Traveling with friends can become the best experience ever. Apart from beating loneliness and making tense moments such as flight delays or waiting in long queues way easier to handle, it allows to increase the affordability of the trip, enhance overall safety, share packing space, and reinforce friendships.

However, traveling with your buddies can also cause problems and frictions due to the different priorities and personalities of everyone involved. Some will show an interest in visiting historical sites in a town, but others just want to enjoy the nightlife to its fullest. There are many things to disagree on unless the group sets a schedule of places and times to visit! Besides, spending too much time together can reveal annoying habits that were unknown to you, like loud snoring when sharing rooms or outrageous spending practices when on a budget. Yes, friends traveling together can be stressful at times. Luckily, any group can avoid conflicts by focusing on some core issues. Next time you hit the road — or the skies — with your homies, try these rules to keep the peace!

Make Your Decisions Before You Go

Where are you staying? What kind of budget will you be on? You need to work this out in advance, to avoid arguments when you get there. Booking the accommodation will give you a good idea of everyone’s budget – so make sure you’re all on the same page. Likewise, decide what you all want to get out of this holiday in advance. Are you culture vultures, beach bums, or shopping fiends? You don’t all have to be the same, obviously, but you need to be upfront with your friends about what you’ll be doing on your trip.

Mix and Match the Room Shares

Need to share a room? Think you know exactly who you want to shack up with? Think again. It could be embarrassing to switch halfway through a stay in, say, a villa, or in one location, but if you’re traveling around, it could be a good idea to swap around. Person A might be the fun one out of your group, but you may not have bargained on his or her snoring problem.

Take Time for Yourself!

Everyone gets sick of each other after a while, so there’s no shame in building in some ‘you’ time. Go shopping, take a book down to the beach, or go for a meal by yourself (no, you won’t look like a social outcast!). An hour or two off from everyone else will leave you refreshed for the group again.

Split Responsibilities

Sure, if someone’s a foodie and wants to research the restaurant options at your destination, that’s all good – but make sure you all get a say in what you’re doing to avoid annoying anyone else. Likewise, have an opinion . Those who always say “I don’t mind what we do, it’s up to you”? Good for the first day or two, sure…but after a while, you’ll want to throttle them.

Make New Friends

Traveling in a big group makes it super-easy to make new friends – not as icky as couples getting to know each other, and not as fraught as flying solo. Being in a group should give you the confidence to talk to other people when you’re out and about – so bring on the party!

Agree on Splitting Meals

Meals are a significant cause of contention because some friends eat or drink less, so they feel cheated to pay an equal amount with others. The safest bet is to discuss the issue before the moment arises. Groups should try much to stay at places that allow visitors to cook or bring their food. The agreement enables traveling party members to prepare food items they can afford.

If it is impossible to cook, the groups should consider pairing two to three friends with similar interests in eating meals around the same price to share bills. There should not be one bill for an entire table, but everyone should get a separate bill—that way, all persons pay for their food or drinks.

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Do not Make Decisions when Hungry or Stressed!

Hunger makes people irritable, and it can make someone say things that hurt others. It causes impatience, so the hungry are likely to settle for less than start complaining at a later time about feeling short-charged. It is important to wait until hunger cues end to make a decision. It will be even better to discuss trip issues with friends over a meal. Travelling can cause stress due to long queues at the airport transit point, lost baggage, missing trains, and bad weather. Emotions hinder making of a good decision. The right thing is to first deal with situations and engages in conversation when things settle, and the mind relaxes.

Make Communication a Priority

The friendliness stays in place when everyone in the traveling group knows the needs of others. The group must communicate to agree on things to do or leave without leaving anybody out of decisions. Frequently and honest conversation helps to nip any issues that might be building up before they cause tension. Communication also involves showing an interest in the things that make friends happy during a trip and asking for their opinions before deciding.

Set Some Shared Ground Rule about Posting on Social Media

Your group must discuss at some point whether they post any pictures of their trip on social media and circumstances if they agree to post. Members should agree if everyone can post or they will leave the role to one person. Another point that needs threshing out is whether posting should be during the trip or wait until the group returns home. Social media rules may also include an agreement on any restrictions about the type of photos to post. Some may like to post pictures taken when sunbathing, while others might not be comfortable with them. It’d be a shame to ruin those cheap flights in August you scored for a great friend trip because of an unnecessary moment of embarrassment! A joint stand on the matter will bring clarity to the situation.

As you can see, traveling with friends is still a great idea as people have more fun when with people they know. It just requires them to plan, agree on rules to prevent disharmony, and communicate openly!

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