After over a year of little to no travel, I’m sure many of us are excited to safely explore new places or leave our home state. Solo travel is an amazing way to get out of your comfort zone and immerse yourself in a new culture.
But after being away from friends and family for an extended period, you might want to schedule a “friendcation” or two. Here at Pedacitos Blog, we pride ourselves on giving our readers tips and guides on all elements of travel. Today, let’s chat about how to make the most of your upcoming trip with friends.
Align Your Schedules & Divvy Up The Planning
Unlike preparing for Family Travel, which we have covered in a past Pedacitos Tips blog, you probably don’t live with all of your friends -you might not even live in close proximity of each other- depending on where you all are in life.
You might also have different groups of friends from various periods, like hometown pals, college buddies, etc. This can make it hard to find a mutual gap of availability at times. As we get older, it can also be harder to get together with friends when kids, jobs, and other elements of life get involved.
Coordinating your schedules and planning a vacation that works for everyone is just as important for a family trip as it is for a “friendcation”. You can get a shared Google Calendar to find the right time to travel as I mentioned in the blog linked above, but I also think that you should prioritize equal planning as much as you put emphasis on equal time together.
What I mean by this is, everyone should tackle a different element of planning. You can focus on finding the flights, while one friend can focus on what restaurants or nightlife you all would enjoy, someone else could focus on daytime activities, and so on.
When you’re traveling with all adults or people of similar age, you can put your heads together to execute a wonderful trip, which is usually a lot harder to do with extended families that often vary in ages.
Play into everyone’s strengths! I am an organizing wizard so I’m usually in charge of creating our daily schedule. One of my best friends is amazing at being prepared, so she would oversee our bags being filled with all the travel essentials.
Make Use Of All The Time You Have Together
When I’m on a “friendcation”, I’m focused on spending quality time together, rather than doing solo activities.
That’s not to say that you can’t do your own thing when traveling with friends, especially if you’re going somewhere that you’re comfortable with or are staying for an extended period of time- but if this is a rare occasion that you’re all with each other, spend as much time as you can together!
For me, going for a quick coffee run is therapeutic because I can take a walk and get some time alone. But when I’m on a girl’s trip, for example, I’ll invite my pals along and we can have our breakfast inside the café, instead of finding our own respective grub.
You don’t know when you’ll all be back at this destination together, so turn that solo time into quality time when applicable.
Don’t Be Afraid of Compromise
I think this rule is essential for traveling with anyone, whether it’s with a partner, family, but especially with friends. Part of the reason that you’re all together is that you have a lot in common, but that’s not to say that you don’t have different wants and needs, too.
If a friend isn’t feeling well when you have a strenuous activity planned that day, maybe hold back on that activity, and do something more low-key instead. If you’re not a fan of nightlife but your friend is a party animal, compromise on going to a rooftop bar instead of a club.
This is probably the most important tip in this blog because while you might be spending most of your days together, someone will have to break away for a bathroom stop eventually or could get lost.
If you’re an iPhone user, “Find My Friends” is a great tool to have to keep track of everyone. If someone in your group doesn’t have an iPhone, don’t sweat! “Life360” and “Glympse” are awesome alternatives.
Glympse will even request a status update from all group members at whatever time you set the notification to go off. Sharing your location isn’t just pivotal for staying safe, but it also gives you the freedom to roam for a little if you need the space.
You can also coordinate a central meeting spot, like the lobby of a hotel or a landmark, if you don’t have service or run out of phone battery.
Traveling with friends is an exciting way to make new memories with people you might consider to be family. You will cherish these memories forever, and it adds some great company to an otherwise solo trip. Take into consideration all these tips (and more) while planning your next epic “friendcation”!
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