While we’re big fans of solo travel here on Her Packing List, there are plenty of times that you’ll find yourself traveling with friends. I’ve traveled with friends, with family, and alone; each brings a different perspective.
If your friends are willing to travel with you, there are a few things you should know before purchasing tickets and setting off on your great adventure to keep everything running smoothly. The last thing you want is to have a fight with a friend while overseas and be stuck with them (or worse, stop being friends).
Plan ahead, taking your personalities into consideration
What types of things are you both interested in seeing? Is one of you an early riser and the other a night owl? Does one prefer museums while the other likes seeking out street food? Does one prefer hotels while the other prefers hostels? Is one of you very type A and organized while the other prefers to “go with the flow?” Things that may not bother you back home can be exacerbated while traveling constantly. Discuss the details in advance to save your friendship.
We’re serious about that last bit.
Set the budget
The biggest source of conflict for me is usually money, mostly because I rarely have any. Talk about money well beforehand so you both have time to save enough and have a workable travel budget. If you’ll be driving, throw in equal amounts of gas money before leaving. If one of you is interested in more expensive activities, make sure you discuss it in advance so there isn’t any resentment.
Give each other alone time
Set aside an hour or so every day for quiet alone time, whether it be spending time in a cafe or just sitting in the hostel common room reading a book and responding to emails. You don’t have to spend every waking minute together, and you shouldn’t feel guilty about it. As long as you’re both okay with it, you can go your separate ways for the afternoon.
Have a system for meeting back up
But with that said, never leave a buddy behind, especially while traveling. If split up for the afternoon, set a specific time and place to meet again and a contingency plan for if you don’t meet up within a certain time frame. This plan is especially useful if you’re not traveling with a cell phone. Having a plan to meet up can keep you safe.
>> Check out our post on packing for your safety.
Open up your group
It doesn’t just have to be the two (or more) of you. Make yourself approachable to meeting new people, which is one of the best aspects of travel. Hanging out with fellow travelers can take some of the strain off of traveling with one person and can liven up the conversations.
Adapt when necessary
Your plans don’t have to be set in stone. If you’re not having fun in Paris, move on to Nice. Talk it out and change accordingly. This is your trip, so do what you’re going to enjoy.
>> Read through the Female Travel Manifesto for further inspiration on doing what you enjoy.
And lastly, remember to have fun!