Our post on how to travel with your other half without killing each other may have saved a few relationships, but traveling with friends can be even more fractious. Of course, there’s less pressure on a group traveling together than on a couple, but that means more opinions, and more opportunities for, um, ‘discussion’. 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 save arguments when you get there. Booking the accommodation will give you a good idea of everyone’s budget – so make sure you’re singing from the same hymn sheet. 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 bit, 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 appear 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 expert 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 – from my experience, the most frustrating people to travel with are the ones who say “I don’t mind what we do, it’s up to you.” Good for the first day or two, but after a bit, you 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!
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