Traveling with friends is awesome. You can make new memories by exploring new places and experiencing new adventures together. This all sounds very dandy, but sometimes the trip might not turn out that way. Sometimes after the trip, friends might come back with tension which can damage friendships.
Have your friends ever ranted about their trip? Mine have, and it isn’t pretty. From listening to these stories, I believe it is essential to have early conversations before committing to a trip.
I went on a four-day trip with three other girls to Los Angeles, and I can say the trip was very successful and fun. From my personal experience, I am going to share my five tips on how to make travelling with your friends more successful and enjoyable.
Do you feel that sometimes you don’t want to speak up because you want to go along with what the majority says? I think there is a time for going with the flow and time to speak up. Going on a trip together is a time when you should put your two cents in it. Travelling is expensive, and while you want your friends to be happy, you should speak up about what you want to do and what you can afford to do. As cheesy as it may sound, setting clear expectations to have open communication is important right from the start. This way you can have open dialogue right from the get-go.
Specify Interest of The Trip
Everyone has different travel expectations and ideas. Some want to travel to sightsee, some want to go to eat, and some want to visit to relax. Since we cannot all read minds, it is crucial to have this conversation from the beginning. Travelling can be very costly, and not everyone wants to spend their money the same way. To ensure you and your friends have a good time, be sure to discuss the focus of the trip.
As much as we all wish we have an infinite amount of money that permits us to travel lavishly, I don’t think this is always the case in life. Well, if you are part of the Kardashian clan, then that’s a different story. As for many of us, let’s stick with budgeting.
Money can be a sensitive topic when it comes to traveling with friends, but it is essential to have an open conversation about personal budgets. Do not assume everyone is willing to spend the same amount as you. Once you discuss the individual budget, plan the travel expenses as a group. Travel expenses include flights, accommodation, transportation (Ex. Uber, Taxi, Bus, or Car Rental), activities and food.
For example, before the Los Angeles trip, my friends and I had an individual budget of approximately $1000-$1500 (which includes personal expenses). Luckily enough, I have friends that are planning gurus, so we broke everything down into a spreadsheet. It was a success because we didn’t spend beyond our means and had a great time during the trip. We plan to have yearly trips now!
Realistic Travel Agenda
Everyone has different things they want to check out, but let’s be honest you can't see it all. So, have a daily agenda! Travel agendas should be realistic, and if you are trying to plan six things in one day in different places, you will more likely not succeed. So be realistic when planning the days. Ask the following questions:
• Are the locations close to each other?
• How long will it take us to get from one place to another? (Plan in the traffic time)
• How long do we want to stay in each place?
• What are we willing to give up if we don’t have enough time?
Keep in mind that even with a planned agenda, not everything will play out to the plan, but planning will prevent friction amongst friends as all have agreed from the start.
The last thing you want to do is waste time on your trip! Depending on how big the group is, have assign roles to an individual or to groups of people.
If car rental is part of transportation, have a designated driver(s) and co-pilot. The driver still needs another set of eyes in foreign places, even when GPS is available.
If you are looking for food on the go, have one or two friends research for food. By doing so, the group can save more time by not researching the same food places.
Lastly, everyone wants to take pictures and show the world what they are doing. I am not saying you shouldn’t but if you have friends that are better at taking pictures, assign those friends to take them. This way you know you will have cute pictures and less time will be wasted.
When traveling with friends, the key is to have everyone agree on open communication. Then the planning process will fall into place. I hope these five tips will help you and your friends plan a successful trip.