Tips for Traveling with Friends

items to share with a travel partner

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!

Do you have any advice for traveling with friends?

Written by Caroline

Caroline Eubanks is a native of Atlanta, Georgia, but has also called Charleston, South Carolina and Sydney, Australia home. After college graduation and a series of useless part-time jobs, she went to Australia for a working holiday. In that time, she worked as a bartender, bungee jumped, scuba dived, pet kangaroos, held koalas and drank hundreds of cups of tea. You can find Caroline at Caroline in the City.

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Gear We Use

Organization

Packing Cubes – Organize your luggage with the lightweight, durable and compressible Eagle Creek Pack-It Specter Compression Cubes.


Backpacks + Daypacks

Pacsafe – Since they come with extra theft-resisting features, Pacsafe bags make you a more confident traveler. We especially love this bag.

Sea to Summit – Of all the Sea to Summit products, our most recommended is the fits-in-your-palm, super packable Ultra-Sil Daypack.


Personal Care

Nalgene Toiletry Bottles – These leak-free toiletry bottles and tubs come in all sizes – even super tiny, helping minimalists pack it all without bulk.

Turkish Towels – They’re thinner than most travel towels, and they actually cover your body! We can’t get enough of Turkish towels for travel.


Clothing

Speakeasy Supply Co. – They make the awesome hidden pocket infinity scarves that are perfect for stashing secret cash, lip balms, and passports.

Anatomie – Anatomie travel pants come with luxury prices, but they offer many benefits for travelers. See our review of the famous Skyler pants.

Travel Resources

Booking Airfare

Dollar Flight Club – Get flight deal alerts for your preferred departure airport. There is both a free and premium version (recommended for more sweet deals). Members save on average $500 USD per flight!

Skyscanner – Skyscanner is our preferred site for searching flights. They offer unbiased search results and are free from hidden fees. You can also book your hotels and rental cars.


Accommodation

Airbnb – Airbnb is the best place to book out apartments around the world. Sign up using this link to get $37 USD off your first stay booking + $14 USD towards an experience booking!

Booking.com – Search for hotels, hostels, and apartments using this one resource. Use it for flights, car rentals, and airport taxis as well.

Hostelworld – For hostels, Hostelworld remains our number one source for booking stays. Choose from straight up hostels, budget hotels and bed and breakfasts.

Trusted Housesitters – Save money on travel accommodation by becoming a housesitter. Housesitters often have extra duties, like caring for pets and gardens.

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Michelle says

    I wish I didn’t have to learn this the hard way! Great tips, Caroline! I will be sure to keep them in mind!

  2. Charli | Wanderlusters says

    The alone time tip is sooooo important. Whoever you’re traveling with personal space can be a life saver when it comes to petty arguments. Love the meeting back up plan, never leave a gal alone in the field!

  3. Roxanne says

    Having a break from friend that you traveling with can help if there is tension of being together constantly if that not normal for your friendship. If you have limited amount of time, planning the “not to be missed” attractions can be helpful, rather than throwing out ideas of places you rather not see. It will allow you to focus on what’s important to you.

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