Some of my most exquisitely exciting, ridiculous and truthfully shocking travel stories and experiences are ones that were born out of a fair-dinkum best-friends-forever holiday trip. Traveling with your closest friends can be the best of times… but if you’re not careful it can be the worst of times.
How to travel the world with your best friends.
I am lucky enough to announce that no trip of mine has been the result of an end in friendship, but I know that many cannot say the same thing. While traveling across the world to a beautiful destination, exploring cities and eating many a delicious gelato does delightfully tension free… you may need a reality check in the form of a slap in the face hug combo.
You are going on holiday! Traveling the world! You have saved all of your money working at a supermarket, café, part-time children’s party fairy while at the same time studying a full university load. You wanna make sure those pennies are spent on pure pleasure. Not angst, tears or swearing loudly at one another in front of the hot, but rude Parisian waiter. No! Not happening! Not you.
You are going to have a blast, you are going to maintain your friendship and YOU. WILL. HAVE. FUN. Even if it kills you. With happiness.
Here are my DO’s and DON’T’s of planning a trip with your besties. May the holiday of a lifetime, be with you.
An important factor to consider is: each other. It is almost impossible to find someone that wants to travel to the same place as you… at the same time. Celebrate! Now you are locked in- the planning begins. Make sure everyone is considered in this process. I have the problem of being the most intense planner on the planet- so my friends often have to reign me in with the whole ‘we are also attending this holiday’ thing. Truth. So, get everyone’s ideas in a big pool at the beginning and make a time (over cake, duh) to look at what you can logistically do. ALWAYS you won’t have time to do everything. Move towards the whole enjoying your holiday psyche that so many of us dream of/forget about. Rushing is for fools.
Talk about money before you go
Talking about money can get awkward. Don’t wait until you are confronted with dwindling bank accounts and hefty pastry bills to freak out/have the hard conversation. Do it before, save the confusion. Know what you are all expecting to spend daily, what kind of accommodation styles you are comfortable with and the type of restaurant/food givers you are down with. I’m a rough and rougher traveler that loves the hostel, couch surfing, street food style of travel. Luckily, so are my friends. Make sure you either match with travel buddies with the same travel ideology, or accept that you are going to have to meet half way.
Make solo time
Yes you love your best friend. Yes she is wonderful. But traveling together can be equivalent to sitting on each others’ laps all day long in a sweaty Polish sauna. You go to bed- they’re there. You wake up- boom- they’re there yelling at you for sleeping past the alarm and missing the only train out of Aix en Provence for the next 28 hours. Holidays and epic travels can cause troubles a plenty, but if you give each other space these disasters can be funny tales and not a bitterly ended relationship over someone making a petty/silly holiday mix up.
Check: party or chill
Expectations. Similar to that of the money issue, you need to discuss what kind of vibe this holiday will be. Is your travel buddy down to get dog-dirty in a club in Madrid surrounded with platforms of leather chapped naked Spanish men, or are they looking to paint the sunrise and laugh over a glass of wine at 6pm every night? Neither is better or worse, but I must say that the sight of these chaps is burned into my retinas… in a good way. Either you will want to do the same things at the same time or you shall make a split every once in a while to satisfy those chaps/sunrise needs when they call.
Force someone to live out of budget
Very similar to the idea above regarding the money chat. You MUST respect the budget of your fellow travelers. Think of the saying about hikers- we walk only as fast as the slowest of our group. I had a friend that went on a holiday to Spain with a few mates that had triple the spending money as her. They ended up paying for fancy meals for her, resenting this and then fighting about it. If you want and can afford fancy meals all day long, this is wonderful. But make sure you aren’t ruining your trip/friendship by causing uncomfortable situations in which the poorer of the group must either sit out or cough up their budget for the day on a bowl of paella.
Leave them alone
If you are like me, then your travels with your besties are where the most scungey and revoltingly wonderful of your party stories eventuated. One of the biggest concerns between us is always- ALWAYS- to look after each other. You could be on a beach in Ibiza having the best time ever and the reality is that that situation can turn dangerous at any given time. You want to know that in your heart of hearts, you made every effort to prioritize your mates safety. Fun x safety= sexxxxy.
Sweat the small stuff
There is always some little thing that bugs your eyes out of your head. Losing your wallet, passport, and all credit cards in the one day on a Japanese nightclub dance floor. Hangovers galore. Accidental inside friend’s bag vomit. Whatever. The best medicine is: apologize swiftly and sincerely. Don’t waste time doing the whole cold shoulder thing. It’s SO boring and ruins the whole holiday vibe. Fuck pride and our huge heads. Say you love each other. Hug! Hugging sends I-forgive-you messages of smiley emoticons.
Plan the overall idea. Don’t plan minute to minute. You are going to stumble upon hilariously surprising gems in the middle of nowhere and they will be your absolute favorite stories from your trip. Don’t deprive yourself of spontaneity. Your trip is an adventure and an opportunity to get lost, have disasters and time to wind down from it all while lying on a Spanish beach cerveza(s) in hand.
Travel the world, y’all! Are you a besties traveler or a solo dude? Let us know your travel tips, and share your experiences!