Travel creates some of our most treasured memories, and travelling with friends is one of the most fulfilling ways to see the world. Finding the right travel companion can be tricky though.
Friends will either make or break an experience and you don’t want to find yourself wishing you’d opted for a solo trip when you’re halfway through your trip. Travelling with your friends can bring you closer as you explore new cities, try out different cuisines, discover ethnic trends and cultural traditions in a foreign land – all the way creating memories you can share over dinner for years to come.
Travel buddies do need to have complimentary travel styles, distinctive shared expectations, and have clearly drawn out boundaries so that they can remain friends even after the trip. This helps to avoid disagreements and ensure that you focus on the beauty of the places you find yourself in.
Here are some things to consider when choosing your next travel companion.
Ask Necessary Questions before the Trip
It is essential to ask all the necessary questions and check the compatibility level with your friends well ahead of committing. Discuss what they want to achieve from the trip to know if that syncs with your ideas and dreams. When you choose a particular location to travel to, there will be many go-to places such as historical monuments, mountains, streams, adventure sports, nightclubs, and museums. It’s always better to have a clear picture of what sites your friends would like to visit and what things they’d like to do on the entire trip. Mapping out the route in advance also offers clarity and minimises debates once the trip is underway.
Take that all important ‘Me time’
You can do certain things on your own, even when you’re on a group trip. And it should be okay with your friends if you take a day or two away from them. Everyone in the group can do some things separately if they want, there is no rule saying otherwise. Some may opt for more activities, others for extra beach time, and it’s an idea to find a local liquor store to try some of the local alcoholic beverages together once you’re reunited.
Travelling and Accommodation
Will you be walking, using public transport or booking a private vehicle for site-seeing? That’s a fundamental question that needs to be thoughtfully answered by you and your friends well in advance. Similarly, the room situation can be a significant hurdle as there are several options like hostels, homestays, dormitory, bunkers, lush and fancy hotels. You might even want to book a single room instead of sharing one with your friends for that all essential space. Before rushing into a decision, sit down with your friends and discuss these matters, pre-booking what you can in advance.
Stick to a Friendly and Predefined Budget Plan
Money can be the root cause for clashes among friends on a group trip. Always contribute and split the bills equally. The budget topic is inevitably going to pop up even before the journey begins. Agree on a general budget for the trip, which will allow everyone to be on the same page when it comes to spending those hard-earned pennies, and even consider a kitty for accommodation, transport and major expenses that can be paid in advance, with the smaller items settled as you go.
Create a To-do List
Set a mutual travel goal by adding a to-do list of all the things you’d want to do as a group. To make it even more successful, set goals and prioritise them. Make a list of all the places you all want to visit. Add achievable goals to make your list more useful. Prioritise two or three items and places over the others that the majority wants to do during the vacation so that no one feels left out. Understand that you will need to compromise on a few things in order to keep everybody happy.
Don’t Decide on an Empty Stomach
People can get super cranky when they are hungry, which results in making crankier and even irrational decisions. The results can be regretful. It’s called making hangry decisions, and it goes out for everyone in the group. Whenever it comes to group food choices, and where to enjoy that much-needed meal or coffee break, make sure everyone is well-fed and not stressed or tired.
Communication is Key
Conflicts are inevitable as there will always be a clash of opinions. Group dynamics can be a delicate thing as each person has their own preferences and opinions. Therefore, instead of holding onto any resentment, discuss and resolve all the issues that arise. If you want to take some alone time or if you’re doing something you don’t like, speak to your group. Do not keep your frustrations to yourself. It may, in the end, lead to an outburst. This will not only make you unhappy, but your travel buddies will be taken aback by your behavior or choice of words. Also, be very considerate of the others and what they may be feeling,
Travel is a gift and having the right people for company enhances it, makeing it even more memorable. Communicate well, keep an open mind and consider the rest of the group for best success.