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Adventuring to other countries solo is how I prefer to do most of my travelling, but even I, on a rare occasion, will travel with a friend, or even a group. I’ve travelled with my best friend to Ireland, my sister on many hiking trips, a group of five girls to Thailand and even a group of 26 people to South Africa; most of whom I’ve never met. I consider myself a social introvert. I enjoy my solitude and freedom to do whatever I want, when I want and how I want while travelling, but when it comes to travelling with a friend, or a group, I feel that I can adapt to it pretty easily for the most part.
Travelling with friends and groups isn’t for everyone, I get it…and even some seemingly close friendships can ignite into flames during a trip together and you find yourself biting your tongue more times than you can count. Personalities can clash, even with your BFF, so to make sure you don’t end up at each other’s throats, which sometimes cannot be avoided anyway, here are my 10 tips for travelling with your amigos/amigas to make sure you’re planning your next trip together rather than your escape during your trip together.
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Discuss What Everyone Wants To Do/See
Once you have picked out the country you are travelling to and have booked your flights, it’s a good idea to gather everyone together to discuss what everyone wants to do and see within the country that you are visiting. Jotting everyone’s idea down in a notebook is a good way to then filter out sites depending on location, so that a solid itinerary can be built around everyone’s needs and wants. If a good chunk of your group wants to laze around on the beach all week, but you don’t; make sure to bring that up. Everyone’s ideas should be heard, but just because you are going to a tropical location, doesn’t mean that the beach is the only thing to see. This has happened to me, so discussing plans is crucial and best to avoid conflicts later on.
Read more: How to Create the Perfect Itinerary
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Compromising Is Key
Travelling with others is a sure fire way to test everyone’s patience and compromising skills. Like the point above, compromising on plans is one of the top things people find hardest to deal with while travelling with others. When with others, I usually go with the flow, but sometimes I want to go see a site that others may NOT want to see. If I’ve been going with the flow for most of the trip, but my idea gets shot down, then of course, tension builds. I’ve blown my temper before, because I let it fester for too long. Don’t let that happen. It’s always best to compromise with a group, so that everyone is happy in the end. That’s why discussing travel plans before you even leave your country of origin is so important!
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Don’t Be Afraid To Speak Up
You all made plans to travel together, so you should all be able to listen to each other’s ideas and suggestions as well. If you’re usually the person to go with the flow, but something arises that you don’t want to do, then don’t be afraid to speak up. Yes, you might piss people off, but you know what? You spent your hard earned money to go halfway around the world, therefore it’s just as much your trip as it is theirs, so speaking up is sometimes the best way to clear the air, get whatever it is off your chest and move on.
Don’t Travel With Your Complete Opposite Personality
I find that travelling with someone that is literally the complete opposite of me is just asking for problems. I’m not a party animal. Never have been, never will be. I enjoy going out and having fun just as much as the next person, but being hungover and bed-ridden the next day is NOT my idea of fun. If I’m travelling to a country, I want to see the country, not the inside of the hotel room with a pounding migraine.
Figure Out Everyone’s Budget
Nothing causes more fights and arguments between friends than money. Discussing money is a taboo subject, but it needs to come up eventually. If your friends want to go out for dinner and split the bill, then fine. If your friends want to go out for dinner, drink three bottles of wine while you only drink water? Not fine. When in a group setting, I always ask for my bill separately to avoid the hassle. Budgets should also be discussed when booking any extra excursions, but it’s also important not to penny pinch either. If one of your friends wants to do a $300 excursion, but you can’t afford it, make sure to bring that up. Don’t go over your budget just because your friend can allot more money towards extras, but don’t skimp out on a once in a lifetime excursion and experience either. If you really want to do excursions, but you want to stick to a budget, maybe get a cheaper hotel, or put away extra money before embarking on your trip to begin with. Remember, you’re on vacation…treat yo’self a little!
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Give Yourself Some Alone Time
When travelling with friends, make sure to give yourself some alone time. Just because you are travelling together, doesn’t mean you have to be attached at the hip. If you’re in a city and you really want to go to an art museum, but your friend wants to go visit another site that you aren’t interested in seeing; then go separately. Time apart is totally fine and it’ll give you guys some interesting dinner conversation once you meet up again later on in the day.
Read more: What Solo Travel Has Taught Me
Don’t Make Any Decisions When Hungry Or Stressed Out
You want to know a good way to start any heated argument and really get pissed off? Staying hungry or starting to argue in a stressful situation. If you’ve already missed a train connection, flight, or are lost in the streets and haven’t eaten a thing since landing in that new city, or town; stop what you’re doing, find a restaurant and eat. Hangry is a made-up term that holds true to its meaning. Being hungry and angry at the same time as being involved in a stressful situation is like lighting a match near a busted gas line; you’re asking for trouble. Grab a bite to eat, relax and discuss your next plan of action. I guarantee it’ll be a lot easier to do rather than doing it while you’re hangry and you’ll also avoid blurting out some unnecessarily mean words that you might not be able to take back.
Figure Out How To Get From A To B
Planning all the fun excursions and listing all the cool places that you’re going to visit with your friend(s) while you’re abroad are all part of the exciting part of travelling. Knowing how you’re planning on getting to and from those excursions and cool places may not be your ideal version of fun. I’m a planner through and through (I can blame that on being a Virgo), so planning things and figuring out how I’m getting from A to B are all apart of my love for itinerary planning like a boss, although I do leave room for spontaneity too. You and your friend(s) should discuss how you want to travel around while you’re abroad. Do you want the freedom of having your own car, but you don’t want to make a huge deposit on a vehicle? Do you want to be more relaxed and take a train, but need to figure out the train routes, times and connections? Knowing in advance how you want to travel a country will save you heaps of stress when you arrive tired, jet lagged and hungry…trust me!
Know Each Other’s Pet Peeves/Sicknesses
Does your travel buddy need to eat breakfast before hitting the streets in the morning? Does your friend get migraines (ahem…me!)? Is he or she an absolute nightmare to deal with before their first morning cup of coffee? Does your friend have any travel fears or insecurities? Do you despise the smell of black licorice, but your friend loves that shit? Tell each other these things before you go away together. It’ll not only clear the air before travelling together, but it’ll also save you from a really awkward moment, argument, or a potentially bitchy decaffeinated friend the next morning LOL.
The most important tip I can give you for travelling with your friend(s) is to have fun! You guys decided on a destination together, booked a flight together and travelled across the world together; it’s important to have a great time together too. Communication between two people, or twelve people is the most important part of travelling and as long as you have that part down pat, the good times will naturally roll with you as well.
Do you guys prefer travelling solo, with one friend, or a group of friends? Do you have any interesting stories that you want to share? If you travelled with others, are you guys still friends to this day? Are you closer now, or have you drifted apart? Let me know in the comments below. xo