Traveling is one of the most enjoyable opportunities we have in life. And after a long year of not seeing friends, you’re ready to take a fun vacation with your besties! Travel with friends brings richer experiences, great memories, and stories that you will look back on for the rest of your life. But the foundation of a fun vacation with friends is rooted in good communication and planning. Pick your friends, place, and events carefully, and your group will have an enjoyable and unforgettable vacation to remember for many years.
While planning a trip, it’s easy to look through rose-colored glasses until disagreements occur, plans change, and hotel issues arise. Trip logistics and challenges are inevitable, but through meticulous planning and effective communication, you can ensure that your group remains energized and excited throughout the trip. Here are 6 tips for traveling with your friends so you can make sure you have a fun vacation!
1. Choose the Best (Travel) Friends
Regardless of how fun you have at home, not all friends are ideal for your week-long vacation. It’s important to choose those who like travel, exploring, and have flexibility. If you have any expectation that your vacation would be cultural, for example, it is a smart idea that your traveling partners have interests such as exploring libraries, temples, and cultural structures.
2. Choose the Optimal Location
Discuss with your friends before purchasing flights to search for the best vacation spots that interest you. I suggest creating a Google Doc everyone can compile their ideal destinations and activities so the group can vote on a choice they all can agree on. Some destinations are ideal for foodies some for parties party guests, and even others for those who prefer the cultural landscape. Decide on what you want to do before selecting the best vacation spot.
3. Plan your Travel and Adventures
It’s good to meet before the trip (or have a Zoom happy hour!) to create a rough schedule of the days you’ll be exploring, your desination, and things you want to see while there. Plan for 1-2 things to do per day, but don’t overwhelm the agenda. Allow, the group extra time to get places and time to get ready.
Evaluate what everyone expects from the tour and everyone’s must-sees. There will almost definitely be some similarities here. However, if someone’s must-see location isn’t quite what other want, consider whether to stay together or break up into groups. There is always a way to accommodate so everyone can see their top places.
A well-planned tour makes the trip much smoother and keeps you from missing out on visiting once-in-a-lifetime places that you’d like to explore. Many tours are at a lower capacity post-Covid, so it’s a good idea to see ahead of time if a venue ticket is available, eliminating unnecessary lines or disappointment if the tour is full upon arrival.
4. Book Hotels or Airbnbs
One benefit of traveling with friends is that you can share the expense of a hotel room, or an Airbnb. If you’ve determined how much you’re willing to pay on lodging, categorizing hotels or Airbnbs to a budget range and geographic region will make locating (and deciding on) a spot much easier. Reading feedback will assist you in narrowing things down even further.
5. Make Reservations
You’ll also need to consider whether to book seats, tickets, guided tours, and other activities ahead of time. Making at least a few reservations and events ahead of time reduces trial and error.
6. Maintain Communication
It’s inevitable that traveling with friends often results in someone getting annoyed at some point. Jet lag, no alone time, and a new environment is a lot to handle! Just remember, if an issue arises, don’t let it fester, address it right away. If you know you’re a person who needs “me” time, let your friends know beforehand that you like to go for a morning meditation walk. Avoiding miscommunication makes the vacation as stress-free as possible. Even getting on the very same page during the planning process doesn’t preclude potential conflicts from occurring during the trip. Discuss a problem before it escalates into a conflict.
And as always, take lots of photos and have fun!