As some of you know, I have become quite the “guru” of my friends when it comes to traveling.
Therefore, lately I’ve encountered myself picking up the phone and calling another crazy friend when a cheap ticket to an interesting destination comes along.
Because of this, in the last twelve months I’ve gone in more trips with friends than I’d ever done in my life. Australia, Thailand and Cuba just to name a few.
However, one must be wise when doing these “girls trip”, or simply when traveling with just any other person, per what might be fun for you, might not be for the other person.
Here are my top 7 things to take into consideration when traveling with that best friend, significant other or group of friends.
Lets be clear, not everyone has the budget to spend thousands of dollars on a two week vacation, and there is nothing wrong with that. The first thing we need to do is to take into consideration the destination. It is not the same budget to travel two weeks in Thailand than it is to do so in Australia.
Having a clear budget will ease, 1. Choosing your partner and, 2. Knowing what to expect when it comes to accommodations and type of travel. Be considerate! Don’t expect your recent college graduate friend to pay for that five star hotel overlooking the Pacific. It ain’t happening!
I have a friend we all refer to as the “Energizer bunny”. She can go on for hours upon hours. She can party every night after a full day of walking and adventure. She is indeed fun.
But, does this mean I could travel with her for two weeks? Highly doubtful. I can do a night of partying here and there, but four nights in a row is not something I’m either willing or interested in doing. It’s all about the experience you want to have during your travels. So be mindful of this when traveling.
The destination will also dictate a lot of what you can actually do. For example, I wouldn’t go with her to Thailand for two weeks because I know it will destroy me, but I could definitely do the same amount of time in North Africa with her.
3. Sleeping Arrangements:
I snore! Loudly! It’s a sad situation but one that I cannot control. Its annoying for some, not so much for the heavy sleepers. But, I am aware of this, which means this is one of the first things I tell anyone who is traveling with me. I need to feel comfortable when it’s time to hit the pillow and I don’t want to hear complaints about my snoring. Not only were you warned but it’s also rude, inconsiderate and plane mean to point it out. Be careful of hurting someones feelings.
A good nights sleep is essential when traveling. You have long days and nights ahead. And trust me, no one wants to deal with a sleepless cranky person the next morning.
So be aware of this. Take into consideration if some of your friends will be ok sharing a room with you, or a hostel dorm, or would prefer a private room instead. It is all do-able in todays’ world. Airbnb has amazing features to ensure more than one bedroom is available and that beds are placed in different rooms. It’s all about the details.
4. Social Skills:
Oh boy! Here comes the delicate part. How can I say this nicely? Screw it, there’s no way: No one wants to travel with a bitch!
Listen, you are in a different country where they probably speak, eat and treat people different than they do in your culture or country. This is why we travel! To learn and appreciate the rest of the worlds’ customs. However, you can’t do this if you are not willing to talk to locals, to smile and to be open to new experiences!
Make sure the person you are traveling with shares your same wavelength and is looking to connect with others the same way you are. No one wants to travel with someone who is not comfortable or open in engaging in conversation with someone random simply because he or she looks different than you, or is simply not interested in doing so. Same thing goes for that friend that hesitates, or is flat out not interested in engaging in different cultural events. This type of behavior can truly make or break your traveling experience.
Not everyone likes museums and not everyone likes taking a thousand pictures. Same can be told about parties, drinking, hiking, running, animals, driving, eating weird things, sight seeing, shopping, etc…
Take this into consideration when you choose your travel partner. It might be fun for them to shop for specials at a mall, while you couldn’t care less about buying things that you’ll probably either never use or is too expensive for its worth.
It’s important you agree with your partner in crime what you are interested in doing while in a specific country or city.
6. Food Preferences:
If your friend is a vegetarian, think about this before going to for example, Argentina, where eating meat is one of the delicacies of the country. Same thing if you are traveling with someone who doesn’t drink alcohol but you can’t wait to hit every winery you encounter on your road trip. Goes without saying this could turn into a travel disaster real fast, real quick.
On another note, again, I must emphasize, be considerate. There is nothing wrong with liking some things better than others, but don’t be a pain in the ass to the other person when special accommodations need to be made simply because you wont try a different dish. This can be quite annoying and completely ruin the vibe of the trip. Traveling is about discovering new things, and your mouth is no exception! Try it and then hate it, but try it!
7. Compromise / Loyalty:
When traveling with another person there will always be things that we must compromise in doing. This is what life and relationships are all about. Maybe you’ve seen a thousand beaches and couldn’t care less about another strip of sand, but if your travel partner has an infatuation over seeing different types of beaches, go with him/her to that beach and compromise on how long you’ll stay there. Same thing goes for that party you are dying to go, but the other one is too tired for, or that expensive restaurant you don’t care for, but your friend can’t seem to shut up over all the reviews she’s read of the place.
Compromise and be loyal. Don’t leave a friend behind unless you are 100% he/she is ok and will be ok once you leave. Don’t be that selfish friend. This is about making memories and sharing experiences together.
Be kind, be sweet and travel on! Stay groovy ya’ll!