You’d be surprised how many things can go bad in just the few days of a vacation. Truly good friendships will last forever. But there can be times when you wish that this vacation would just end.
These tips for travel with friends are intended to let you get more out of a vacation and, maybe, more out of your friendship too.
We’ve told you already, it’s perfectly possible for you to send your friends and loved ones along without you.
But what happens when you’re going with them?
The Royal Holiday-ers we’ve talked to about traveling with friends almost always gloss over the friction. Many of them have been family friends – and close ones too – for decades. Traveling with them can introduce stresses and misunderstanding straight to the surface.
We’ve found that in most cases, Royal Holiday members invite friends of similar backgrounds and tastes to accompany them to one or another of their favorite spots. You’re actually less likely to invite someone along when the place is new and unexplored and thus the stresses are that much higher.
Here’s some advice on pulling it off and still being friends after you get back.
1) Choose carefully. Vacation is not the time to make up for hurt feelings or past resentments. It’s no time to settle scores or to get to know someone new, someone with whom you only might be friends. In short, if your friends aren’t already “like family” then consider carefully whether you should invite them. Traveling can be stressful, and that can be made much worse when you’re with someone who’s getting on your nerves.
2) Talk First. And talk a lot. Even if you’ve done the inviting, remember, you can’t make it all your show. Consider your friends’ travel experience, money, doubts, everything. Bringing kids too? You bet it can get more complicated.
Remember, if you really know the location better than your invited friend, you can act as a guide and local expert, but you might not want to be a 24-hour host. Set out some guidelines and get your friend up to full independence quickly.
3) Privacy is everything. There’s an old saying: you can’t pick your friend’s nose. Sure you can save a bundle in a studio with 2 double beds but trying to change clothes with people you’re less than comfortable being totally naked in front of is no fun.
Ok, you can get separate rooms, or an adjoining suite. That part is solved. Don’t forget. You’ve still got to set aside some alone time, and respect it.
4) Share any and all Burdens. When it comes to whatever unpleasant tasks come up, absolutely fairness and generosity go a long way toward smoothing over misunderstandings and making sure everyone has a good time. Washing the dishes or clearing up from last night’s drinks is nobody’s idea of a vacation. Split it up and make it easier.
5) Establish agendas and respect where they differ. See above. No matter if you both love all the same things, having different ideas and motivations and interests is fun. Spending some time apart to pursue the interests you don’t necessarily share is always a good thing. Take advantage of where you differ to keep some privacy and some sanity.
6. Don’t travel with different budgets. That’s not to say you need to combine everything into one pot of money. But the things you spend money on, like the food or activities or other expenses are mostly things you’ll do together. Even among close friends, money can cause friction. To avoid this, our suggestion is that you do start out with a shared lump-sum, say a couple of hundred dollars each. Use it for the majority of the major expenditures, like entrance fees or meals, or entertainment that you’ll do together.