Which is pretty much the reason I’m qualified to do anything! No certifications or degrees needed here. Lol but really, I’ve traveled with 3 good friends in college, random people that I’ve met while traveling solo, a man friend, an old friend from high school, my mom, etc.
But okay, so – here are the things that I feel like makes travel with other people and not strangling each other so much easier!
CONSIDER YOUR TRAVEL GOALS & STYLESIt definitely helps to ensure that you and your friend have similar travel goals – i.e. things you want to do. And not only that, but that you both have similar travel styles.
Some people are go-go-go, must see everything type of people; some like to have some relaxation; some like a little mix; some like to go out at night and sleep in; some like to get up at the buttcrack of dawn and explore explore explore.
It’s also a good idea to talk about times – for instance, my friends and I usually set a time each morning that we want to get out of the hotel/hostel etc. so we’re not yelling at the other person to hurry up, or still asleep while the other person is ready to go.I think it’s definitely good to have a conversation before you travel with other people for the first time, and really make sure you’re both on the same page.
And if you want to do different things, that’s fine – but just make sure you discuss that beforehand so you’re not left without a travel partner 90% of the time when you originally thought you’d be with someone for that same percentage!
DO YOU WANT TO BE HERMIT-FLIES OR SOCIAL BUTTERFLIES?Another thing I think is important to bring up (especially for me, as an introvert!) is how often you want to socialize with other people and go out etc. Some people are more into it than others, so it might be nice to know what to expect beforehand!
PICK YOUR ONE ‘THING’When I traveled with my friends in college, here’s something we did (that I still use today!): we’d each pick one thing in each place we stayed that we’d make sure we did no matter what. And, whoever went with that person was not allowed to be in a shitty mood or rush that person during that time!
This worked really really well because no matter what, you’d get to see at least one thing that was really important to you! If there’s less of you (we were trying to coordinate with 4 people lol), it can also work to just each pick an equal number of things you want to do.
GOOGLE CALENDAR/DOCS/SHEETS ARE LIFEOther helpful tools to schedule things are Google Calendar, Google Docs, and Google Sheets – that way you can both see the itinerary as the other person is editing right then and there! Makes travel with other people so much easier.
Personally, I don’t like to plan down to the second, but I think it’s good to have a rough idea of what you’d like to do each day or just in general. I’m a huge planning nerd so I often end up being the annoying one asking all the questions and bugging the other person, but I just really like to know what the heck I’m going to be doing to ensure that I hit everything I want to see.
This is also important, too – is the person you’re going with a planner, or a go-with-the-flow type? I’ve traveled with mostly go-with-the-flow people and that seems to work out pretty well, because I just tell them what we’re doing lol and that way I get to pick out our activities. Although sometimes it’s really nice to go with a planner because I can just sit back and relax…
DIVIDE UP THE WORK
It also might be a good idea to divide up the ‘jobs’ so that one person doesn’t end up doing the bulk of the work.
For instance, one person will search for the places to stay, or look up places to eat, or how to get from A to B and what public transportation is like, etc. Also another thing you may want to communicate beforehand!
For one trip, I booked the AirBnbs and figured out travel logistics, while my friend was in charge of finding places to eat and our nightlife schedule. It worked well because I’m naturally a planner, and nerd out on logistics, while my friend is more of a foodie/bar person. It’s helpful to discuss your strengths/weaknesses and likes/dislikes when it comes to travel planning.
For my next trip, my friend is in charge of booking AirBnbs and flights while I’ll be the one securing House Sitting gigs and getting us to and from the airport etc.
TALK ABOUT THEM BENJAMINSIt’s also a good idea to discuss how much you wanna pay, and what your thoughts for the cost of the trip will be when you travel with other people.
If you’re broke AF and your travel buddy is ballin’ outta control, that might lead to some awkwardness – like if your friend wants to eat out all the time or stay in expensive places, while you’d rather live on home cooked pasta in your hostel.
I travel pretty often with one friend who likes to be cheap like me (lol), but my friend that I most recently went to Scandinavia with likes to spend a little more than I usually do. However, we worked out a plan since we talked about our ideal spending habits beforehand, and thus avoided a ton of conflict once we were actually on the trip.
BRING EARPLUGS AND AN EYE MASK
What if your travel partner is the loudest snorer to ever sleep on any planet ever? What if they are secretly scared of the dark or like to fall asleep with the TV on? Just saying.
DISCUSS FOOD THINGSI’m a vegetarian, and it hasn’t been an issue so far, but sometimes my meat-eating friends will forget and suggest a restaurant that has meat, meat, meat and a side of meat. With one small side of potatoes. And I am all for being flexible, but tbh I don’t really want a side of potatoes as my meal.
Might be good to discuss this up front, as well as how much eating out you’d like to do vs cooking/picnicking. I’ve also discovered that carrying snacks is very helpful after getting extremely hangry and snapping at my friend.
YOU WILL PROBABLY (DEFINITELY) FIGHT, SO JUST EXPECT THATAnd if you do get in arguments (which will happen, travel can be a catalyst for conflict), it might be a good idea to do your own thing for a hot sec while you cool off, then regroup and talk it over.
Anyways, I enjoy both travel with other people and solo (here’s some tips on making friends if you’re solo!) – but if you’re going with another person (especially if it’s a friend or family member that you can’t just ditch if you’re not getting along lol) it’s often helpful to have an idea of what to expect. Especially if you’ve never traveled together before!
This way, your trip (hopefully) won’t end up in arguments and bad memories…Good luck and have fun!