I’ve been on my fair share of group trips over the years. Luckily, my friends want to see the world just as much as I do. We work really well together during the preplanning phase as well as while we’re traveling. It’s important to know who you’re traveling with so everyone’s expectations are managed and you return home with your friendships intact. Since I’ve become somewhat of an expert, these are some tips for traveling with friends and not losing your sanity:
1) CHOOSE THE RIGHT FRIENDS
While Friend A and Friend B are friends, and Friend B and Friend C are friends, that does not mean that Friend A and Friend C are friends and will travel well together. If you know your friends are not the biggest fans of each other, do not invite them on the same trip. You also want to travel with people who you know travel at the same speed you do. You do not want to end up resenting your friend because they’re traveling slower or faster than you’d like.
2) DISCUSS YOUR TRIP BEFOREHAND
It’s always good to get an idea of what everyone’s priorities are during the trip. More times than not, everyone wants to accomplish the same goals when visiting a new city. Nevertheless, it’s a good idea to talk and be on the same page before departure.
3) MAKE AIRFARE/HOTEL ARRANGEMENTS
My friends and I have no problem booking travel on each other’s cards and paying each other back. We trust each other :). But that may not work for everyone. Know your friends and decide whether you’re comfortable enough to book your friend’s travel on your credit cards.
Additionally, it’s a good idea to team up with a friend who has the same habits as you do. For example, if your friend is a party animal and comes back to the room in the wee hours of the morning and that will be bothersome to you, do both of yourselves a favor and find another roommate.
4) SHARE TIPS WITH EACH OTHER
Make sure you share tips between the group because some people are more experienced travelers than others. Whether it’s where to exchange currencies, how to pack smart or the best ways to get to and from the airport, share your knowledge to minimize confusion and wasted time.
5) PLAN BUT BE FLEXIBLE
I think you need a plan when visiting a new place because it helps to maximize your limited time. However, you need to be flexible and allow for unexpected occurrences that come along with an unfamiliar city.
6) ALLOW PEOPLE TO USE THEIR STRENGTHS
I can’t read maps. I’ve tried, and I’m just not good at it. My friend Adriene on the other hand, can look at at map and easily get us where we need to go. When we were in Paris, she dissected the Metro Map and was able to get the group from Point A to Point B with no problems. Some people are just better at other things than others. Allow people to use their strengths and everyone wins.
7) LOOK FOR DISCOUNTS
Depending on the size of your group, you may be eligible to receive group discounts. Search online before you leave or check with your hotel concierge.
8) HAVE YOUR OWN MUST-SEE LIST
Not everyone wants to see or do the same activities when traveling. And that’s okay! Do your own research and make sure that you will get the most out of your trip for your own benefit.
9) KNOW IT’S OKAY TO SEPARATE
Just because you traveled as a group from home, doesn’t mean that you can only travel in the group. It’s okay to separate and experience a little of the city on your own.
10) DON’T LET LITTLE THINGS TURN INTO ARGUMENTS
Traveling can be tiring and tired people can sometimes become annoyed and angry people. Remember that you’re friends and don’t let little disagreements turn into major arguments.
11) MAKE LASTING MEMORIES
Most of my friends and me are single with no real responsibilities besides our careers. We’ve learned to revel in these moments because one day we won’t be as free to pick up and go whenever we feel an itch to travel.
Do you have any tips for traveling with friends? Please do share!