Smart Tips

Rules for Traveling with Friends

Traveling on your own can mean lots of peacetime. But there’s something special about having someone by your side—whether it’s your best friend, your boyfriend, or your four-year-old nephew—to ask, “Are we there yet?!”

I’ve done numerous trips ranging from a weekend to over a 15 days trip with friends. In my group I’m always the one who plans every detail of the trip or take the lead hahaha, so I’d like to think I’ve gotten better at it. Merging travel styles, however, requires a little flexibility—and a lot of compromise. Here I share some useful tips to travel with yours!

Check what everybody wants and do the plan!

 

This is by far the most important thing, and important to discuss before any further planning. Reality is that we all want to do something specific while traveling, even if that is sleep every day until 11am and then do stuff. You can have similar taste to your friend, and even so not wanting to do the same, so there is a balance you need to find, that’s why is important to sit down before, and make a list of what’s important for each one of the participants in the trip.

Is very sad to find out later that all they wanted to do was party until 4am, sleep until 1pm, and repeat. While all you wanted is to see the country where you’re in. This doesn’t mean you should cancel, it’s a “finding a balance” thing.

This is also the chance to ask and know how everyone travels in the group. In my case I love using Airbnb, and I’m perfectly content walking and taking public transport, depending on how secure is the city I’m visiting. If your friend is not comfortable with these ideas, this is when you know you will have to plan a shuttle, taxi or Uber.

Give everyone an assignment. Even if you’re a natural planner, life will be much easier if you divide and conquer. One person can sort through flights and hotel deals, the foodie(s) can be in charge of picking restaurants, and your fashion-obsessive friend can research weather- and culture-appropriate options for your packing lists. Everybody happy!

Agree on a budget ahead of time.

Now that you know what everyone wants to do, agree on a budget to save yourself from uncomfortable conversations during the trip. Ask what everybody can afford or the x amount limit. If you are planning the trip, this will give you an idea of how much to spend in hotel, taxis, food, and even reconsider some of the previous planned activities.

Also! Figure out how to split meals before you go. Chances are someone makes less than everyone else and is not looking forward to splitting a $400 meal 6 ways when all they had was salad. Discuss that too. No one wants a delicious, wine-fueled meal ruined by an argument over a couple of dollars-euros.

Not every activity needs to be a group dynamic!

 

I made this mistake in my first group trip. Remember, just because you are traveling together does not necessarily mean you have the same interest and want to visit all the same spots! So, its ok to not doing everything together.

This is also true when traveling with just one friend, as my good friend Limsy always says; have some “me” time. Just because you would like to explore by yourself does not make you anti-social. Many times the experience of exploring new cities by yourself allows time to test your own personal boundaries, and to push yourself to be more daring.

 

 

 Be flexible

When you are traveling with friends, somebody is going to be either picky with food, or a little hysterical about accommodations, or a little more concerned about money. So be flexible and pick your fights, stand ground when you need to, but being more like water and going with the flow will make everything go smoother. The difference will be huge, you don’t stress yourself and stress the others.

No one is despised more on a group trip than the person who cannot stop complaining about everything—the food, the weather, the hotel’s service.  Avoid being the bummer of the group and taking your friends down with you by resisting the urge to moan about the small things. You’re on vacation!

Finally and as in everything, communication is key

You are going to argue. Accept it! You’re outside of your comfort zone, possibly jet-lagged, and trying to do everything on the plan list. Disagreements will happen. But one little dispute doesn’t have to ruin your trip. Remember that everyone has different moods; perhaps your BFF is just cranky because she hasn’t eaten, get her some food and THEN figure out what the issue is.

Talk about everything, being sympathetic, and remember, just like the water…go with the flow and make some good memories with your friends!

Hope these smart tips help you on your next group-friends trip!

Muah! Joa

28 Comments

  • Kate Rebel

    Haha very good post that I think a lot of people who travel with friends need. I think most of it applies to when you are travelling with your SO, too btu the more people the more complicated it gets!

  • PossesstheWorld

    I would add choose your travel friends carefully, people who seem like fun at home can be a bit of a nightmare when away- for example I have a friend who whistles at 6am! not cool and we don’t go on holiday together anymore because she can’t stop

  • Yesh Sewdayal

    I love this post – you have some really good tips and advice. I think you definitely need a balance when traveling with friends and there should always be someone who’s in charge of the plan as I have experienced going off the plan/itinerary and having a not so great experience!

  • Medha

    You’ve made some very valid points here. This is the reason why I am not usually a fan of travelling with people, especially friends. It just seems like a hassle mostly. Lol.

  • Theresa

    Travelling with friends can be either amazing or just the worst. Your post should help bypass some of the worst aspects of group travel. Having “me time” is very important!

  • Lee

    Well said! Travelling brings out all sorts of behaviours even if you have been friends with a person for years! At the same, it’s a trip you’re forever reminisce about.

  • Tifanee

    I agree with these tips for group traveling. It’s important to know what everyone wants to do BEFORE deciding you want to travel together. Sometimes, objectives don’t mesh and that’s okay, it just means you have to find another trip better suited to what you want to. I think more people need to know that it’s okay to do different things when you’re on a group trip. We’re all different people with varying interests. It’s okay to want to do different things here and there.

  • Zara

    This is brilliant 🙂 travelling in groups can be so frustrating at times, having ‘me’ is so important I’m glad you address that. It’s so common to feel pressured to go with the majority rather than what’s right for you! Great post 🙂

  • Bee

    Such a sweet and helpful post. I agree on all of these, and wish I had set these tips in when I had travelled with a friend years ago. Needless to say, we are no longer friends due to differences in travelling styles. so glad you could find this balance.

  • Jackie

    Great advice! Couldn’t agree more that u need a me time even though u r travelling as a group. U are so blessed to have a chance to be traveling with your friends/)

  • Jem

    Great post and great tips! I haven’t really travelled with lots of friends before but have done road trips with a few friends. You learn to compromise a little!

  • Sindhu

    Loved reading the post. Travel is so much fun when done with friends but it is quite important to set a few rules so that no one takes the other for granted. As i read your post, I can’t help but think of going on my next trip with my besties.

  • Gabby

    I honestly find it really hard to travel with more than just one other person, even if they are my family! I am always the planner so everyone looks to me for what is next, haha!

  • WhodoIdo

    Great tips! I haven’t travelled with a group of friends for a while. Totally agree on the budget as everyone’s budget is different. I seem to be the one who arranges everything from flights, hotels, activities and restaurants. Fab post!

  • Mario

    Heh, I realized it the hard way that travelling as a couple or group can be challenging – well, that was <2014. But yeah, I'm now travelling with my gf usually whom i share a lot of interests with. No more holding back on activities like hiking & scuba diving 🙂

  • Anna

    I prefer travelling by myself cause of so many things I could disagree on with friends ( I don’t need much, they might…or they might wanna plan more, I am extremely spontaneous) but honestly, these tips seem to make it possible to enjoy group trips more. You are right, everyone always seems to want/need something else, but if you communicate a lot, plan and even agree with some “me” time, it could be much easier to enjoy the trip together. I’ll remember your words for my next planned trip with friends. Thanks!

  • Carla

    Agree with all! Communication is the key, it was a time that i fought with a really good friend just because we didn’t talk enough about our trip and the activities we did there. Nowadays we talk about every detail and about how important flexibility is. Thanks for sharing

  • Em

    Travelling with friends can be difficult. The last time I did, one of my friends didn’t want to do anything, so we just left her at our Airbnb and went visiting. Like you said communication is key no need to get upset just respect everyone interests.

  • Joanna

    Traveling with friends can either be amazing or awful. I have lost friends because we weren’t compatible in our traveling styles and this is one of the main reasons why I prefer to travel alone. But I do agree that agreeing on an itinerary and on a budget is really important before you go.

  • Jas

    Definitely agree that just because you’re traveling together doesn’t mean you have to do everything together too. A mini break from friends is good too especially since you’re basically stuck together 24/7 hahaa.

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