Tips for Traveling with Friends
Traveling can be many things – fun, exhilarating, relaxing, even life changing. Sharing the experience with good friends can make it that much greater. However, people often don’t consider that certain factors, like spending a long period of time together can change the dynamics of a friendship. Additionally, different people prefer different activities, so disagreements may arise during a trip creating a potentially uncomfortable situation. Before choosing your travel buddies and booking your trip, consider the following helpful tips.
Choose 2-4 friends
It may seem like a great idea to get a big group together for a vacation, after all, the more the merrier, right? But keep in mind that the more people you travel with, the more differing opinions and emotions you will have to deal with. Keeping the list down to a more manageable 2-4 people is a better idea. It’s also important that the people you choose to travel with share the same interests as you, and that you are comfortable being around them for however long your trip is scheduled for. Once you’ve carefully chosen your travel buddies, discuss your itinerary together prior to travel so everyone is on the same page and there is less chance of disagreements.
Figure out finances ahead of time
Discussing money with friends can be a somewhat touchy subject, but avoiding it can lead to misunderstandings and frustration. Before you leave for your trip, sit down with your fellow travelers and discuss such topics as whether you will be splitting the cost of things, like meals, or if each person will pay separately. Consider agreeing ahead of time which types of restaurants and activities you are all comfortable with from a price standpoint. The more details you hammer out before you hop on the plane, the less likely there will be any uncomfortable money incidents.
Be flexible and communicate
Let’s be honest – most trips don’t go exactly how we plan or envision them. At some point, things are bound to not go as expected, leading to a possible stressful situation. It’s important that you and your travel crew remain as flexible as possible and be able to roll with the punches if something goes differently than planned. Keep communications open and most of all try to keep your sense of humor. You never know – something that goes wrong may turn out to be better than you expected.
Pick one “must do” and two optional activities
Chances are something that one person wants to do or see during your trip may not be the top of the list for everyone else, but each person in your group should be able to enjoy themselves. Traveling with friends must involve some level of compromise if it’s to go smoothly. When planning your itinerary, let each person choose one activity that they really want to do, and two others that are optional, then plan your trip around these activities. That way everyone will feel that they had a say and you’ll avoid anyone feeling left out and disappointed.
Matching fitness levels
Another thing to consider, particularly when planning active vacations such as cycling excursions, is the physical ability of each traveler in your party. If you’re going to be undertaking biking itineraries together, you’ll want to be sure that everyone is at the same fitness level. For instance, if you want to take on some challenging climbs or long distance rides, make sure that the others can handle them as well, otherwise you may end up feeling held back and they may end up feeling frustrated.