Traveling (and getting along with) friends can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your relationship. When things go wrong it makes for a hilarious story later – especially if you’re reminiscing over cocktails. Very rarely do things go so wrong that your friendship will actually bust up. Here are a few ways you should plan your travel with friends so you actually get along and don’t kill each other.
1. Set expectations early.
Before you travel, be really honest with yourself and your friends on what some of your hangups might be. If you’re chronically running late to check-in at the airport, let them know. If you’re super picky about the quality of the hotel you stay in, let them know. As a couple, we’re usually early to the airport, interested in staying in boutique hotels with character and creature comforts, and willing to spend more money on going to a nice place for dinner. If someone wants to stay in hostels and grab street food for dinner, they’re not going to be our best travel companions – so set expectations and be realistic about your needs upfront.
2. Plan some alone time.
Not every second of your vacation needs to be spent with your besties. You can take some alone time. Plan it in advance so it won’t seem like you’re trying to bail on plans. Maybe you have differing interests in which restaurant to try or which museum to spend three hours in. Maybe your friends are big-time shoppers and you’d rather relax by the beach. Schedule it and then enjoy your alone time – it will make your together time even more special.
3. Take your own cab to the airport.
From experience, this one’s a lifesaver. Plan for whatever time makes you comfortable to get to the airport and take your own transportation. Again, discuss this one in advance so there are no surprises.
4. Compromise a little.
Nothing is worse than traveling with a dictator. They can ruin a trip. So, remember why you like your friends and compromise a little and do something they want to do. You might just discover something new that you enjoy. Or it might totally suck, in which case you’ll get to laugh about it for years to come.
5. Take a breath and remember you’re on vacation.
Finally. Breathe. Maybe take 5 minutes to meditate and remind yourself you’re on vacation.