I would like to encourage everyone to plan a trip with a close friend at least once in your lifetime! There’s something both comforting and freeing about traveling with someone outside of your family. They already know your wild side, and you don’t have to “behave” in front of them. And, since they aren’t your immediate family, you know they are choosing to travel with you. It is nice to know that the person you’re traveling with sees you as a good travel buddy and someone they would like to spend a lot of time with!
For a trip with a friend (or friends) to be successful and fun, there are a few things you have to consider before booking that vacation. Check out these 4 tips and thoughts on how to be a good travel buddy!
1. Be Flexible:
Keep in mind that this is as much their trip as it is your trip! Everyone wants to experience things that are personally memorable, because that is what makes the trip “worth it”. No one wants to go to a brand new place, and not get to do the things they would like to do or see the places they would like to see. What would be the point of even going if you don’t get to enjoy yourself?
Even if you’re not very “outdoorsy”, you should still go hiking through Chichen Itza on the Yucatan Peninsula if that is something on your travel buddy’s bucket list. This will not only give you new experiences you wouldn’t have witnessed otherwise, but it’ll also make your friend feel good that you stepped outside your box for them. And, hopefully in return, they will be just as flexible with the things you would like to do!
Of course, if there is something you absolutely cannot stomach doing, you should let them know about your limits. Not everyone is destined to be a cliff diver, or a bungee jumper, or someone who enjoys swimming with sharks. If you faint at the idea of something your friend would like to do, it is perfectly acceptable to share with them your limits. If they are an understanding friend, they’ll be content with you standing on the edge, cheering them on as they jump off that cliff.
2. Discuss the Budget Beforehand:
Before you start planning out your trip, talk openly with your friend about your budget. They’re your friend, so they should be pretty understanding! I’m thankful to have friends who are easy to talk money with. I’m not afraid to say when I think something is too expensive, and I would hope they know they can do the same with me! Make sure you’re traveling with people who are respectful of your personal budget!
Everyone has a general idea of what they would like to do on a trip, and how much that may cost. You don’t have to get into too many details, but your travel buddy should definitely know what kind of cash you’re looking to drop on your vacation to France. Otherwise, if they don’t know what you’re thinking, it may lead to some awkward mishaps.
Before going into this conversation, be aware that they may be on a different page than you on how much they would like to spend. Also, never assume that someone else is expecting to spend as much as you. If everyone is communicating openly and honestly, I believe compromises can be made to make everyone’s trip comfortable and enjoyable.
3. Consider Personalities:
You’ll be spending quite a bit of time with any person you plan a vacation with! Just keep that in mind. For the most part, you’ll be sharing the majority of your day with this person (or these people). Before planning a trip with someone, take into consideration how they react in certain situations and how you feel about their behavior. Trips hardly ever go exactly as planned. Will you two (or your group) work well together to make things fun despite unforeseen circumstances? Will one mishap ruin the trip for them?
You may also want to consider personal preferences about what a “vacation” really is. Are they someone who likes to sleep in on vacation while you’re someone who wants to wake up with the sun to go explore? If so, are you able to be flexible and wait around for them to wake up and get ready? Maybe your friend is someone who likes to explore new restaurants and local cuisine (me) while you may prefer to stick with the foods you’re more familiar with. If that’s the case, are you willing to try new restaurants with them? These are all things to consider!
4. “Roll with the Punches”:
As mentioned above, vacations rarely go exactly as planned. Shit happens.
Due to bad weather, your plane may leave much later than expected. Your luggage may not make it on the cruise ship and, by the time you realize it, the ship has already set sail. Maybe you’re bar hopping in New Orleans, and a drunk girl accidentally breaks your favorite designer sunglasses. Perhaps you’re having a great time swimming in the ocean when you look down and realize your wedding band has been swept away! All of these things suck, and they can cost you time and money. I hope they never happen to you! But, if they do, how are you going to handle it? How are you going to react?
If things go array, try your best to remember the big picture. There are still days left on your vacation, and good times are waiting to be had. If you spend too much of your time sulking over your broken sunglasses, you’re going to bring down the mood of the trip. Do you want it to be known as the trip where your baggage was lost on the cruise? Or, would you like it to be remembered as the epic trip where everyone had fun?
Definitely take time to mourn your loss or to express your distress over wasted time. But, keep in mind that the trip is most likely still salvageable!
Of course, being a good travel buddy does not mean that you have to be perfect! We cannot be expected to act just the right way in every situation. Keeping these five tips in mind is bound to make your trip fun and memorable for everyone involved!
What are some things you believe are important to consider while traveling with a friend? Is there something I missed off of my list? Comment below your thoughts!