Travel is amazing. Traveling with your friends, can either be fantastic – the perfect augmentation to an already incredible adventure – or it can be a nightmare, that leaves you wishing you’d left your BFF stranded at the airport.
In the right circumstances, vacations with your friends can be a great way to cement an already strong relationship. Those shared experiences have the capacity to take your friendship to the next level, whether they’re good (sharing cocktails on the beach), or bad (getting stuck in the rain miles from your hotel). Unfortunately, because travelling can also be stressful, and daunting at times – it may also lead to serious disagreements between besties, or arguments that end with you both giving each other the cold shoulder.
To help you enjoy your travel experience more, and maintain those lasting friendships, we’ve put together a list of our favorite group travel tips that should help to mitigate some of the biggest challenges of vacations with your friends.
Step 1: Choosing Your Travel Companions
Great vacations with your friends start with choosing who you want to spend all of that extra time with. As group travel tips go, we can’t give you much help with this one – as only you know who you work best with out of your social network. Remember that travel forces you and your friends to be together on almost a constant basis, so you’re going to need to choose someone you really get along with.
If you’ve spent the night at a friends’ house before and woke up feeling as though you couldn’t wait to get out of the door – then this probably isn’t the person you should bring with you on vacation. In the same vein, if you’re concerned that your own annoying habits (we all have them), will drive a particular friend crazy, it might be best to leave them out of the equation.
Step 2: Figuring Out What Everyone Wants
Once you’ve decided who you’re going to be travelling with, you’ll need to get together and discuss what you all want to do with your vacation, before you book the tickets. Remember, just because you all want to head to France doesn’t mean you’ll want to do the same things while you’re there – and vacations with your friends will require some organization and compromise.
Since everyone is different, one of the best group travel tips you can use, is to create a plan of action for what you’re going to try to cover on your vacation. Feel free to jot down the things you want to do alone, as well as the things that you want to do together – as just because you’re travelling as a group doesn’t mean you’re attached at the hip. Don’t be afraid to try some things that are a little out of your comfort zone if your friend asks you to, however. You might just discover your new favorite passion this way.
Step 3: Organize Your Budget
By far, one of the most terrifying things about vacations with your friends, is dealing with the money. Friendships and cash don’t always mix well, but when you’re travelling in a group, the topic of money will eventually crop up – that’s why all good lists of group travel tips should recommend being upfront about expenses before you even book the tickets.
Take the time to figure out exactly how much everything is going to cost, and make sure that each person in your group has the money to pay for their share. This will help to bypass issues later when you start arguing about hotel prices, restaurant costs, and more. When it comes to making sure everyone pays their part, you might consider creating a shared fund that everyone pays into before you head on your vacation – so that all of the expenses can come out of that. Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t store some extra cash in your neck travel wallet – just in case.
Step 4: Get Some Time to Yourself
As much as you might love your best friend, spending a series of days with him, or her non-stop can get to be a bit overbearing. Vacations with your friends are a wonderful way to build relationships, but that doesn’t mean you have to spend every second together.
As group travel tips go, this one will probably help the most when it comes to ensuring you still have a strong friendship, and most of your sanity by the time you get home. Take time out every day to listen to music, read a book, or go for a walk without your bestie. It’s not about being anti-social, it’s about having your own space. Especially if you’re sharing a room with your friend, you could find that a few hours alone in the afternoon can make a world of difference.
Step 5: Be Honest (and Know When to Apologize)
Finally, no matter how well you and your friends get along – there’s bound to be times that you annoy each other. Be honest about what’s bothering you in a calm, and patient way, and let people know when you need to take a break. It may feel like a better idea at first to simply bottle up your emotions – but you’ll quickly regret this when all of your anguish comes pouring out over a jug of Sangria.
At the same time, if you’re the annoying one, or you over-react to something your friend does, don’t be afraid to seek them out and apologize. Communication is crucial when it comes to vacations with your friends, and you don’t want to waste a second of your precious trip sulking about an unresolved argument.
Enjoy Your Vacation
Hopefully, these group travel tips will help you get the most out of your vacations with your friends. Just like a handy neck travel wallet helps to protect your finances, it’s important to take steps to protect your relationship when a vacation might put it under strain.