How To Travel With Friends With Zero Drama
We all love to travel, and the more friends and loved ones you can take with you, the better. When you find a good group of travel companions, the world opens up to fill your passport with stamps. But how do you go about finding good partners to see the world with?
We’ve all heard horror stories of friends who started out flying the friendly skies but came home swearing they would never travel together again due to misunderstandings. They do say that you never really know someone until you travel with them. But there are ways to keep that from necessarily being a bad thing.
How do you keep conflict off of your travel itinerary? Plan, plan, plan. Get everything cleared with your girlfriends before the visas are ordered, the passports are out and the plane takes off and you’ll minimize the chance that you’ll have any drama by the time the trip is done.
Talk About Your Travel Styles
Is this trip going to be about 5-star resorts or hostel accommodations? Have a group conversation about how you like to travel to find accommodations and locations that everyone is going to be comfortable with.
Encourage everyone to put their dealbreakers on the table, then make sure you reach a compromise before you make this travel plan official.
Get Specific About Cost
Not only how much the ticket and hotel accommodations are going to cost, but how much money you’ll expect to spend on daily expenses. Come up with a general amount per day, and let everyone know how much they should plan on spending to keep up on the trip. And even more important, what money is due to whoever is supposed to book everything.
Create A Group Fund
When you’re traveling with more than a couple of people, splitting the bill every time can become a headache. Put together a group fund for all of the agreed upon expenses on the trip like guided tours and restaurant meals. Then put one person in charge of paying group bills when you get there.
They’ll keep track of the expenses, and if anyone consistently spends more (on upgrades, perks or drinks), agree ahead of time that they’ll put more in the pot to compensate when the time comes.
Get Clear On Your Itinerary
Write down every place you plan to go, how you’ll get there and what the experience should be like before you travel. Give everyone a chance to speak up about potential problems (and to suggest an alternative).
Share Planning Duties
Once you’re all clear about where you’re going and what you might want to do, split planning responsibilities among the crew. Assign one person to research restaurants, another to sightseeing, another to souvenir and shopping opportunities.
That way no one person feels burdened with all of the planning and everyone gets to have input on the trip.
Agree On Everyone Who Will Come Along
Traveling with someone who not everyone is comfortable being around is a recipe for disaster. Either find a way to clear the air before you fly, or consider changing your travel group.
Uninviting someone is awkward, but not as awkward as the meltdown that might be coming once your trip is underway.
Assign A Group Leader
Once the trip is underway, they’ll be in charge of giving the vacation structure by doing things like keeping activities on schedule and planning what time everyone needs to be downstairs to meet in the lobby.
Plan A Little Free Time
Even best friends and family need a little break from one another from time to time. Before you write the itinerary in stone, plan a little free time once a day so everyone can recharge their batteries before rejoining the group. Or maybe you all can opt against a strict itinerary at some point during the trip and find time to relax.
Find A Way To Continuously Communicate
Even if you’re traveling to a destination where you don’t have roaming cellphone service, apps that operate on Wi-Fi like WhatsApp or even sticking to email will keep you in touch in case you decide to separate or plans change.
Going somewhere really remote? Agree on a designated meeting place and time in case anyone gets separated to minimize stress.
Choose Your Travel Companions Wisely
Friends and family you know well and get along with all the time make the best candidates. Travel with people you don’t know very well and you better be prepared for some surprises along the way — whether they’re good or bad.
Compromise On The Side Of A Bigger Budget
Bunking three to a room may save you $50 a night, but it could create unnecessary travel stress for the group. And if the price difference isn’t going to break your budget, side with the person who wants to invest in cab rides instead of nonstop public transportation. You’ll spend more money but save yourselves a lot of headache.
Don’t Be Afraid To Split Up
The whole group doesn’t have to do everything together. Don’t be afraid to plan separate trip moments for people who have different wants when it comes to the itinerary. And also don’t be afraid to split up during the trip if some people just can’t get along. Plan to meet up later and you’ll all likely get along better then.
Don’t Do Too Much
It’s tempting to pack every moment with activities when you only have limited vacation time. But 24-hour ripping and running can put stress on a group — especially when everyone’s energy levels are different.
Check In Frequently
At the end of each day, talk about what’s working and what’s not. Let everyone clear the air, or even change plans if necessary. When everyone feels heard, they’re a lot more likely to get along.