordinating vacation dates between friends?

Post by RickBoglehead » Fri May 24, 2019 6:43 am

mrb09 wrote:
Thu May 23, 2019 3:22 pm
Maybe create a shared calendar, and folks can start with their blackout dates? Then you can add planned dates once you find a good time for all.
This.

You create a new calendar called "Proposed Trip" and share it. People go through their personal calendars and Copy events (i.e. blackout periods) to the Proposed Trip calendar so everyone can see it. One can propose something, like a week in October to go ____, and add the other names to the event. Then, if enough people decline, that's dead.

Why make something so easy into Rocket Science?
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oldcomputerguy
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Re: Google Tool for coordinating vacation dates between friends?

Post by oldcomputerguy » Fri May 24, 2019 7:33 am

This topic is now in the "Personal Consumer Issues" forum. -- moderator oldcomputerguy
It’s taken me a lot of years, but I’ve come around to this: If you’re dumb, surround yourself with smart people. And if you’re smart, surround yourself with smart people who disagree with you.

ADAMNOGGI
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Re: Google Tool for coordinating vacation dates between friends?

Post by ADAMNOGGI » Fri May 24, 2019 8:53 am

What "new technology" ? Computers? Commonplace applications at least from the 1950s. Desktops in the 1980s.

michaeljc70
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Re: Google Tool for coordinating vacation dates between friends?

Post by michaeljc70 » Fri May 24, 2019 10:25 am

I think a shared calendar is a good idea.

What I've ultimately had to do if it involves more than a couple of people is get dates that work from a couple of people and book it. Let others go or not go. If it is far enough out, most people can go or rearrange their schedules. Otherwise it is back and forth for weeks (or months) on end. Think about a wedding. They don't ask everyone what dates they are free. Otherwise there are millions of permutations when you take date/location into account.

iamlucky13
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Re: Google Tool for coordinating vacation dates between friends?

Post by iamlucky13 » Fri May 24, 2019 3:34 pm

I've done similar things both with a shared calendar and with a shared Google Sheets file.

I've tended to prefer using a spreadsheet:

Give each person a row or column, and make the other a running date range. They can color code availability, or add comments about preferences in the cells.
ADAMNOGGI wrote:
Fri May 24, 2019 8:53 am
What "new technology" ? Computers? Commonplace applications at least from the 1950s. Desktops in the 1980s.
I'm not sure I understand your comment.

A very, very small proportion of the population had their computer networked in the 1980's (and less than 10% even owned a computer in the mid 80's), much less had any way of working on shared data, or even visualizing it in order to be simpler to interpret than an email or BBS post of text date ranges.

Google Sheets and Calendar, for example, were both released as beta applications in 2006, and have significantly improved and become more widely recognized since then.

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