The world is a very small place; with the increase of constant flights and cheap hotels, travel is more accessible than it has ever been.
Whether you are heading for the sun on your summer holidays, chilling in a new location for a city break or exploring new locations on an exciting road trip, the opportunity for a cheap holiday has never been so easy.
The advantages of travelling are numerous; it is a life-changing experience, introducing you to new cultures, countries, peoples and opportunities.
When not travelling with kids or family, there really is no better way to explore the world than with a travel buddy.
Travelling with friends can be a wonderful way to share your new sights and scenes with the people you care about, but, as with anything, careful planning and organisation is required to ensure that you all get the very best out of your trip, and everyone ends up with a valuable and enjoyable opportunity to make lasting memories.
Here are some of the top tips to keep in mind when travelling with friends:
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1. Make sure everyone is on the same page
It is important to ensure right from the get-go that everyone is going on the trip with the same expectations and ideas.
If you have been planning a beach holiday, and arrive to discover that most of your friends want to cross-country hike, it is inevitable that conflict will arise.
Make sure you are all on the same page from the outset, to ensure that everyone has a nice time.
Similarly, some people may be happy in a hostel, whilst others are expecting five star luxury.
By stating your expectations from the start, you will ensure that no-one is disappointed and that everyone has the trip they have been planning and dreaming of.
2. Be flexible
As the saying goes, plans were made to be broken.
Whilst it is important to have a loose outline if you have specific sites you wish to see, to activities to complete, flexibility is key when travelling with friends.
Be prepared to compromise; visit one preferred location for breakfast, and get your first choice for lunch.
Don’t feel as though you all have to be joined at the hip either; don’t be afraid to head off on a solo adventure or split into smaller groups; it is better that everyone has a good time doing the things they enjoy, rather than everyone unhappy in an activity no-one wants.
Just because you all travel together, does not necessarily mean that every activity needs to be a group task.
Flexibility is key!
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3. Be generous with money
Some of the biggest fallings out in friendships can occur over money, and holidays can be a key opportunity for disagreements over cash.
For things to go smoothly, be prepared to let go of the pennies; keeping a strict track of who pays for what and who owes whom money is a sure fire way to create an argument.
A good idea is to have a communal kitty for drinks and activities which everyone pays into, agreeing to only pay for yourselves, or maintaining a chilled, relaxed attitude.
Either way, don’t ruin your trip by picking over pennies; those are not the memories you want to create and remember in the long term.
4. Communicate when you are all in a good space
Never make a decision if you are hungry, tired, or stressed.
This is when tempers are guaranteed to fray and words may be exchanged.
Communication is key, and listening is crucial to ensure a smooth and happy trip.
Make sure everyone has their time to speak and say their piece, and never make assumptions; this can lead to tension and resentment, the last thing you want on your holiday!
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5. Schedule in ‘me time’
You love your friends, and enjoy spending time with them: that is, after all, why you decided to book a group trip!
That doesn’t mean, however, that you are obliged to spend every waking moment in their company whilst travelling.
Doing so could, in fact, have negative consequences.
Everyone needs some time alone to relax, unwind, think their thoughts, listen to music, and reflect on the events of the day.
This doesn’t mean you are being rude or antisocial, or that you don’t want to hang out with friends later on.
It is likely to enhance your experience by ensuring that you are not all in each other’s pockets constantly.
Having time to yourself gives you a chance to recharge the batteries, and emerge ready for another round of socialising, laughs and fun!
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Travel is a life changing opportunity, and who better to share it with than your closest friends?
By keeping these simple steps in mind you can ensure that your trip is full of fun, laughter and amazing memories.