Fifty pairs of shoes, twenty-five new dresses, ten pieces of luggage, five carry-ons, numerous different interests, and one itinerary. It doesn’t matter if your newly minted friends or have known each other since the second grade, a lot of “a little” togetherness can cause big issues . It is best to put in the time, thought and effort into planning your trip, that will let you enjoy each other’s company and not drive everyone crazy.
Choosing your Companions: You are going to be spending a lot of time with these people, almost constantly. And getting some space can sometimes be difficult.
- Choose people you get along with
- Have similar budgets and interests.
Tipping you in the right direction: There is no magic number, but be mindful of the size group. Pick an even number of travelers versus an odd number. If the group decides to split up in pairs, someone is going to be the odd man out.
Getting to know you (know each other’s styles/routines): First thing is to ID your difference. Do you wake up at the crack of dawn or do you burn the midnight oil? Do you have a ritual that you must do? Do you have a special side of the bed you sleep on. TV on or off when going to bed? Understand each other’s difference so that they do not become issues on the trip.
Check your attitude at the door (knowing your fussy issues): Functioning as a unit will require some compromises. Don’t be selfish and set aside some of your wants and needs in exchange of sharing your friend(s) experience instead.
Also, know and understand your own needs and learn how to manage them. IE: I get grumpy when I don’t each. To manage this, keep a small snack in your purse until you are able to eat. This will make the experience more enjoyable for everyone, especially you!
Agree on a budget: Traveling together typically helps you save. Agree on a budget, how much money you’d like to spend is very important. If someone wants luxury while others are frugal, come to a happy medium beforehand will avoid conflict later. Resolve that everyone will stick to the budget too!
Choosing a Destination: If there’s anything along this planning process that you will need a solid consensus on, this is it!
Make sure everyone is involved in the planning process. You don’t want to go to the beach and someone is afraid of the water. And don’t pick a place that someone has been to many times and does not want to go back, you will feel like it’s a waste of money. Based on what you like to do, a few compromises and thinking outside of the box, pick a destination that everyone will love, have enough activities to do and that no one get bored.
Don’t overbook (planning itinerary): Everyone should do some leg work. Make suggestions for the group as a whole. Also, based on what they like to do and try to incorporate that in the trip. If you like going to the museum and the others are iffy about it, find out the cost, tour times and transportation. So when you bring along everyone else, they don’t have to worry about the logistics of this tour and might even enjoy themselves.
Very important: DON’T OVERBOOK!!! Plan time for optional tours or to just opt out. Make sure you add some down time just to relax and kick back without forcing others to give up their must-do activity.
Equal but separate (time apart): Don’t be afraid to branch out on your own. It won’t hurt to take a walk alone, enjoy your destination or just head separate ways for the afternoon.
Tipping you in the right direction: Though you have done research on your destination and I know you are women, we all hear you roar DO NOT GO OUT ALONE LATE AT NIGHT. The day time is completely different form the night. Some areas that look pristine during the day can be dangerous at night.
Pack separate bags: Nuff Said!
When in doubt, talk it out (likes, dislikes, do’s, don’ts, no controversial issues): Talk about them all. What really gets under your skin and what you absolutely enjoy. What you don’t mind, can compromise on and can’t absolutely live with/with out. This will allow others to treat you accordingly, especially if they did not know these things about you. Can find you have a lot more in common than you think and bring you closer too!
Check your financial accounts: Within a day or two of returning home, just all of your debit and credit accounts and bank statements. What you are checking for is double charges, any missing refunds, or spending that you did not authorize. Report any issues to your bank or credit card company immediately.
Detox (take care of your body): After over-indulging in bars and restaurants, different time zones, tours, transfers, the air up there, it takes its toll on your body. It’s not uncommon to get ill when you return home either. Drinks plenty of water to rehydrate your system. To flush out all of the heavy foods, eat fresh fruits, vegetable and salads. Most importantly, get plenty of sleep.
Tipping you in the right direction: Take an extra day off when you return from work to get some rest and readjusted to normal life again.
Share experience and photos: Have everyone from the trip with their photos and a few family and friends and share your experience. Tell of all of the funny stories. Share photos. Start a scrap book together and have everyone add a few with captions and make it into a coffee table book for all.
Newfound passion, take action (pictures, helping others, foodie, etc). A wonderful vacation often leaves travelers inspired. Maybe one of your excursions was scuba diving or you went to a museum and enjoyed the Renaissance period. Or you tried a new food for the first time and fell in love with it. You know have a newfound passion. Now take action! Don’t leave it in the French River! Expand on it, by getting certified in scuba, getting a yearly membership to the art museum or take a cooking class.
Get away from friends to stay friends (vacation from group, regroup, time alone)You’ve had a wonderful trip. Ten days with your best buds. There were a few hiccups along the way, but nothing major. As much as you adore these ladies, you need some time away from these ladies-“MeTime” and I am not talking about detoxing. It is always good to stop and reset your own mental battery. Sharing close space with others, but you also need some alone time with your three favorite people “Me, myself and I”.