Traveling solo is a hassle. Sure, some might enjoy the solitude that striking out alone brings, but for most, traveling alone isn’t worth the trouble. This leaves one obvious alternative: buddy up and hit the road!
But buyer be warned: traveling with friends comes with its own unique set of challenges. With that in mind, here’s a quick list of reasons why you should travel with friends, as well as some tips and tricks that will help you have a good time and maintain your friendship while you’re on the road.
Advantages of Going on a Holiday trip with Friends
Traveling with friends has some downsides, no doubt. But those downsides are far outweighed by the benefits that come when you travel with friends! Here are a couple of the many, many advantages.
Safety and Moral Support
When traveling, one of your foremost concerns will probably be safety. Being all alone in a foreign country with no one to turn to is not a pleasant position to be in. When you travel with friends, you always have someone watching your back!
If unfortunate circumstances befall you, you’ve got someone to lean on for emotional support and a quick morale boost. You’ve always got a shoulder to cry on or a hand to hold.
Camaraderie and Companionship
What’s better than sitting on a tranquil seaside, watching the setting sun sink below the horizon to the sound of gently lapping waves? Why, doing it with friends, of course! Moments of profound beauty like this, shared between friends, will undoubtedly leave you with memories you’ll cherish for life.
Then of course there are loads of things to do that just aren’t the same without friends to do them with. Rock climbing, sailing, fishing; whatever you’re doing, it’s simply better with friends.
For those who get homesick, traveling with friends is a great way to feel more at ease in new environments. In situations where you might get homesick easily, there’s always someone familiar to talk to and drive away any feelings of lonesomeness or homesickness.
Cheaper Travel Costs
Travel costs are the bane of all who seek to venture out and explore the world. From transportation to food to lodging, travel expenses can be staggering. This is where one of the best advantages of traveling with friends comes in. Need a place to stay? Most hotel rooms have room for four, regardless of how many people are in your party. A hotel bill split four ways is a lot easier on the wallet than one that isn’t!
Food is often cheaper as well when you are with a group. Whether you’re eating out or cooking for yourselves, you’ll be spending a lot less when you’re with friends.
If you’re travelling with a large group, you should definitely look into house sharing services like AirBnB. These services allow homeowners to rent out a room or house, for costs that are far more competitive than conventional home rental services.
When split among friends, the cost of renting a large villa or cozy townhome can be surprisingly low. In fact, many AirBnB’s come with access to a kitchen, allowing you to prepare your own meals and save even more.
Another area where traveling with friends can be a huge financial bonus is transportation. Whereas 30$-40$ a day might be far too much to pay when renting a car alone, the cost is far more palatable when divided amongst friends.
There are a number of other ways you can save on expenses by travelling; just get creative and think outside the box!
How to Travel with Friends and Stay Friends
Now, maybe I’ve sold you on the idea of a cross-country roadtrip with all your best friends. You’re envisioning a sepia-toned montage of you and your friends driving a Chrysler station wagon through the Arizona desert.
The radio is blasting an upbeat indie hit as you all laugh and talk about all the things you’re going to do when you get to L.A. Or maybe it’s singing around a campfire on a summer night as you camp out in Big Sky Country.
Whatever it is, that is what traveling with friends should be like, and it usually is. However, things can go wrong. If you’re not careful, you can run into disputes and other problems that can put a damper on your whole trip. Luckily, these problems are easy to avoid. Follow these simple tips and tricks, and your travels will remain positive and carefree, like they should be!
Find the Right Travel Partners
This may seem like a bit of a no brainer, but when you’re planning a trip with friends, be very careful when choosing who you invite. Remember that you’ll be spending days or weeks with everyone who accepts your invitation. What may seem like minor character flaws can be far more unpleasant when you have to deal with them day-to-day. This is especially pertinent if you are traveling as a family with another family.
Always choose friends you know reasonably well. Just because someone seems cool after you’ve hung out with them once or twice, or they know a friend of yours, doesn’t mean they’ll make for a good travel companion.
Another important consideration to make is interpersonal disputes between your friends. Having two old friends rekindle a long-running argument or disagreement can very quickly ruin what would otherwise be a pleasant trip.
Plan Before You Get in the Van
Now that you’ve chosen your traveling companions, you’re going to need a plan. This doesn’t have to be a rigid, militaristic regimen. It just needs to be a reasonably detailed outline for your trip. This will alleviate the headaches that inadequate planning or “just winging it” will invariably create.
One of the most important aspects of planning is that of activity selection. Before you venture out with a group, it’s important to make sure everyone is in agreement on what you all want to do. It’s impossible to make everyone happy, but it’s best to try and establish a general idea of what exactly the trip is going to entail.
But there are more benefits than just the peace of mind that comes with the knowledge of a trip well planned. Planning in advance lets you book rentals or lodging for less. It also relieves you of the pressure of frantically searching for a room or a car when you arrive tired and travel-weary.
Regardless of how detailed you make your plan, it will undoubtedly save you a great deal of money, time and stress. It will let you explore and make good memories without constantly worrying about logistics.
When you’re travelling with friends, one of the simplest ways to make sure everyone has a good time is by being considerate. While this may seem obvious at first, it is often overlooked by group travelers, resulting in bad experiences for everyone.
Maybe someone carelessly threw their bag in the trunk and crushed something in someone else’s bag. Or perhaps two of the campers are noisily getting drunk next to the tents of the others who are trying to sleep. Whatever it is, it’s usually unpleasant for everyone but the perpetrators.
The unfortunate thing about these kind of situations is that the people creating them rarely are doing so intentionally. They just didn’t think before they acted, and as a result everyone is having a worse time. The best way to prevent these kinds of situations is simply to think about the other people around you before you act.
Putting your bag in the trunk? Do it carefully, making sure not to damage the belongings of others. Want to drink some cheap wine and tell stories about your time in the Navy? Find a more secluded spot, where you won’t be disturbing the others. By thinking about the comfort of others before you act, you can immensely improve the experience for everyone.
Helping your friends have a good time on your trip isn’t just about not doing things that make their experience worse. It’s also about knowing when to do certain things that will make their experience better!
Taking the initiative to make plans, solve a dilemma or help a friend that’s feeling down is an essential part of what makes a good travel group member. If something needs to be done, simply do it.
If there’s an empty time slot on the agenda, find out what your friends enjoy doing. Then find an activity to fill that time slot that all of them can enjoy. This isn’t to say you should pressure your friends to follow your plans or anything like that; just provide an option to keep the good times rolling!
Traveling with friends is always fun. But like all good things, it must come to an end eventually. No matter how well you plan or what steps you take to improve yourself and bolster the spirits of the group, things may go wrong. And that’s alright. You’re going to have to go home at some point. At the end of the day, whatever happens, you made memories and strengthened friendships. Ultimately, that’s what travelling with friends is about, and why it’s such a unique, awesome experience.
Take the Journey!
Well. Hopefully, you’re sold on the idea of travelling with friends. You can see why it’s a great idea. You’ve gotten a general idea of what you need to do to have a good time when you travel with friends. You’re ready to strike out and forge a new path as you make new memories and grow closer to your friends.
So what are you waiting for? Rustle up the gang, book a rental, pack some tents and get out there. Adventure awaits!