Do you want the freedom to explore your dream destination without the loneliness of solo traveling? Then consider planning a trip with your friends. Traveling with friends can not only help to strengthen friendships, but it also allows you to create some awesome lifelong memories together. Planning any trip can be stressful but don’t let this put you off! Here are some handy tips to help you on your way.
Manage Your Expectations
Once you have gotten your friends on board, it is time to identify everyone’s expectations and plan your trip accordingly. First, think about the type of trip you want to go on; if you enjoy history and art then a cultural trip will feed the travel bug. A city break is also worth considering for those who enjoy urban environments with quirky cafés and glossy malls. Finally, if you enjoy the classic cocktail of sun, sea and sangria an exotic escape to a far-flung destination could be the way forward. Consider the experience that you want to create and agree as a group.
Agree on a Budget
Next is budget and this is where things can get tricky. It’s important to agree on a budget that you can all meet. If some people in your group have a lower than average budget, that luxury vacation you had in mind may have to become an affordable luxury vacation instead. Be mindful of everyone’s needs and budget and manage your expectations before you set off creating itineraries and making bookings.
Accommodation & Flights
For many friends traveling together, a benefit is that you can book larger places to share – such as renting an Airbnb. This is a great way to get an awesome place, and usually splitting the cost makes it cheaper than many hotel rooms.
However, a lack of consideration for accommodation can quickly cause friction between friends. For example, night owls and early birds may clash, and the same goes for light sleepers and heavy snorers. Make sure there is plenty of space for you all, even if that means having to pay a little more to ensure comfort.
Agree on a set of rules beforehand – you don’t want to be the friend that invites strangers back only to find that your friends are all anxious around new people. Try to be considerate of each other, so if you know that you snore when laying on your back consider laying on your side (if all else fails noise-cancelling earplugs are always useful). Further, if you feel like all staying together in one place could cause a problem, then you may consider booking hotel rooms as an alternative.
For flights, we recommend using tools like Google Flights or Skyscanner to be sure that you get a great deal. These tools also have awesome flexible calendars so you can search prices across different dates. This will help you find a time that works for everyone, and be sure that you can lock in a good price.
Create an Itinerary
Once you have agreed on a destination it’s important to consider everybody’s tastes. You may enjoy exploring historical ruins, but your friend may prefer to soak up some sun on the beach. Planning an itinerary allows you to prioritize the sights that you want to see and be considerate of everyone’s tastes.
If you are planning on visiting tourist attractions or going on a tour, then why not research in advance to see if you can get a group discount? Think of a few options for how to spend your time just in case you run into any problems – there’s nothing worse than plans falling through because of one minor hitch!
Plan for Airport Parking and SAVE!
Booking accommodation is easy to remember but many people overlook another expense, airport parking. Depending on how long you are gone, the price can add up – so it’s important that you plan in advance to ensure that you get a good rate.
Different types of airport parking can cater to different needs. Self-park leaves the control in your hands – simply choose your spot, park your car, keep your keys and take the free shuttle to the airport. Alternatively, valet parking saves time as you can simply drive to the parking lot, hand your keys to the chauffeur and away you go. On your way home, call the parking lot and let the company have your car waiting for you when you leave the terminal.
Companies like Looking 4 Parking offer deals on self-parking and valet parking plus you can score discounts by booking in advance.
From rolling your clothes to using packing cubes there are numerous tips and tricks to simplify the dreaded packing process. I have shared my own packing tips before but if you are traveling with friends then you can also save on space (and overweight extra charges) by splitting essentials between you.
Identify items that you will all need such as sunscreen, toothpaste and insect repellent then decide between you who will pack each item – forget having to sit on your luggage to close the zipper! One last packing tip is to weigh your luggage before flying to ensure it’s not overweight.
Lastly, be sure to keep in mind that you may be able to buy some essentials at your destination (to save room in your luggage). You also want to save room in your luggage to bring back some great souvenirs from your trip!
The 3-C’s – Key to Planning a Great Trip With Friends
I always tell people it’s about the 3 C’s when planning a trip with any group: Collaboration, Compromise, Consideration. You need to be sure that everyone can have input on the trip, and that everyone is in agreement. It’s also important to realize that whenever you travel with a group, you may need to compromise on some things — because you can’t always have your way. Lastly, you MUST be considerate of others — whether it is what they want to do, or sharing accommodation with each other. These things will go a long way to ensuring you have a great trip, and maintain you friendships after.
Happy travel planning! Please share your tips for traveling with friends in the comments, we would love to hear them!