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You and your friends have been talking about a group trip.  Should you do it?  Travel with friends is totally different from hanging out on the weekend.  What should you consider when thinking about traveling with friends?  Just because ’we are good friends’ does not mean you should be travel companions.  It could be the difference between making great memories and ending a friendship.  Check out the top 5 things to consider before booking travel with friends:

 

1.  Travel Mode 
What is their traveling preference?  Do your friends want to fly first class?  Are they extreme with trying to save, so much so that they want to take a flight with 4 layovers just to save $50?  Do they want to take a plane, then a train to save money?  There is nothing wrong with any of the above scenarios.  It’s good to know going in, so that if your preferences do not line up, you can meet in the middle.  You can also make your own transportation plans, with all parties meeting up at the destination on the same day. 

2.  Accommodations
Where do people want to stay?  Is everyone cool with staying at a 5-star hotel, an AirBnB, or somewhere in between.  Discuss expectations as you search for somewhere to stay.  It’s not a must that you all stay at the same place if no one can agree.  However, try to stay as close to each other as possible, as that will make it easier meeting up to begin the day or an activity.  The point of the trip is to have fun with whole group, where possible.

3.  Budget
This is a personal preference that you don’t have to compromise on.  However, be aware that everyone may not share your budget tier.  Some may be super tight with the wallet, where they only want to participate in free experiences (I love freebies) and others are open to a combination of free, lost cost and ‘extravagant’ options.  If your plan is to only hang out at the hotel or beach, there is nothing wrong with that.  Just let the group know ahead of time, so that there are no expectations of your participation outside of that.  If you change your mind along the way, no big deal.

4.  Exploration
Do you have similar interests as far as activities?  Some people like to line up excursions for each day.  You may want to just hang out at the hotel pool or the beach everyday.  Everyone should discuss the things they like to do before travel, so that there are no hard feeling for being ‘left behind’ as you get your suntan on.  The group could also decide to go about their day, but commit to meeting up with everyone for dinner and dancing in the evening.  

When it comes to eating, some may want the ‘fine dining’ experience and others more fast food or casual environments.  Do some research to get recommendations of popular spots (tourist and hidden gems).  I am sure there will be more than enough places to dine to satisfy everyone’s taste and budget.  Try attending a ‘fancy’ restaurant one evening, but other nights, hit a spot recommended by the locals.  The latter may actually be a more enjoyable group experience and provide an authentic slice of the destination’s culture.

 

5.  Disposition
Out of everything, this is the most import category when deciding who is your travel companion.  Is your friend a Debby Downer, always finding ways to complain about any and everything?  ‘It’s too hot, it’s too cold, who picked this place, I’m not paying for that!’  Or is he the person who is super loud and can’t hold his liquor, always causing a scene?  If this is the case, you should definitely pass on traveling with this friend!

 

Group travel doesn’t have to be stressful or a disaster.  Communication is the key.  Set expectations ahead of time on what things you like and what type of traveler you are.  Keep in mind that this is a vacation and people can even decide to change their mind on anything once there.  Try to be open, while staying true to who you are.  The ultimate goal is to relax with friends and enjoy making memories!