HOW TO HAVE THE BEST HOLIDAY WITH YOUR FRIENDS
A holiday with your friends sounds amazing, right? Well it can be! A couple of months ago, I was sailing around the Greek Islands with my friend Jess from Bon Traveler. We were living in extremely tight quarters and noticed very quickly how easy it was to travel with each other. We agree this was because we both were tidy but laid back, fun but respectful of each other’s space, adventurous but understanding when the other person wanted some downtime alone. What we learned is that there’s nothing better than exploring the world with friends – as long as you have the same expectations. You learn so much about them, and so much about yourself. However, travel can be quite stressful – especially when you throw different personalities in the mix. Arguments can arise, and worse, friendships can fall apart. And no one wants to come home after a trip with friends and never speak to them again. Like ever.
After my incredible trip to Greece with Jess and to help you guys prepare for the best holiday with your friends, I thought I’d share a few tips so you’ll come home even closer than you were before you left.
CHOOSE YOUR FRIENDS WELL There is nothing more important than choosing the right mix of friends to go on a holiday with. The key to deciding is to choose your friends well by making sure you all share similar interests and expectations. And let’s be honest, not everyone likes to do the same thing all the time, so be prepared to split up on your trip. As an example, some of your friends might want to hit the clubs one night and some of your friends prefer to enjoy a relaxed night at the hotel. It’s ok to do different things, just as long as you stick together.
DECIDE WHERE YOU WILL BE GOING Choosing your friends well and deciding where you will be going both go hand in hand. I have friends who would love to explore some of America’s National Parks with me (more on that soon…) and friends who couldn’t think of anything worse! So when you choose your friends, you also need to decide on your destination pretty much at the same time.
PICK A TIME TO TRAVEL I highly recommend you avoid travelling during the school holidays as the costs for flights and accommodation have been known to double. You also need to factor in weather – do you want a winter retreat by the mountainous ski slopes or do you want a summer getaway by the beach?
BUDGET (REALLY) IS EVERYTHING It’s really important everyone is honest and up front with their budget from the start; it can be a sensitive topic whilst travelling for some friends. Make sure you and your friends have similar travel budgets - it really sucks coming home to a huge credit card debt because you tried to keep up with your friends who had more spending money than you during the trip. To help avoid this, agree on a daily budget and work towards saving that amount of money before the trip.
BE ORGANISED, BUT NOT TOO ORGANISED Something I’ve learned over the years is that my friends aren’t as detail oriented or as organised as I like to be when I travel. Strike the perfect balance between planning certain aspects of your trip, such as accommodation and sightseeing, and not planning other aspects of your trip, such as meals and road trips.
UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU WANT FROM THE TRIP What I love about travel is that everyone’s interests are different. Before you start thinking about accommodation and booking flights, make sure you have an understanding from the start what each of your friends want from the trip. And remember to compromise. If you want to go to a museum and your friends want to go to the market, hit the market first and then all go to the museum in the afternoon together. I’ve had some of the best travel moments when I’ve done something I wouldn’t normally be interested in.
ALWAYS BE HONEST Travelling is not easy, even if you’re sailing around the Greek Islands with your besties. You will annoy each other. Try to be honest and open with each other when something is annoying you, and choose your moment well. Telling your friends, they annoy you after a night of drinking and dancing is probably not the best approach. To avoid this, simply share what you love and hate about travelling with friends before you go. I love taking heaps of photos, which can be a pain for my friends so I need to be mindful of this. One of my friends is pretty rubbish at reading maps, so another friend will take this job on board. Get my drift?
ALONE TIME IS GREAT Getting a pinch of alone time on a holiday with friends is always a great idea; unless you need to be around people all the time. I find photographing sunset, heading down to breakfast early, reading a book by the pool or hitting the pillow early are great moments to achieve alone time.