Epic Getaways: Four Things You Should Ask Your Friends before Traveling with Them
“Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all people cry, laugh, eat, worry and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends.” –Maya Angelou
Traveling is already awesome by itself.
Traveling with your friend, on the other hand, means a world of possibilities. Just imagine the kind of shenanigans you and your closest pals will get into. More importantly, the prospect of exploring new cities, discovering new sights and immersing yourself in a totally foreign culture would be made even more exciting simply because you are sharing these experiences with your chums. Indeed, there is quite nothing like reconnoitering new cities with your friend. After all, if traveling with your buddies was not as fun as travel blogs and articles present them to be then how else can we explain the popularity and proliferation of films such as “Road Trip” and “Crossroads” which basically promote the very idea of traveling with your friends?
Indeed, traveling with friends brings you a feeling of anticipation like no other. However, keep in mind that although a trip with your friends may seem like an exciting prospect, there is still much to be learned about them—particularly if this is the first time you would be traveling together. Regardless of how well you think you know someone, you are bound to discover some facets and aspects to their personality considering that traveling constrains you to be within proximity of each other most of the time. It might be that you would discover what kind of habits they have or what their quirks are. If you are lucky, you might be able to live with them but more often than not, you would not be as lucky. It does not matter whether you are only going for an excursion or an extended stay in a foreign country, any significant excursion with the people dearest to you such as your friends would likely tell you something about them. So, to ensure that your travel adventure would be a successful one (and to mitigate the possibility of ruffling any feathers and souring of friendships), here are some of the things you ought to ask them before the trip:
What does everyone want out of this trip?
To be sure that everyone is on the same page; know what everyone wants to do on this particular trip. You might want to check the local cuisine and go on a food trip in Pampanga but your friends would rather go and see the sights. If by any chance, your expectations from the trip do not align, be sure that you and your friends would know how to compromise. While you are still mapping out the specifics of your trip and drafting a travel itinerary, organize a group meet up to discuss what everyone’s expectations are and what they wish to do in this vacation. More importantly, this will hash out a number of potential disagreements such as wake up times and accommodations which are better discussed early than on the trip itself.
Does the budget sit well with everyone?
Talking about finances and budgeting might not be the easiest thing to do, but for major trips such as one that you take with your friends, it is necessary. Indeed, there is so much truth to the maxim that goes, “Friendship and money do not mix” and they really do not—most especially when it comes to traveling together. Having different budgets can put a damper on what would otherwise have been an epic trip. After all, nothing takes the fun out of a group tour participation than having a friend back out because they do not have enough money with them. With this in mind, draft a budget and have your friends agree to the least amount of money you should bring to be comfortable. Alternatively, you can ask your friends to contribute a set amount to what would be your “group funds” which could then go to food and tour expenses during your vacation.
Who is doing the planning?
When it comes to major trips, it is important to have someone spearhead the planning—to facilitate it and create a rough travel itinerary. However, be sure that this responsibility does not fall solely in the hands of a single person so as not to overwhelm them. Sure, it might be natural for certain people to take the leadership role and plan the entire logistics of the trip but they would certainly appreciate an extra set of hands to help them with it.
Will we have any time to ourselves?
Pulling a group of people together and ensuring that everyone is in agreement to every single thing they do in a vacation trip is no easy feat. Naturally, you and your friends would want to enjoy some things that others might not, so it is imperative to have time to yourselves during that same trip unless by some luck, all of your expectations and wishes for the trip do line up.