Tips for taking a trip with friends
Here are some tips to consider when planning a trip with your friends.
Plan in advance
The key to actually pulling of that trip you have been dreaming about is to give everyone involved enough time to plan and save. We all have different schedules and financial situations and the most challenging part usually is to get these in sync. Set a date a year in advance to give everyone enough time to save up some money as well as schedule leave with their employers.
Plan and present the trip
Talking about an overseas trip always excites people and everyone is usually game when the discussion comes up at a party, however it usually ends there. I have found that if you invite friends over for dinner or wine and you present an itinerary and budget to them it usually becomes a lot more serious and you will quickly identify those that are really interested. By presenting the budget you also give a realistic idea of what each person will have to save which they then to consider before committing.
Set a cut-off date
Set a date to buy your main overseas flight tickets. Anyone that is not fully committed will drop out at this stage which will save you lot of planning and booking hassles. Buy these tickets many months in advance to give everyone enough time to still save up for the trip. Once you have the tickets you can start paying for other things like accommodation, transport and activities on a monthly basis. Once you leave for the trip you’ll only require spending money and will not have any worries about sorting out group payments.
Set up a complete bucket list
Once you have your tickets confirmed, consider everyone going on the trip and what they would like to see and do. Draw up a bucket list with everyone’s wishes and work it into your itinerary. Begin with the main things most people want to do and work one or two individual activities in from each person’s wishlist. Remember that we all have different interests so it is important to make sure that everyone gets to do at least one thing they really wanted to. This is also a great way to introduce new experiences to other friends which makes the trip so much more enjoyable.
Make use of social media or other communication tools
This is a great way to keep everyone on the same page and to share information on everything surrounding the trip; not to mention the excitement it creates. Share some great links on the places you are planning to visit and what to expect. Discuss packing lists and document requirements. This is a great way to ensure that everyone is on the same page and properly prepared for the trip.
Plan alone time
If you are planning a longer trip, make sure that you set aside certain days where your friends will be able to spend some alone time. This is especially important if you have couples travelling with. Traveling together for a few weeks can become rather intense as you are in each other’s personal space every minute of the day. Taking some time out is a good idea to avoid any irritations from building up and also allows for some time to go and do something in a smaller group or even alone.
Count down parties
Counting down the days should be part of the excitement. Waiting more than a year for a trip can become very long and the actual holiday usually flies by. Extend the experience by hosting count down parties.
Pay everything you can ahead of time
Try and pay as much of the trip in advance. Money tends to be the first thing to become a frustration when traveling in groups. If everything is paid in advance it limits any uncomfortable situations between friends.
Set a daily budget
It is a good idea to set a daily budget for the group. This will allow the entire group to be able to do the same things, eat at the same places and go to all the sites and parties together. As you are travelling with friends you need to consider the group and cannot be the one living it up while the rest have to scrape by and vice versa.
Learn to go with the flow
Majority rules. Try not to become annoyed when things do not go according to plan or when the group decides to change the itinerary a bit. Go with the flow and you will have the time of your life. If the group suddenly decides to do something different which will effect an activity you had in mind, do not get irritated, rather find someone and go and do the activity on your own. The best experiences usually are the ones that are decided on on the last minute; so don’t be so set in doing what you planned to do that you end up missing out on a great experience.
Don’t have too many expectations
This one is difficult as the build up to the holiday creates a lot of expectations and ideas of what it is going to be like. Be prepared to find something different as chances are it won’t be exactly what you hoped it would be. Embrace whatever that is and it will probably be better than expected.
Don’t allow anything to spoil the fun
Do not allow anything to spoil any of the fun. Whenever there is some issue, just think of all the money, planning and time that went into the trip. Also keep in mind that this is not something you will get to do every day. It truly is a privilege to be able to travel with your fiends and will most definitely result in memories that will stay with you for the rest of your life.