You see a trip advertisement, call your bestie and say, “Let’s go!” Taking a trip with a close friend sounds great. So you choose a trip with your favorite travel club, sign up and send your payment. All that’s left to do is wait, right? Wrong!
Remember the last person you traveled with? That person was your best friend at the beginning of the trip. But was he or she your best friend at the end?
When you travel with a friend, you’ll quickly discover slight differences in your tastes and travel habits. One of you gets up early, and the other stays up late. One eats breakfast, and the other drinks coffee. One walks fast, and the other takes her time. One sleeps with the bathroom light on, and the other prefers complete darkness.
Whenever friends travel together, the experience of spending so much time together can put a strain on the relationship. But it doesn’t have to. Here are some tips from my travel experiences to help you make traveling with a friend as fun as it should be. Keep these in mind next time you invite a friend on a trip, and share them with your travelers when they recruit their friends for your tours.
1) Mentally Prepare
If you want to avoid having a falling out with your travel companion, the first thing you should do is start preparing mentally before you depart. Traveling successfully with others takes mental preparation, especially for people who don’t have laid-back, go-with-the-flow personalities.
You first need to tell yourself that no matter how much you and your friend have in common, you’re bound to envision the trip differently. These things you imagine the two of you doing might not be what she imagines. It’s essential to be open-minded and flexible.
You should also prepare yourself to share space with this friend. Remember to be mindful of your friend’s space. Even if you pack more than your travel pal, it doesn’t mean you should get more room.
Remind yourself that you’re traveling with a buddy, not your life partner. What does this mean? While traveling with your significant other, you may pack together, help each other with bags, put things in each other’s pockets, be at each other’s hip at every moment. But that’s not necessarily true with other travel companions. So prepare yourself that this experience will be different than traveling with a spouse.
2) Talk in Advance
You have mentally prepared for sharing space and traveling with your friend. Now it’s time to talk.
Meet your travel pal for lunch or coffee to discuss the trip. Make sure you bring the itinerary and your ideas of things you would like to do. Discuss sites that are most important to you both. Run through morning and night routines, and discuss what kind of traveler you are.
Your travel partner needs to know if you are fast-paced and detailed, or easygoing and up for anything. And you need to be flexible with the type of traveler your friend is. If there is something you want to do that your friend doesn’t, that’s fine. Remind each other it is OK if you’re not always together.
3) Stay Flexible and Positive
You have mentally prepared and discussed the trip with your friend. Now it’s time to go.
Keep in mind to be both positive and flexible. The morning rush, a traffic jam or the general stress of a travel day can set you in a sour mood at the outset of the trip. So keep your thoughts and words positive.
Remember to be accepting. Perhaps it’s been a long day, and your friend might want to take a nap during the free time. That’s OK; let your friend rest. You can have free time on your own. When traveling with your pal, remember to be flexible, positive and willing to have some time alone.
Traveling with a friend can be an exciting and much-needed experience. Getting away with your friend creates memories the two of you can reflect on with a smile or a laugh. It’s great to have that special person at your side when traveling. Your friends are your friends for a reason; they get you, and you get them.
There is no better way to build a friendship than by traveling together. So make sure you prepare mentally, discuss the trip in advance and stay flexible while traveling. You owe it to yourself and your friend to have a wonderful trip the two of you can discuss for years to come.