Traveling with friends is always an adventure.
While it can be absolutely amazing, there are always some challenges when traveling with your buddies. Here are a list of tips to help you plan traveling with friends.
1. Choose your travel mates wisely.
Before you start to plan a trip with someone or with multiple people, make sure it’s a good fit. Not all friends make good travel mates, and that’s okay! But it’s best to avoid booking a trip and then dealing with it while you’re away. If you’re unsure, ask them some questions or maybe give them scenarios that you feel would help you make your decision.
2. Sit down and brainstorm together.
If you are able to physically meet with your friend or friends and discuss a trip, fantastic. If not, then Skype or Facetime will work the same way. The importance of sitting down with someone and having a face-to-face conversation is so that you can read their expressions and reactions to important topics when traveling.
First and foremost, you both have to agree on where you want to go or what kind of trip you want it to be. Will this be a 20-day backpacking trip through Europe? Or a hiking trip through the Grand Canyon? Or maybe a road trip around Iceland?
There are so many options for traveling and so many ways to travel. Coming up with an idea you both agree on or all agree on is important!
3. Discuss each of your budgets.
No matter the number of people you are traveling with, it’s important to have an idea of each person’s budget. If you are planning far enough in advance to save more money, that’s great. Then you can all plan to save about the same amount.
Just remember that different people have different budgets. Some people will be much more open to spending extra money on food or excursions, while many people will not want to do that.
Keeping communication open between you and your friends is important so that the trip can be just as fantastic for everyone!
Even if you don’t have the same budgets, the trip can still be great. You just have to be prepared to disagree with your friends on some things!
4. Discuss how to split group costs.
For early bookings of hotels, hostels, inns, etc, do you want everyone to pay their share to you? Or will someone else handle the booking and then you pay them back someway on the trip? As far as getting that money to that person before its booked, you can use a money transfer website or apps like Paypal or Venmo to make it fast, safe, and secure.
Group costs covers stay, food, gas, the list goes on and on.
A good rule of thumb for splitting group costs of food and drink is you pay, I pay. If you’re eating relatively the same cost each night, then one person pays and the next night someone else pays, etc etc.
5. Make a Google Doc.
This is hands down the best technique to use. I have had great success with it. My best advice is to simply write out a “rough” itinerary with dates, places, ways of travel, etc. From there, you can slowly start to fill in the details and make final decisions.
If you want it to be a sheet-like a grid, you can do that. If you prefer it to be just a simple document that you all can share, that works too. The purpose of this is to have everything within reach whenever you need it.
As long as everyone has access, the Google Doc will be helpful. Each person can add things they might like to see or do and leave links for things they recommend.
6. Share the planning.
The Google Doc will help you do just this. When you share the steps and process of planning, the trip will go smoothly. You can even give everyone a specific section to plan.
One friend can handle stay while another handles activities and excursions. One will handle food and drink while the other will handle travel.
7. Set ground rules.
I think the idea of setting some ground rules is often overlooked. Ground rules can be very simple and easy, or they can be more complex. Again, it all depends on the situation, the size of the group, how well you know each other, etc.
Do you all like to eat out at night? Do you all like to drink and be social? If the answer is yes, then there will be no problems. Unfortunately, this is a common situation that many friends run into. Some people like to party all night while others like to be in bed early for the next day.
These rules don’t have to be set in stone, but it’s important to discuss a topic like this. If you can all agree to compromise, then it will go smoothly. Maybe agree on a curfew.
8. Give each other space on the trip.
Whether you’re traveling with a group or just one other person, it’s important that everyone has their own space. Be mindful of overbearing or overcrowding someone - this leads to crankiness and unnecessary arguments!
A great way to give each other space is to choose a few days out of the trip where you all get alone time wherever you are. If you’re in Europe and you want to go wander the city by yourself, you can do that. And so can your friends. Talk about traveling together but also traveling separately.
Alone time is important while traveling so you can learn, and live, and grow as a human being.
All you have to do is pick a meeting spot and a time and stick to it.
9. Always, always, always, speak up!
If you aren’t enjoying something about your trip, express that to your friend or friends. But just know that you are traveling with people, so there may be times when you stay out later or have to get up earlier in order to include everyone.
The good thing is, almost nothing is permanent as far as excursions and activities go, so if you back out of something, that’s okay too. Don’t let your friend’s decisions change your mind.
Speak up when you want something done or changed. But be prepared to compromise as well.
10. Be patient.
You may be a very well-seasoned traveler and know exactly how to get through the airport quickly or how much you want to spend each day. Not all of your friends will be seasoned travelers (or maybe they are). Either way, be patient with them.
Remember that part of having an amazing trip is who you spend it with. Be patient with your friends who don’t travel as much.
11. Know when to help and when not to help.
This goes hand-in-hand with being patient. If you’re in a new place and one of your friends isn’t taking the transition so well, give them a helping hand. Guide them with tips and tricks when you can. But also, know when you don’t need to help.
You are friends which means you care and look after each other, but never let it get to the point where it could be damaging the friendship. Keep that patience in mind!
Now that you’ve read our 11 tips, what do you think? Are any of these tips new to you? Which would you recommend? Let us know in the comments below!
BONUS: COOLER MEMORIES
Did you know Journo is collaborative? Yep. We made it that way for trips just like this. You and your friends all add to the same Journo so you can all get each other's pics, videos and versions of that hilarious thing that happened. 😆