I’ve been on solo trips, trips with family and trips with friends. While they each have their challenges I've found trips with friends to be the most challenging. As an only child, I've had to flex my social muscles when abroad with my friends. It hasn't always been easy. While I haven't had to use all of these recommendations for friend trips, I hope these tips help you out.
Read below for my 10 tips for travelling with friends!
1. Agree on Your Goals
Whenever my goals have been misaligned with friends, I had a meh trip. You will look back and regret the things you didn’t do. If you don't ask for what you want you won't get it. If your goal is to relax on this trip, say so. If you don't and your friend plans on dropping M and partying all night then you're in for quite the trip...
2. Not All Friends Can Travel Together
Do you have that one quirky friend, but you love ‘em? Some things they do grate on your nerves but you tolerate them because they’re your friend. Yeah, don’t travel with them. The things you accept about your friend will soon turn into things you can't stand. You know how most friends can't be roommates? Same goes for travel; you can’t travel with everyone—no matter how long you’ve been friends.
3. Spend Time Alone
One of the best things to do is to spend some time alone while on vacation. Grab your book and head to the beach, walk to a restaurant, go to the pool. Familiarity breeds contempt. Whatever you can do to you get some ‘me’ time, do it. It will give you a refresher and allow you to be ready to spend more time with your friend.
4. Book a Short Trip
My friend’s dad always says “Fish and friends start to smell after 3 days”. The longer you vacation with someone the more likely they are to get on your nerves. So maybe don’t do that 9-week soul-searching trip with your BFF. Cut it down to 7 days.
5. Book Activities
Cabin fever is a real thing. If you guys are on the road for a long time or stuck on a resort there’s the chance that you might end up turning on each other. Book excursions and find cool Groupons. Do what you can to stay busy here or there on your trip.
6. Be Nice
Sure, your friend might be forgiving, but you should be on your best behaviour when with your friends. This includes what might seem like a given: be nice. Some people are more sensitive than others and sometimes you can be mean. Yes, you! Be considerate and think before you speak and you will have a great time.
7. Stick up for Yourself
If you find that your friend is getting everything they want from the vacation but you aren’t, say so. While you might have agreed upfront on what you want to do, your friend might have rolled back. Say so! You paid to be on this trip so why not make the most of it? If this turns into a blow out then the next part is especially important.
8. Budget Accordingly
If you’re (for some reason) travelling with a hot head, then make sure you have some secret funds. You can use this to get your own hotel room and/or transportation back home. There is nothing worse than feeling stuck on a trip with someone who turned into a gremlin overnight. If you can't afford it, ensure you have some room on your credit card. I haven't had to use this one but I've heard some horror stories where this would have helped.
9. Plan for the Best
It might sound type-a, but I like to draft a little plan for my trips then loosely follow it. I literally create a spreadsheet or shareable Google document. It's a collaborative space for researching and budgeting for exciting excursions and making reservations at famous restaurants. In whatever ways you can (collaboratively) plan ahead, do it!
10. Have Fun
The reason why you’re friends in the first place is you know how to have fun together. So make your trip fun! If you guys are on a shoestring budget find out of the box ways to enjoy your trip.