How to Travel With Friends and Stay Friends
As Mark Twain has quipped in his rather famous travel quote, there is no better way to test a friendship than to travel together.
You know, Carol and I have found this to be true. We have friends that we love to travel with, and there was also that one experience that turned out to be hell on earth.
Definition of Hell on Earth: (‘hel ‘on ‘erth) – being trapped on a two week travel adventure with friends who are demanding, self-centered, irritable, whining, and who are all-around so miserable that you consider jumping off a cliff rather than spend another day in their company.
Get the picture? 😟
After our hell on earth experience, Carol and I vowed to never allow that to happen again. So, here’s a few guidelines we use when considering travel with others:
6 Tips for a Successful Travel Experience with Friends
- Choose Travel Partners Carefully – if you have friends who are somewhat of a challenge to be around for a few hours at dinner, then it is very likely that it would be very difficult to deal with their drama for a prolonged period of time. Imagine spending a long day traveling, peppered with a dash of hunger pangs, where all you want to do is hit the bed, take off your shoes, and chill out for a while. If you are traveling with folks who cannot control themselves in such situations, then you are headed for “hell on earth”.
- Start Small – don’t make your first adventure with friends hiking across Africa’s Serengeti. First tackle a short weekend trip to see how the four of you blend together. If there were no nuclear explosions leaving behind radioactive fallout, then begin to take on longer excursions together.
- Create a Basic Daily Itinerary – there is nothing worse than getting to a travel destination a little weary from travel, and then trying to decide amongst the four of you what you plan to do at this location. Have a travel planning dinner, uncork a nice bottle of wine, and make these types of decisions before you even leave home. Having these decisions agreed to ahead of time will save yourselves from great amounts of stress. Think: manage expectations.
- Create Space – make certain that each day allows for a little space between couples. Perhaps one couple wants to relax and read a book while the other wants to pursue further activities. Make some free-time in your itinerary to give yourselves some breathing room.
- Be Flexible – there are a great many things that can send even the best-laid plan spiraling to disaster. Weather, illness, out-dated information, crowds, changing of the mind, etc, etc, etc,. When traveling with friends, you simply must be willing to give up on your top desire if the group seems to desire something different. Three happy people and one sad-sacked moaner does not a happy trip make. Be honest, share your feelings, and make a group decision. Once the decision is made – don’t look back.
- Have Fun – it is a well-known fact that baby boomers enjoy traveling with friends. Therefore, make certain that you understand why you are taking this trip with friends in the first place. Exploring the world with great friends, deepening relationships, and having a blast! Right?
Well, there you go. We’ve found these ground rules effective for our sanity. We hope you find them useful. And, after you’ve determined who your travel friends will be, click here and pick out something fun to do.
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