Before you travel with friends, have these 5 essential conversations

Bronwyn Griffiths

By Bronwyn Griffiths

Posted on 20th February 2020

Travel with friend The Yacht Week BVI CREDIT Mathilde Metairie So, you're all kinds of crazy excited to go travelling with your friends. The WhatsApp group is already popping with bikini and cocktail emojis and everyone's envisaging how lit your Instagram will be after this trip. But hold up a second... Before you board that plane (or even book your trip) with your pals, there are a few essential things you should talk about first. Spoiler alert: it's all the boring stuff BUT it will mean you can travel with friends and still be BFFs after.

Want to take all the stress out of travelling with friends? Sail, party and chill with your own skipper and host on The Yacht Week.
Travel with friend - Crossroads

Expectations

You figure you're pretty chill, your friends are kinda chill, no need to talk about what you're expecting from your trip together, right? Wrong. By simply checking in about how you're envisaging the trip will go can make the world of difference.

Firstly, what you want out of this holiday could be different from what your friends want. So talk about what you're each expecting from this trip. A much-needed chill? An action-packed see everything experience? An epic booze-fuelled week of partying (and sleeping all day)? Even if your friends want something different, be honest because maybe there's a way to make the trip a mixture of everything (chill, party, adventure). While you may already be expecting the trip to cover all of this, it's also good to know where everyone's head is at in advance. Travel with friend - Vicky Cristina Barcelona 2
It's also important to be upfront about what your non-negotiables are. That means, what are the things you absolutely can’t miss? Is there a particular hike or museum on your bucket list that you definitely have to do? Be clear if this is an experience you're happy to do on your own or were hoping everyone would want to do. Better to work this out now than when you're in destination.

The best thing about travelling with friends is that they push you out of your comfort zone and encourage you to experience things you may not have done if you were travelling solo or with a partner. So be open to what they're hoping to do and don't be afraid to talk about what you would like to experience on the trip as well.

Travel with friend - Bridesmaids

Money

Yup, this is the big one: to avoid tension and drama, make sure you talk about money before you travel with friends. If you've booked your trip, then you already have an idea of how much your squad are happy to spend on travel and accommodation. However, when it comes to spending money in-destination, you might be surprised by how different your budgets are.

If your flights and hotels are already quite expensive, one of your friends might be hoping to save on spending money while another might be planning to live it up all holiday. A good way to gauge different people's budgets is to talk about restaurants. What does everyone think is a reasonable amount to pay for dinner? Also, how do you feel about splitting the bill at meals? It's much better to talk about this in advance rather than deciding on the spot when the first bill arrives. Travel with friend - Sideways
It's also important not to sweat the small stuff or be a penny pincher when you travel with friends, but you should make sure everyone is financially comfortable with the type of things you have planned on the trip. Talk about what you're each willing to splurge on and where would you rather cut corners. Is there anything expensive (such as glam meal or a scuba diving excursion) that anyone would rather opt out of?

Apps also make a huge difference when trying to share travel costs with friends. Splitwise is one of the most popular options for sorting out who owes what, but there are plenty of other apps that will do the work for you. At the end of the trip, you'll have a clear idea about who owes what so there's no need to worry about it.

Travel with friend - Girls Trip

Hookups

When you're travelling in a large group, hookups are less of an issue. It's probably assumed that some of your squad will disappear for the night with a new friend and reconnect with you all at some point the next day. But if it's just you and your BFF going on a holiday together, it's worth talking about how to approach these situations in advance.

Obviously, you both want each other to have fun but it can make a real difference to the trip if your friend is leaving you on your own most evenings. Talk about how you each feel about the other going off with someone for the night. What's your plan if one of you has to go back to the hotel alone? What time would you expect to hear from them by the next day? Travel with friends - Some Like It Hot

If a hook-up turns into a holiday romance, how would you both feel about this person joining your trip? Remember, this could make one of you feel like a third wheel, so it's important to talk through some boundaries in advance so that no one ends up feeling ditched or in the way. You can't plan for how romances and hookups will happen but you can work out how you will communicate about it.

Alone time

Are you travelling with friends for more than a few days? Then it's a good idea to factor in alone time somewhere. If you're travelling together for a few weeks (or months) then make sure you have an idea of how regularly you'd like this to happen. Every third day? Once a week? Whatever makes sense for you and your schedule.

Travel with friends - The Hangover

This is a great opportunity to maximise your differences. If you're a morning person but your BFF likes to chill in bed till noon, then perhaps your alone time is a daily thing. You can go on that morning walking tour while they are having a slow start and always meet up at lunch. Alternatively, you can spend an afternoon every few days exploring your different interests. Some of you can chill on the beach while others can hit that theme park they're excited about. This will make conversation at dinner more fun as you all share notes about your different adventures.

It's also good to be mindful of the different personality types in your group. Who are the introverts who might need a little extra alone time? Who are the extroverts who love hanging as a group constantly? Keep in mind that not everyone in your squad is the same and some of you may need to split off for some extra chill time occasionally.

Travel with friends - The Darjeeling Limited

Stress and communication

Travelling can be really stressful. Delayed flights, messed up bookings, buses that just never turn up, restaurants that can't seat everyone in your group. All of this can put an enormous strain on your friendships. By talking in advance about what type of traveller you are, how you deal with stress and how you communicate can really help everyone understand how to deal with difficult situations. If you haven't really travelled before, you may not know how to answer these questions but try to think about other situations that could be relevant, such as work or moving house.

Firstly, what type of traveller are you? Are you an anxious one who likes to arrive at the airport early or a risk-taker who'd rather glide in for the final boarding call? Do you like to plan everything out in advance or wing it? Do you need to navigate or are you happy for someone else to guide the way? Be honest about how you naturally handle situations and see where you can compromise and share responsibility for plans and directions.

Travel with friends - Eat Pray Love

Secondly, talk about how you'll approach communicating on your trip. It's important to be upfront about how you're feeling rather than letting things fester, so talk about how to approach this together. Addressing an issue (no matter how small) in a calm but awkward way is always WAY better than moody silence or an explosive argument.

Finally, try to avoid making too many important decisions or having any planning sessions when any or all of you are struggling with HALT (hungry, angry, lonely or tired). Trying to talk about anything when you're hangry is a sure-fire way to have an argument, so just focus on solving these problems first. Get some food, have a nap and call your partner at home. You'll all feel a million times better and be able to communicate way more effectively about your plans.

Want to take all the stress out of travelling with friends? Sail, party and chill with your own skipper and host on The Yacht Week.

Share this post