Having a group of friends that love traveling is a true blessing. Experiencing new places, going on unique adventures, meeting new cultures, and simply enjoying life together is what makes the bond between you stronger. However, if you fail to make a proper plan, your vacation can quickly turn into a nightmare.
When it comes to "friendcations", it's common that not all group members agree about everything. And that's absolutely fine. But, you need to find common ground and a way to communicate through the planning process and, later, on vacation. Therefore, if you want to plan a successful trip, here are 7 mistakes to avoid when traveling with friends.
1. Putting the weight of planning on one person's shoulders
Planning a vacation is challenging even if you're going alone or with just one more person, let alone if you're traveling with friends. That's why everybody avoids participating in the planning process. And it would be great if you had someone to do all the vacation planning for your group of friends, right?
Typically, you would have to pay for this type of service. Therefore, don't expect one member of your group to do it all by themselves.
The planning process includes:
- Booking plane tickets
- Finding accommodation
- Creating an itinerary
- Planning meals
These are all major responsibilities, and nobody wants to think about all of them. Therefore, you need to divide the big responsibilities among your group members. Otherwise, the person responsible for all these things will be under a lot of pressure, and they won't have a good time at all. So, this is one of the biggest mistakes to avoid when traveling with friends.
2. Not discussing each member's budget
Nobody likes to talk about their finances, but in this case — it's crucial. Not all of you are in the same position money-wise. That's why each member of your group needs to be transparent about their budget from the very beginning. Each one of you needs to tell the others the amount of money you're ready to set aside for this "friendcation". You should disclose the total amount and how much you want to spend on a daily basis. Only when you're all clear on this matter, you'll be able to choose your destination and plan the vacation accordingly.
One thing you cannot do is try and convince some of your friends to spend more money than they're ready to. Instead, find common ground. There must be something that works for everybody in the group. So, don't be pushy — compromise.
3. Forgetting to establish the group's financial strategy
Unfortunately, we need to talk money a little bit longer this time. So, let's see how splitting checks work when traveling with friends. First thing’s first, this can be a huge problem on your vacation. Each member paying their share with their credit card usually isn't an option. And some places don't even accept cash anymore. Therefore, before you even arrive at your destination, you need to figure out a way to pay for things while on vacation with your friends.
Should you all take your money and share it equally? Should everyone contribute their fair share? Should one individual pay and the rest of the group Venmo their share? It isn't easy to make a choice, but you must do so as a group.
However, don't put one group member in charge of all your finances. This person will have a huge responsibility and can easily get blamed if something unfortunate happens. Additionally, keeping track of everyone's finances is not fun at all!
4. Avoid researching the chosen destination
Do you know how to apply for a visa? What is the current rate of exchange? Is it necessary for you to dress conservatively? Is English a widely spoken language at your destination? What is the best way to go from the airport to your accommodation?
Besides this basic research, have you done any research about the activities you plan to do while on vacation? If not, why are you wasting your time and money traveling to a location you know nothing about? Something must have pushed you to purchase that ticket.
If you don't want to do any research, you can't complain about the itinerary either. It's only fair, right? However, it's so much better if each member of your group does some research and puts a few places on the list. This way, everybody's involved in the planning process in a fun way.
If you need a place to store all your trip ideas and easily collaborate with your friends, you should give our MiTravel Planning Board a try!
MiTravel recently released a new feature called Travis, an AI chatbot who is here to help make your travel booking process less stressful. Travis pulls directly from the world’s leading travel companies such as Skyscanner, Booking.com and GetYourGuide so you can instantly search for the best offers.
5. Not discussing daily activities
While traveling with friends, researching the sites you want to visit is essential. Everyone should compile a list of these items and share them with the group. This way, you can easily identify which attractions everyone wants to see and which places only a few of you want to visit. Identifying such things can help you create and follow an itinerary.
Now, one thing to keep in mind is that not everyone has the same travel style as you do. For example, some people like to sleep until noon and then relax some more. On the other hand, others like to have an active vacation and visit as many places as possible. And some like to mix these two styles. If you're lucky enough, you'll travel with a group of friends who have the same travel style. However, if you all have different ways to relax, you might have a few disagreements.
That's why you need to talk about this before going on your group vacation. Furthermore, you all have to accept one thing: it's okay not to do everything together. Having some alone time is also an option when traveling with friends. So, if one of you doesn't want to go somewhere with the rest of the group, you need to respect that.
6. Making excuses for not helping
Not wanting to contribute while on vacation with friends is not acceptable. It provides a good base for disagreements. Are you staying at an Airbnb? You must do your own dishes. Have you rented a car? Everyone should go for a spin in the driver's seat. Are you out of alcohol? It's your time to go on a beer run. Did your pal pay for the last round of drinks? It's your turn now.
Using your lack of travel experience as an excuse to avoid doing the activities you normally do at home isn't fair to the people you're with. And since you're probably used to doing all of these things in your everyday life, doing them in another country shouldn't be too difficult
7. Embracing a "my way or the highway" attitude
You're not traveling alone, and not everything will go as you planned. You have a few trip companions that enjoy some things that you do not. So, if they select a restaurant that you don't like or decide to visit another beach one day, don't be obstinate—compromise.
When traveling with buddies, communication and compromise are key. It's difficult to please everyone all the time. However, there is always common ground to be found. Or, as previously noted, if you don't feel like doing anything, you can always take some alone time. Just don't generate a commotion because the majority doesn't share your point of view
That's a wrap - Pack & Go
Now that you know which mistakes to avoid when traveling with friends, it's time to pack your things and go! Plan your outfits according to the weather and planned activities. Furthermore, you need to decide what you'll do with your valuables while you're gone. We suggest renting a storage unit in order to keep your items safe during the whole time you're away. This will give you peace of mind, and you won't have to worry about your belongings at all!
Plan Your Next Friendcation with MiTravel!
Looking to plan your next friendcation? MiTravel has you covered!
Use MiTravel’s unique collaborative planning board to draft and formulate the perfect trip(s) to take on vacation with you and your friends.
MiTravel is a central space to discuss, collect information and plan altogether. It captures where everyone wants to go, what to do, eat and see.
Sign up for MiTravel and get access to a private space where you and your travel buddies can discuss, collect information and plan together on exactly where you want to go, do, see, or eat!
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