Traveling with your fellow wanderlusts can be an amazing adventure. It can also turn out to be challenging during the holidays, especially when you travel with larger groups. Sometimes, holidaying together can bring you closer or ruin your friendship. Here are 5 must-dos when traveling with friends to ensure you come back as tighter buddies!
1. Set markers before the trip
When it comes to planning for a trip, there’s bound to be that one friend who seems easy-going, but who’ll end up a monster when you’re there. It’s good to be clear about your budget and plans before you set off.
One of the most common misunderstandings during travel arise from expenditure during the trip. From accommodation to activities, you’ll need to ensure everyone is on the same page. It would be better to know before the trip that your buddies are looking for a $80-a-night B&B place, so you can strike that luxurious 5-star hotel off your list!
No two travelers are the same, and each of us has our own quirks. Whether you’re planning to grab a tour package, a day tour or a self-drive roadtrip, everyone will have their own interest. You may be going for a beach holiday but a couple of your friends may not want to go diving. Maybe one of them doesn’t know how to swim but love to lounge on the beach. Maybe you rather take the seaplane than speedboat because you get seasick, but the rest don’t.
The most common times you (or someone else in the group) have to compromise is when it comes to dining out and planning activities for the day. It’s best to also note some friends have dietary restrictions, so plan ahead.
There are ways around compromising a little during your trip just so everyone has a good time together. Compromising on your travel when you’re with a companion isn’t necessarily a bad thing – you might just be introduced to a world you’ve never seen before!
3. Travel together, but spend some time alone
When you travel in pairs or groups, it doesn’t mean you have to stick together the whole time. This is a common misconception, and one which may lead to unhappiness. If your group interests vary widely, it is best to set aside time daily for a free-and-easy.
For example, when we travel in groups of 10 on a week-long trip, we only had two morning tours planned. On other mornings during the holiday, we were free to sleep in, or wake up early to catch the sunrise of head to the floating markets. We also set aside some nights for free-and-easy, so our party-loving friends can explore the music scene while some of us trawled the night bazaars or enjoy a play.
It is absolutely okay that not everyone participate in the group activities, but the activities must be enjoyable for those to take part. Again, this should be planned ahead before you go.
4. Manage yourself before managing others
It is important to note that making decisions during your group travel is probably one of the hardest (and time-consuming) things to do. If you’ve always been a quick decision-maker who is easy-going, be prepared to wait on others.
Traveling as a group requires you to understand yourself; what makes you tick? what bothers you, and how do you calm yourself down? Once you know how to manage yourself, it’s easier to deal with little hiccups along the way. If you’re unsure about how you are like when you travel, your friends will definitely let you know!
Conflicts are bound to happen when you’re on a trip and communication is key to nipping even the smallest of resentments in the bud. It’s important to keep the channel open and not let the little things escalate into something bigger.
One of the best ways to pre-empt conflicts from happening is to always consult your partner before you state what you would like to do. This way, you can choose to either compromise, split ways, or communicate why both of you should try something else. If you’re traveling in groups, a vote works best, and the option of not participating should always be on the table.
Traveling with friends is always exciting and everyone looks forward to the day when our luggage and all packed and ready to go. It can be a little trying at times but as along as you keep your cool (and an open mind), these must-dos will definitely help you enjoy your travels and ensure a smooth (or at least, less bumpy) ride!
Planning for a group tour? Check out our packages here!
—Jetabout Holidays is a leading travel agency under the Holiday Tours Group. With over 30 years in the travel industry, Jetabout Holidays reputation as a top agent has garnered awards within the industry. Voted as the #1 Travel Agency for New Zealand and Australia (under Qantas Holidays) by Weekender Travellers Choice 2014 and 2015, you are assured of a hassle-free, personalized vacation. Jetabout Holidays is 75% owned by Qantas Airways and is the highly-regarded travel specialist for Australia and New Zealand tours. Call us at 6734 1818 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for your holiday plans!
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