The Ultimate Travel Friend Checklist: 6 Tips on Traveling with Friends & Remaining Friends
Over the years, I’ve traveled with a range of people from childhood friends, college friends, and friends of friends (who became my friend). I wanted to discuss this topic because I’ve heard horror stories of long time friends who ended their friendships after discovering major differences that can only be revealed in foreign environments. Traveling with friends will definitely test your friendship! It is important to know that even though you are friends, you may not be compatible with each other to travel. I consulted with a few of my bffs and reflected on the good and bad of my travel buddy experiences.
Here’s a checklist of 6 things to consider before you travel with someone new and practices to use during your trip to ensure you remain friends when you return:
Before Your Trip
☐ Discuss Your Travel Style/Personality
If you’ve never traveled before or aren’t sure what your travel personality is check out this Buzzfeed Quiz:
Consider what types of activities appeal to you during vacation?
- Adventure seeking (bungee jumping, cliff diving, etc)
- Relaxing on beach
- Sleeping in with no schedule
- Visiting art galleries, museums, and historical monuments
- Experiencing city streets and local culture
Although you may enjoy all of these things, some travel destinations and buddies are better suited for certain activities. It is important to discuss your goals and point of interests for your trip beforehand. Imagine how annoying it would be to realize on your trip that you prefer to visit historical monuments, but your friend would rather lay on the beach all day. Make sure that everyone gets what they want from the trip. Your itinerary should reflect everyone's interests!
☐ Be Honest About Your Financial Situation
Be upfront about your trip budget. What would you prefer to spend your money on? Discuss this beforehand so there are no unpleasant surprises. For example, you might like lavish meals, while your friend prefers to eat cheap meals. Together, you should create set budgets for different things (i.e. $300 for food, $400 for experiences, etc). This technique worked really well during my most recent trip to Europe. You can check out how we allocated our money here.
During Your Trip
☐ Create Room for Down Time
As lovely as traveling is, it can also be very draining. Personally, I know I’m no fun to be around when I’m slungry (sleepy and hungry). Be sure to incorporate downtime into your itinerary. This is also a good time for people to go do their own thing. But of course, be safe and give your friends an idea of where you are going. If you are visiting a place where you have internet access, you should consider using personal safety apps like Companion.
☐ Welcome Open Communication
We are human, bad attitudes happen. If something makes you feel uncomfortable, be honest and talk about it. Bottling up your emotions tends to lead to passive aggressiveness, which can be a friendship killer.
☐ Be Open-Minded
All sorts of things happen when you travel that can derail your plans. During my trip to Thailand, one of my friends got really sick from KFC in the airport and I got into an ATV accident. We were both on bed rest for a couple of days. It’s important to be flexible to your group and individual needs, and maintain your composure when things don’t go as planned.
☐ Have Fun!
Because that is what traveling is all about!
There you have it, 6 tried and true ways to ensure that you don’t uppercut your friend while on vacation! Now grab your travel friend, go through this checklist, and prepare to make memories that will last a lifetime!