Traveling With Friends

Up until about a year ago, I had never traveled with just my husband. All of my previous travel experiences were with family and friends. And, honestly, I can't say that one type of travel – with family and friends vs with just my husband – is better than another. Each experience is different, each place we visit feels unique, even if we have visited that place a million times! There is always something new to see and explore! :) And one of the key differences that I love the most about, not just traveling with friends and family, but also about reading blog reviews of places is learning to see a place from another's' perspective.

Nevertheless, each time you vacation with someone new, you run into struggles. That's just how it is. You and that other person have different ideas about what you want to see and do even if you both want to visit the same location together.

For example:

1. My husband loves to eat fish. I don't.
2. I'm always up for new experiences and am willing to throw caution to the wind by not planning extensively if I don't have time. Another friend of mine: not so much. He may not plan six months in advance, but there has to be SOME plan.
3. My immediate family prefers to go, go, go, go, go on vacation. I usually need a vacation from my vacation. This took some getting used to the first time my husband vacationed with my family.

So as you can see? Differences exist when traveling with anyone other than yourself. More people, more differences.

Add a husband; go to a fish restaurant.

Travel with a particular friend when you haven't had time to make plans? Plans magically appear.

It just happens.

Now, what can you do to combat those differences? To go on vacation and still have family and friends at the end of the trip?

Let me refer to a post from 2014: the 5 C's of traveling with friends.

1. Communicate.

This is especially true if you have never traveled with this person (or these people) before.

What do you want to do at X location? What do they want to do? How much money is there to spend? What does their budget look like? Will you cook or eat out?

There are so many minuscule decisions that one makes before and during a trip that can complicate your experience if you aren't open to discussion.

Don't be that person that blows your budget in a day, because you weren't open and honest with the person you are traveling with. Don't have your expectations ruined because you weren't brave enough to say "I want to do X" and then not being able to because they have the whole vacation planned before you have even agreed to go.

2. Confirm

Just because you have talked doesn't mean everyone has reached an understanding. Ask specific questions, so that they have an opportunity to say no. Say, for example, "I'm booking this hotel on these dates for this trip. Is that ok with you? Do you want me to book your room there as well?" … Or "I intend on spending X amount a day. If you plan on doing anything beyond that or that costs more, I'm going to have to pass." This way you give the person your traveling with ample time to say "no" or "maybe we should do this (like each of you renting the same car vs. two different ones) differently than we originally planned".

No hurt feelings.

No broken expectations.

3. Compromise.

I'm sure this will be natural, but along with communicating and confirming, you ought to also be compromising.

No, this isn't a necessity, but I promise it will make your travel better. :)

Allow one person to plan one day and then you plan another. Unless it's hiking that the other person wants to do; at which point, I totally understand! :) But seriously, you will enrich yourself and may discover something new and surprising, perhaps unexpected, if you try what the people you are with want to do. If you don't try it (or at least some of the things they want to do), you'll never know if you'd have liked it.

4. Be Considerate.

Arguments happen. People get angry and their emotions take over. And that may be all it is – triggered emotions. Keep that in mind as you continue your trip with this other person. You friendship/relationship can survive if you don't hold the anger and frustration against the person you are with. Vacations are exhausting, sometimes mentally and physically. Forgive and forget. Be kind. Assume the best in the person you are with. Most likely, the argument wasn't over anything serious (what to do, where to go, what to eat), and you can either split up for a bit (eat at different restaurants, for example) or discuss the matter later or after your vacation when you've both cooled down and can think more clearly.

Of course, under the "considerate" heading I would also argue for kindness. Treat the person or people you are with, with respect. Treat them like you would want to be treated.

5. Celebrate!

You're on vacation, duh!

So, thoughts? Is there anything I missed that you think is important with regards to traveling with friends and family? Do you prefer to travel with others or are you more of a lone wolf?

* I'm participating in #LoveBlog2017. Today's topic: Friends.

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