Travelling with friends can only be awesome and it certainly comes with a whole ton of perks. Accommodations are immediately cheaper, and the memories you make are now part of a larger group. It can also be much safer, especially in European countries where thievery and trickery are rather commonplace.
Except, it can however, be a downright pain in the ass, even with the best of friends. It’s an inevitable hurdle that every group of friends must overcome on their trips overseas.
Some want an outdoors-y trip – hiking at the break of dawn to cycling in the afternoon – while others are content whiling away the afternoon in a café. Some are early risers that want to get the most out of the day, while others want to sleep in because well, it’s a holiday.
Whatever it is, travelling with your friends can get quite troublesome once the high of travelling together wears off and the nitty gritty details and habits start to surface.
Well, we said it’s challenging, not impossible. Here are 5 tips when you’re planning a trip with your friends to make everyone happy and get the most out of your travels.
1. What to do With Money?
Money can often be quite a thorny issue. Who booked the flights and accommodations? Who paid for this meal? Paylah! Or Paynow? And that’s merely the logistics of who owes what, we haven’t even touched on budget.
Expenses can be a tough thing to manage, and everyone will surely have their individual access to money. Hence, it’s important to lay bare how much you’re willing to commit to food, experiences, and accommodations. This also means that the group should set up a budget that is comfortable for everyone.
An app like Splitwise can help immensely, but it’s also important to remember that you shouldn’t be too stingy and calculative.
2. Discuss Your Travel Styles
This is a supremely important activity to do pre-trip. What kind of travellers are the individuals in the group? Relaxed and chill or sporty and adventurous?
More often than not, there will be a clash in the way your friends look at and experience travel. Some are detailed planners that have points and activities of interest that they must check off at every destination while others live and go in the spur of the moment, exploring what they can and where the path takes them.
It’s important to discuss how everyone envisions the trip to be so as to figure out the best way for all to have the best time.
3. Compromise Where You Can
In times where disagreements arise, my experience tells me that a compromise is always needed. Everyone has their own concerns and motivations when they travel, and it’s important to be cognizant of what issues matter to who.
If it’s a situation where you feel you can take a step back, do. At the end of the day, nothing should be above your friendship and going with the flow may turn out to be a blessing in disguise. You may uncover something new that you love or realise the thing you so loathed when you were a kid is something you can’t live without now.
4. Splitting Off May Not be the Worst Idea
The idea of travelling with friends is well, to experience everything as a group and create memories together. And as valid as that is, you don’t have to everything together. When compromise is off the table, it’s entirely fine for the group to split up and enjoy various things before meeting back up again.
There are certain activities that maybe only some members of the group will enjoy, and that’s okay. Splitting up at times may actually result in everyone in the group gaining the most out of their travels. And hey, it can provide for some interesting sharing sessions when everyone gathers together.
5. Have Some Downtime For Yourself
This is one of the more underrated aspects when travelling in a group, having space and time to yourself can actually make or break the entire trip.
After a long day out with friends, it’s good to have a pocket of time to yourself, to recharge and rest. For me, it can get quite overwhelming to be constantly engaging with others, so after a day out, I would always try find a way to have some time to myself.
Whether it be simply plugging in an earpiece just to drown out the noise, or opening a laptop, it’s good to have some “me” time to recharge those social batteries.