Your best friend might be a blast on the weekends, but you never know a person until you travel with them. Maybe you love her upbeat attitude when you’re out to dinner in your town, but that same attitude becomes annoying after a 7-hour flight delay. Many friendships have ended thanks to bad travel experiences. You’ll not only be in challenging situations together, but you’ll likely be tired, frustrated, and downright overwhelmed.
How can you make sure your next travel adventure is a successful one without losing your best friend in the process? While most of it comes down to patience, there are things you can do to help ease tensions if they do get high. You might even prevent problems in the first place if you’re really careful. Here are the best tips for traveling with friends without losing your mind.
How to Travel with Friends Without Going Crazy
1. Talk Money Before Your Trip
It seems like there’s never a good time to have the money talk between friends. While that may be true, you really don’t want to have that conversation while struggling over a meal in a new city or at the ticket counter at an international airport. Having that conversation early in your planning process will help you each know what to do without having to get into an awkward situation.
First, set some boundaries. How are you going to split costs? It’s easy to say “We’ll just figure it out when we get there,” but that only leads to conflict. Will you agree to split costs 50/50, or will you each cover different things. Be clear about who’s paying for hotels, transportation, deposits, and any extra fees. Don’t forget to talk about tipping so you’re both on the same page about how much is appropriate and when.
Another important talk is how much you’re willing to spend. You might prefer staying in budget hostels while your friend would rather sleep in luxury accommodations. Know how much you can afford to pay, and talk about these restrictions with your friend. You might need to compromise, but you should agree on a budget that you both can afford.
2. Prioritize Your Itinerary
Nothing is worse than traveling with someone who has a completely different idea of what makes a good itinerary. Maybe you’d rather spend a night out while your friend likes to go to bed early. Even these small differences can build tension in your relationship, and lead to you both feeling upset about your trip.
Talk to each other about what you want to do most on your trip. Then, prioritize those things together. You might have to spend an afternoon doing unwanted surf lessons, but that just means you’ll have time for your hike later on. Don’t forget you can take time for yourself, as well. Taking a day to each do your own thing lets you refresh, while still enjoying your vacation.
3. Spend Time Together
While it’s great to spend time individually, you should also find things you both agree you want to do together. Traveling is the perfect time to grow your friendship. Not only will you get to know your friend on a deeper level, but you can have fun together without the stress of your daily routine.
Take things a little less seriously. Go on an adventure. Play one of these games from Thoughtcatalog.com to learn more about each other. When you go home, you’ll be closer than ever, and you’ll have a new travel-buddy for life.
4. Share Responsibilities
Finally, make sure you share your responsibilities both before and during your trip. Planning a vacation is hard work. Not only do you have to book accommodations and activities, but you might even need to pay deposits and apply for visas. While it’s okay if one friend takes over this process, it’s important to talk often throughout the process so you’re both on the same page.
Proper communication before a trip can prevent any big surprises that lead to arguments. Before your travel date, plan a list of everything you both need to do. Assign each other tasks so you both have something to do. When you’re traveling, share responsibilities like checking into daily activities or keeping track of tickets. This sharing will prevent you from feeling overwhelmed or out of the loop.
5. Enjoy Your Trip
Traveling with your friends can be a great way to grow closer together, but it also introduces new tensions. Be upfront about any potential problems before they arise. Never keep secrets or resentment from your friend while on the road. Even small things can become big quickly when you’re spending so much time together.
Never be afraid to take some time for yourself while traveling. Everyone needs me-time every now and then, and your friend should understand this. As long as you’re talking with your friend about your feelings, you’ll have a smooth trip.