Photo by Timon Studler on Unsplash
Going on holiday can be a cherished memory or an absolute disaster. One significant factor that can make or break a holiday is the people who go with you. You're probably thinking, 'Who better to go on holiday with than my friends?'
There are indeed plenty of advantages to travelling with friends - but there are also some crucial points to consider before jetting off with just anyone.
Travelling with a friend might sound like a no brainer. And in most cases, it is! There are so many advantages to travelling with friends, like good company and lower costs. Here are the top reasons it's a great idea:
It may be stating the obvious, but if you're close friends, you already love spending time together. Enjoying a travel buddy's company is an absolute must because you'll be spending a lot more time together than usual when you're on holiday. You can count on spending all, if not most, of the day together, especially if you're sharing a hotel room.
Not only will you be spending a lot of time together, but you'll also have completely new experiences together. If you're travelling alone, there's nobody else to share these new experiences with. The combination of spending time and having new adventures can bring friends even closer to each other and give you warm memories of each other that you'll always remember.
Friends often have similar likes and dislikes, which is one of the big advantages of going on holiday with friends. Nobody wants to spend their limited time and money during their holiday on things they don't want to do. Even family trips can be challenging if everyone wants to do different activities.
That's why having a travel buddy with a similar energy level, and the same idea of fun is essential to a pleasant holiday.
Some of the best travel memories are things or places that you happen upon spontaneously. Since you and your friend think alike, it is much more likely that you'll be able to play the trip by ear and discover authentic restaurants and new sites off the beaten path.
Generally, the more friends you bring along on holiday, the cheaper the trip is overall. A small group can split the cost of the perfect vacation home, while an individual would probably only be able to afford a generic hotel room.
Photo by Eunice Stahl on Unsplash
It's also cheaper to rent cars, buy groceries for epic meals, and purchase the supplies you need for your trip. Even if you're travelling with just one friend, you'll still see cost benefits.
If you're a woman (or LGBTQIA+ or a POC in some destinations), travelling with a friend can feel much safer. Especially if you plan to walk around at night or explore remote locations (such as hiking trails or quiet beaches), travelling in numbers is a proven way to appear less vulnerable.
Travelling in numbers can be especially beneficial if you're going to a foreign land where you don't speak the language or know the roads. The safer you feel, the more you will be able to let go of your inhibitions, relax, and enjoy.
Of course, there are some disadvantages to travelling with friends. Travelling can be stressful and tiring. Since we're not our best when we feel uneasy, a holiday with friends can quickly turn into a quarrel.
Travelling involves a lot of problem-solving, even before there are any hiccups. From booking the flight to charting the itinerary, planning the perfect holiday can be challenging, especially when travelling to a new destination.
You can imagine that the mood gets tense when something does go wrong, like lost baggage, missed turns, travel sickness, and other disasters. In tough times, we often start to blame each other, disagree, or get impatient. Undoubtedly, the blame game is not the kind of fun you're hoping for on holiday.
Another downside to travelling with friends is that you will have to spend most, if not all, your time with other people. For an extrovert, uninterrupted time with others sounds like paradise, but an introvert may feel differently.
For some, getting alone time is a valuable part of recharging. Having no alone time during your holiday can leave you more drained than before.
Finally, another disadvantage of travelling with friends is that you might change your mind last minute about how you'd like to spend your time. Are you feeling like you want to kick it by the pool instead of going on that all-day tour? It's harder to change your plans when your friend depends on you to go with them.
Whether your trip will be a flop depends on whether you choose the right friend. You can gracefully avoid many of the potential disadvantages of travelling with friends if you choose wisely.
One way to gauge travel compatibility is to consider your energy level against the friend you are considering. A high-energy friend will want to spend more time exploring a city, going on tours, staying out late, and meeting other travellers. A low-energy friend will want to spend time by the pool, in the spa, or taking a lot of naps.
Another thing to consider is how easy-going your friend is. A flexible friend will go with the flow when plans change and deal with problems calmly. If you're the type that tends to panic when things go wrong, you especially might want to consider bringing along something who will bring you back down to Earth.
Despite your best efforts to pick the right pal, things may go wrong. If your friend turns out to be a not-so-perfect companion on holiday, don't fret!
It is perfectly OK to tell your friend that you need some alone, or that you want to spend the day exploring something by yourself. If you approach your friend with kindness and promise them some quality time later, they're likely to take it well.
And if they don't take it well? Still take time for yourself. They might be mad, but you'll feel free and confident that you're taking full advantage of your holiday. A good friend will understand in time.
After some thought, maybe you've decided that travelling with friends isn't for you. Perhaps, you don't have friends that would mix well with you on holiday, or you prefer to experience travel differently.
An alternative to holidaying with friends is going alone. It may sound intimidating, but this type of travel is quickly gaining popularity as an empowering and satisfying way to holiday.
Not quite ready for going it alone? Consider travelling with family or going on a pre-organized retreat. With these tips in mind, you're able to make a better decision for a stress-free holiday.