Solo travel has become the “it” way to travel. Traveling on your own has a number of perks, but
sometimes traveling with a friend, or group of friends can be just as fun. But, like all group activities, issues can crop up.
Whether you’re dealing with budgetary issues, dietary requirements, or just the inevitable personality clash, here’s a handy list to help you survive traveling with your friends.
1. Agree on a budget before hand
Don’t count on all your friends having the same amount of disposable income, or willingness to charge everything to a credit card. A group vacation can end before it begins if one person can’t afford to do anything because their entire budget got blown on the hotel.
Find out how much everyone can afford to spend and plan accordingly. That might mean staying at a slightly cheaper hotel outside the city center. It may mean not eating at a restaurant every meal. Discuss this early in the planning stages and stick with it.
2. Try to get on the same flight
This should go without saying, but we will. Coordinate your travel plans to try to get everyone on the same flight, and sitting next to each other if possible. It can be difficult, especially with everyone booking on their own. If necessary, consult a travel agent.
3. Sit in the same section as your friends
Does someone in the group have enough of airline miles to get a first class eat or a free upgrade? Great, save it for the next time you travel alone.
4. Plan your itinerary in advance
Spontaneity can be a lot of fun when you travel. But, when travelling with a group, it’s best to have the
group activities planned out in advance, especially if you need to buy tickets for something.
Planning activities in advance will also allow everyone to pitch their ideas. You don’t want to arrive in Bucharest only to find out one person wants to spend the whole vacation shopping and in spas and someone else wants to rent a car to go visit out-of-the-way castles.
5.Leave time for solo activities
Just because you’re with a group doesn’t mean you can’t break off and do things on your own. In fact, I highly suggest it. Solo time should be built in to any itinerary, this way everyone gets to do the things they want and no one ends the vacation feeling resentful.
6. Take a vacation from your diet
Unless you’re eating a certain way because of health issues (Celiac Disease, diabetes, etc.), there is no reason to be on a diet while on vacation. And let’s be honest, your group isn’t going to want to hear about your diet every time you’re trying to find a place to eat.
7. Make sure your friends know about any health issues in advance
Again, this should go without saying, but a lot of people don’t like to disclose health issues. You won’t be a burden on your friends if you tell them you have allergies and where your epi pen is. The same goes for any other medications you need to take or health problems that may flare up. If there is an emergency, the more your friends know the better.
8. Don’t agree to do an activity you can’t do (or hate)
Not everyone is going to be able to, or want to do, every activity. Physical problems can keep people from participating in certain activities, that’s ok. If you have back or knee problems, don’t take that multi-kilometer hike. If you get sea sick, don’t go out on a boat. Plan a solo activity you can do for that time instead.
The same goes for an activity you know you’ll hate. This isn’t permission to avoid trying something new because it sounds meh, because you never know, but if you’ve done something before and know you don’t like it, you’re better off skipping it and doing your own thing than ruining everyone else’s good time.
Now, if the whole point of the vacation is to do things you can’t do, or don’t like, skip the trip.
There are plenty of other things you can do to make your group vacation a success, but this list should help you get started.