Read This Before You Go Travelling With Your Friends
I know it's tempting to think you can travel with any of your friends but in my experience, that isn't always the case.
I’ve always had a belief that the fastest way to break a friendship is to travel together or to live together. We assume that because we are friends, there is no limit on how much time we can spend together or what we do but actually when it comes to travelling (and living together!), people have SUCH different needs. You might have the same values for friendship and not for travelling so one way you can save your friendships is to communicate beforehand! Here are the boundaries you need to put in place before you go travelling…
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Have all the conversations before you actually set off. Preparing for a holiday isn't just booking the flights and accommodation it's also making sure that everyone has their expectations managed and have had their needs heard. You won't know how your friend likes to holiday until you've been on a holiday and if you all want to have a good time then you all need to be on the same page.
Here are some conversations to think about having beforehand:
Is This A Vacation or Sightseeing?
People view going abroad in different ways and before you even book a flight, you should check if you have the same intention. Do you want a restful trip or would you like to sightsee? This is where people often clash the most because one person is rushing around when another has expectations of doing next to nothing.
Who’s Organising What?
It’s not just about organising the booking of the holiday. I remember one holiday where on the first day, I was always the one navigating, finding places to eat and things to do and by the end of the first day, I was exhausted (as was my phone battery!). The following day, I set boundaries that everyone else needs to chip in but again, it’s better to have the conversation earlier than to be annoyed on the first day of the trip.
How Early Do You Want To Get There?
We all know people who want to get there 4 hours early and the others will want to rush on the plane last minute. Either agree on it ahead of time or agree to meet on the plane so each person can do it in their preferred way and one party is not waiting on the other
How Much Work Will You Be Doing?
Some people assume a holiday means no work and some people, well… have a harder time switching off! If that’s you, then one way to set boundaries with your workplace is to communicate to your team when you will be off and outline what constitutes an emergency and warrants being contacted and what can wait until your return. In my industries, because I work in social media and publishing, I tell my teams that there are no emergencies and therefore everything can wait and if I miss a job opportunity then that is on me. I will also outline what they can agree to on my behalf so they are able to do their jobs in the meantime. There are also things you can do on your end like deleting any work apps or removing the email app on your phone or simply leaving your work phone at home
Can We Do Things Separately?
So many fights are created by either trying to convince people to do things they don’t want to do or dragging them along on things they have already said no to. Respect everyone's boundaries by allowing everyone to separate once in a while. Make an agreement that you will meet for dinner and make plans for a mutual activity everyone will enjoy after you have done your separate things so that one person can sit by the pool if the other wants to go explore.
What Are Your Must-Dos?
If there is a non-negotiable that is a top priority for you to visit or see in a place, then make sure that is communicated ahead of time. If you are only going to Norway to see the Northern Lights and you return home without seeing them, you will be sorely disappointed.
What Is Our Budget? And What Is Our Absolute Limit?
Money is an awkward conversation but it's better to have it before than to have one person going into debt because they can't keep up with the holiday. Everyone has different amounts of expendable income and therefore you need to have a tough conversation so that no party feels guilty
And finally, accept there are just some friends you can’t travel with. You love them dearly, and you want them in your life but when it comes to travelling, you are just not compatible and that’s OK.
How do you keep your group trips argument-proof? Let me know in the comments
Lots of love,