Traveling with friends can be a great way to experience a new place. Exploring with a group instead of strictly family can be a ton of fun and create opportunities you wouldn’t find otherwise, but it also adds a few levels of complexity to the planning process. There are quite a few questions you’ll need to ask before you go to ensure everything goes smoothly on your vacation.
Gearing up to take a trip with friends? Here are a few things you’ll want to consider before you do:
01 – DO YOU WANT SHARED OR SEPARATE ACCOMMODATIONS?
When you’re traveling with family or a significant other, a single hotel room or small Airbnb usually works just fine. Planning a trip with friends, however, opens up lots of other options. With more people in your party, you can more easily split the cost of a more spacious vacation rental or a hotel suite to comfortably hold your group.
However, you should also consider your personal space. Do you want to spend all day and all night with your travel companions? If the answer is yes, shared accommodations may be perfect. If you value your alone time, however, you may want to consider getting your own room for at least part of the trip.
02 – HOW WILL YOU GET AROUND?
Along with your housing situation, you’ll also want to discuss transportation well in advance. If you love to explore on foot and you’re planning a trip with someone who hates the idea of walking for more than a few city blocks, you’re in for a bad time. It’s good to connect and be on the same page before you go to avoid any headaches. If you’re moving between cities on your trip, you’ll also need to determine whether you’ll rent a car – and, if so, who’s driving – or if you’ll take a plane, train, or other forms of transportation.
03 – HOW WILL YOU PAY?
It’s a good idea to figure out how you’re going to handle money before you travel. When you eat at restaurants, will you split the bill, or will you take turns covering the costs? When paying for your hotel or vacation rental, will one person foot the whole bill? And, if so, will that person get paid back before or after?
While apps like Venmo make dividing checks and pooling funds easier, it’s still a good idea to sort this out before you go to minimize conflict or confusion. This is especially important if you’ve chosen an international destination, where bank access isn’t as easy and cell service is questionable.
04 – WHAT WILL YOU DO?
While there are certainly some attractions and items on your itinerary you’ll all want to experience together, it’s good to remember that you don’t have to spend every waking moment together. If some of the group wants to explore a museum while others would prefer to shop, let everyone go their separate ways and do what they want to do.
05 – WHAT WILL YOU EAT?
Some people like to go all out and indulge in expensive sit-down meals on vacation, while others would rather grab something cheap from a street vendor and splurge elsewhere. Again, it’s important to be on the same page here to avoid hurt feelings or uncomfortable situations. If it makes more sense to split up for meals and meet back up at an attraction you want to experience together, do it.
Traveling with friends can definitely add an extra layer of complexity to the vacation planning process, but it can truly enhance your vacation experience as a whole. The next time you’re considering a vacation with friends, keep these considerations in mind as you make your plans, and you’ll be well on your way to having an amazing time.