Travelling with friends

travelling-with-friendsTravelling with friends

By Verity Twydale

Travelling with your bestie? That holiday with your BFF might seem like a great idea … until you’re too busy bickering over where to stay and what to eat to enjoy it.

Ahhh … holidays. Such a distant memory. But if you’re like the rest of us you’re probably already planning an adventure for 2010. The question is, who with?

Going away with your best friend might seem like the perfect plan. It’s usually one of those ‘OMG, you want to go to Thailand too, lets go together!’ moments that, before you know it, ends in a commitment neither of you need or necessarily want. So how do you make sure your homie holiday is a success?

1. Set your goals and expectations

You may know your best buddy inside out but if you haven’t travelled together before, assume you’re travelling with a stranger. Even the best of friends can turn into nightmares when they’re out of their comfort zone.

Before you book anything, make sure you get together to discuss your travelling experiences and habits. If your bestie likes to wallow in the lap of luxury and you can think of nothing better than getting down and dirty with the locals, you’re going to run into problems. Try and come to an agreement about what you both want from the holiday before you choose the destination, activities and accommodation.

2. Keep communicating

If you and your travel buddy have differing ideas about what an ideal holiday is, you’re going to need to do a lot of communicating. You will always have to make spur of the moment decisions when you’re travelling, so set good communication habits before you leave so no-one feels trodden on.

If you need to change your plans, discuss the changes openly with your holiday companion. Make sure both of you feel like you’re being heard, and that both your interests are being taken into account. And, if communication fails, don’t start playing games – do everything you can to get to the root of the problem by talking through the situation openly.

3. Learn to compromise

No matter how much you may run from commitment in your real life, when you set out on an adventure with someone else you and that person are in what’s called a ‘relationship’. And relationships involve compromise.

When you’re travelling, you will most likely have constraints revolving around money and time. Try to sort out as many of these issues before you pack your bags, but if all else fails, learn to compromise on the run. Like any relationship you need to pick your battles. Will you feel completely devastated if you miss a tick off your checklist? Honestly? If so, let your friend know what’s particularly important to you. If not, let it go. No-one likes a princess.

4. Get out of your comfort zone

So much of travelling is about getting out of your comfort zone. It’s not always a nice feeling but moving beyond your circle of safety will help you experience new things and grow as a person. What better way to do this than with a friend by your side?

Remember, no matter where you’re going the most important thing to bring back with you is your friendship. Because that, my friend, is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Tell me, dear SheGoesicans, do you have any horror stories about travelling with friends? Or tips on how to avoid trouble? Share away …

6 comments on “Travelling with friends

  1. I think it’s important to spend some time away from your friends. It’s kind of weird and unnatural to spend 24 hours a day with anyone so of course you’re going to get over hanging out with people… any people… even your favourite people!

  2. Ha, Alms – this I agree with! I spent 4 months going round the world with my fiance and the poor guy was driven to the brink of exhaustion with too many ‘lets get up and watch the sunrise’ requests when all he wanted to do was relax!

  3. OMG- I travelling with my bestie for 4 months in the USA when I was 21- needless to say we didn’t talk to each other for 2 years after this experience!
    We had very different expectations and budgets. She had twice as much money as I did, and wanted to stay & do more luxurious things, and when her money & credit card maxed out about 2 weeks before we were supposed to go home (and I still had my well- budgeted saving to last the rest of the trip). This made her so furious! I will never forget walking aournd Disneyland arguing about whether it was worthwhile to get a photo with Goofy, or if it was a a waste of time to listen to Ariel read a story to us. Disney was not very magical!
    I will never forget boozy nights coming back to our hotel with her already in our hotel room with a local San Diegan, or Las Vegan, or New Yorker, or Arizonian disgracing the sheets.

    I ended up travelling mostly alone in the years to follow and only more recently I have been select with my travelling buddies, and the length of the vacation. Much happier times. I have learnt my best travelling companion is myself, closely followed by my sisters, who don;t really give a crap if I’m in a filthy mood in the morning- they’re used to it!

  4. Nicki, I’ve heard of many a friend returning home not on speaking terms! I’m lucky that’s never happened to me – this year was the first time I’d ever traveled with anyone but myself (4 months with my fiance and 2 weeks with a couple of friends) and everything went pretty well. A few ups and downs sure, but on the whole I still have my friends and a go-ahead wedding this year!

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