I’ve been on dozens of trips- solocations, baecations, friendcations, staycations, you name it, and yet being with my best girl or guy friends still remains one of my favorite ways to see the world. There’s no feeling quite like being emerged in a new culture, eating delicious cuisine and making memories with good friends.
Benefits of traveling with friends: They (hopefully) know your angles for good flicks, you’ll normally have similar personalities & styles, you enjoy one another’s company, a sense of familiarity in a new environment, can help to cost-share on big vacation expenses like hotel stays, among many other benefits that you may be able to think of.
Watch-outs of traveling with friends? Not being equally yoked, not setting up or managing expectations, clashing travel personalities, money issues, and even miscommunication.
So how do you make the most of a friend-cation? Avoiding watch outs & maximizing benefits?
- Everyone be clear of the vibes! Are we sleeping in? Is this a chill-holiday meant to rest & reset? OR are we waking up early to get in as many activities? Trying to tap into our adventurous sides and maximizing on our vacay. Or a mix? Some early days and some days to sleep with no alarm. Nothing worse than wanting to snooze until at least 10 am when your friend wakes you up for a sunrise hike! If there are multiple personalities on the trip, each person can compromise on a day or decide to opt out of an activity. Just be clear on expectations-beforehand– to meet everyone’s wants!
- Make sure everyone is financially compatible. Are we going for lux or budget travel? Traveling can as expensive or as cost-effective as you want it to be, just make sure you are aligned. If one party has 5 start taste and the other 1 star budget (no shade- sometimes this is a reality and there’s ways to still enjoy your travels regardless) be clear on where the middle ground is or if it makes sense for you two to be travel buddies. The person with a bit more to budget can agree to more cost effective accommodations/excursions or could agree to foot the majority of the bill (can be an option for some)- whereas the person with a bit less discretionary income doesn’t have much wiggle room. This is a very real reality and can impact every travel related decision from ticket type (budget airline vs. first class or in-between), accommodation type (5 Star vs. Hostel), restaurant choice, type and frequency of excursions and more.
- Along the lines of financial compatibility- be clear on the specific accommodation type and all things room situation. Are hostels an option? Only hotel chains? Airbnb? Separate room? Where do we stand with inviting guests over. A few associates of mine loving using dating apps to meet guys while on holiday and invite them back to the room, I don’t like this, so I don’t travel with them!
- Have a loose itinerary. We typically travel for a mix of culture immersion, learning and leaning into something new, while also taking time to unwind and break away from the every day-to-day. Having a loose itinerary (not something that must be followed word for word) but a general guide to activities, places and even restaurants that everyone wants to visit can help satisfy everyone’s wanderlust and trip goals. If there are some activities that must have a ticket or reservation- you can use this time to secure your spot & plan around it ! If someone wants to pass on a certain activity- they can plan to do something else! And everyone can get on the general same page.
- Open communication– Most of the tips above will also lend to this point- communication is key for more reasons than one! Oftentimes, if something that someone else is doing is bothering us, they’re more than likely unaware, instead of being passive aggressive or even ignoring your feelings, just address it with them! It’s normally a misunderstanding. You’ll feel better and they’ll most likely appreciate the head’s up! Tbh- there is probably something you are doing that is bothering them and you can both air it out and continue on with a fun filled vacay!
- Have fun! You’re spending your time & money- you want to enjoy your vacation to the fullest and deserve to!
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