Do you know Bill Murray’s advice on travel and love?
To paraphrase, he said that if you think he or she is The One, you should travel the world with them. When you come back and you’re still in love with that person, then it’s true. He or she is The One you should spend the rest of your life with.
Now whether you believe that or not, you can’t deny that traveling can make or break a relationship. And we’re not only talking about romantic ones.
If you’re planning to travel with friends, you can’t just hope that there’ll be no drama. Take the necessary steps. This way, you can be sure you’ll all come back closer than ever and not as sworn enemies.
That said, here are some tips on how to travel with friends and avoid problems.
Choose Your Travel Buddies Well
This is first on the list because there are some friends who frankly, make bad travel companions.
We’re talking about the cheapskates, drama queens/kings, and friends who want to drink all the time. They’re all problematic in their own way.
Someone who doesn’t want to pay for their half of the expenses is going to be irritating for obvious reasons. If they expect you to pay all the time, you’ll be out of cash before the trip is over.
As for drama queens/kings, no explanation is needed. Would you want to be halfway around the world with someone who loves making a scene? That’s a headache you shouldn’t have to deal with while you’re on vacation.
Last but not the least are friends who like getting drunk if not most then all the time. It’s okay to let loose. After all, it is a getaway.
But there’s a place and time for that. Getting drunk at 8 in the morning or everywhere you go isn’t right.
And you’ll most likely end up babysitting them. Think about how much that would suck when you should be enjoying your time away from work.
Planning Is a Must
It’s good if you all agree on where you want to go. But your planning sesh (or sessions) shouldn’t stop there. It also has to cover what each one wants to do.
Of course, you should expect that everyone’s going to want different things. You might get some pals to explore the place with you. Others though might prefer to party until dawn.
Now, this doesn’t mean you should wear yourself out working out the logistics of the trip. The planning sessions are there so everyone can contribute and compromise.
It’s also a good idea if right at the start, everyone agrees that not every activity has to involve everyone. It’s okay travel with friends and do some things separately. Remember, it’s a ‘friendcation’, not a class trip.
It’s About Give and Take
If you expect everyone to do what you say, you can say goodbye to future travels with friends. You can read a hundred “how to travel with friends” articles and you’ll never find one that says, “Be bossy!”
But don’t be too wishy-washy either. It’s frustrating to travel with someone who can’t seem to make a decision.
Let’s say your friends ask you to choose where to eat or sleep for the night. Don’t say whatever and step up when needed.
The important thing is to go with the flow. Accept that different personalities don’t always make for ideal travel situations. Don’t dwell on it and you’ll be happier.
Establish a Budget
Planning should cover this. But we feel it needs further explanation. You see, one of the most common causes of arguments among friends traveling is money.
Unless you all have the same job and salary, it’s a given that not everyone in your group has the same income levels. This means some will be more concerned about the money they’ll be spending.
Establishing a budget ahead of time gives everyone time to prepare. It’s even better if your budget already includes costs for grocery purchases. This should also include restaurant visits, excursions, and so on.
Even just getting to the airport can be a recipe for disaster if you and your friends don’t know how to communicate.
And it’s always best to put out fires when they’re small. Letting things fester leads to toxicity. Talk it out and work it out.
Don’t let it get to the point where you can’t have a discussion without shouting.
Take Advantage of Group Rates
Looking to International travel on a budget? No problem! It’s easier to work out expenses and whatnot when it’s only you.
But when it’s a group and a large one at that, it can be a headache. But it doesn’t have to be if you know how to score group rates. And it’s super easy, too.
Ask for it before booking a show or an attraction. You can even get group rates for travel insurance.
There’s an App for That
We haven’t checked if there’s an app for settling dramatic confrontations. But we’ve written about travel apps that make life easier.
From apps that help keep track of expenses to those that help you plan out an entire itinerary, our list has it all.
It would be great if everyone in your group is tech-savvy. This way, if one of you loses a phone, you can rely on someone else to do the expense tracking, navigating, and so on.
Make Travel with Friends Fun, Smart, and Cheap
Ready to travel with friends? Choosing where to go is but one part of the planning process. Remember to choose your travel buddies well. And to make your planning sessions as detailed as possible.
And if things don’t go as planned, don’t worry too much about it. Go with the flow, but make sure to step up when needed.
For more travel advice–whether you’re traveling alone or with friends–don’t forget to check out our other posts.