Traveling with a group of friends can be a dream or a nightmare, and often it all comes down to perspective. While there is no doubt that certain personalities can make or break a holiday, there is a lot you can do to prepare yourself before you go to make sure you all walk away friends.
How to Travel With a Group (and still have fun)
Choose wisely. Be realistic about who you’re going with. Chances are if they drive you crazy over dinner, they’re going to push you over the edge when you’re on vacation. This may not be the person to invite along with you.
Hold a pre-travel meeting. Nobody wants to plan their holiday down to the most minute detail but it’s a good idea to get a sense of what everyone is looking to get out of their vacation.
You are not one unit destined to walk in lock step for an entire week. From the beginning it should be clear to all that if someone wants to break off from the crowd there will be no hurt feelings.
Be flexible. So your plan to soak up the sun on the beach has been upset by a freak monsoon, time to get a new plan. But what if most of the group wants to go see a movie and you want to hit the mall? You either go with the flow my friend, or see #2.
Breathe. Traveling with a group means it will take you longer to get everywhere. It’s more people to get out of the house, more people to feed, more people to stand in line. Practice the fine art of patience.
Be prompt. If the group has collectively decided that your departure time is 8, don’t saunter out in your pj’s at 8:05. If you get left behind, see #2.
Accept that you are not perfect. Once you do that you’ll be able to be remember that no one else in your group is either. A week in close proximity with others can reveal a side to your friends that you didn’t know they had, and it might annoy the hell out of you, until you smack yourself on the forehead and say “Oh yeah, maybe I’m annoying the hell out of them.”
You came with friends, not servants. Pick up after yourself.
Don’t let money come between you and a good friend. If you ate some, drank some or used some….contribute for it.
Have a holiday de-brief. This doesn’t have to be a big event. Just a quick call to discuss the week and share fun memories or even to clear up misunderstandings can go a long way. On the other hand, maybe you want to have it over dinner so you can start planning your next holiday together. After all you just navigated this one successfully.