You can find Cathy blogging over at My Side of 50 where she talks about her everyday adventures on her side of age fifty. She especially enjoys sharing info on her travel experiences. This post was originally featured there.
One of the perks being on this side of 50 is having time to travel with friends. Every year I try to take at least one trip with just my girlfriends. On occasion my husband and I will take a trip with another couple.
Here are some tips I learned along the way to ensure everyone has fun together AND that you are still friends when the trip is over.
5 Tips For Traveling With Friends
Everyone participates in the planning.
Whether you like every minute planned or prefer a more “take it as it comes” approach, there are lots of things to research when planning a trip – airfare, car rental, accommodations, restaurants and sites to see. Make sure everyone in the group has an area to research then come together and make your plans.
Travel with people with similar spending styles.
Some people, out of necessity or desire, travel on the tightest of shoe-string budgets. Others are able to spend extravagantly and not think a thing about it. These two vacationers should NOT travel together. There’s nothing worse than traveling with someone who is spending money on all the most expensive restaurants and experiences when you have to watch your budget. And vice versa, if you have the money to spend, it’s no fun having to scrimp on every little thing just because your fellow travelers can’t afford to travel in the style you prefer.
Appoint someone to keep track of expenses.
In most restaurants you can get separate checks. But there are times on a trip when one person will cover the cost entire cost of something, such as a tank of gas or tickets to an event. Appoint someone who is good at math to keep track of expenses who can then tell everyone what they owe at the end. That way, everyone pays an equal share of the expenses. Even if you don’t mind picking up the tab for a cup of coffee or something that you think is small – document it. Those small charges can add up. And you may be with someone who feels the need to reciprocate, but really can’t afford it.
Everyone doesn’t have to do everything together.
There are lots of sights to see and things to do on a trip. But have the understanding that everyone doesn’t have to do everything with the group all the time. There will be different energy levels and different interests. As long as one person doesn’t inconvenience the entire group, be sure everyone knows that they have the freedom to go with the group or do their own thing.
Plan for everyone to have a little space every day.
Even the best of friends can get tired of talking and being together all day. On a recent trip, we rented a house and each had our own bedroom, so it was easy to get a break from each other for a little while every day. Even if you don’t have your own rooms, plan time for a cup of coffee, a walk or just sitting in the hotel lobby by yourself for a while every day. A break will do everyone good and you’ll enjoy your time together all the more.
Trips are a great time to get to know your friends better and grow closer as a result. I have so many great memories of trips with my friends. Keep these tips in mind and you’ll look forward to many more travels together!