But, lets take a step back for a second. I’m going to be honest with you, sometimes traveling with a large group can be difficult, dealing with everyone’s competing opinions and desires. I’ve heard horror stories of friendships ending over fights had on vacation. Now those are obviously very extreme cases, and can be prevented. If done right group vacations can be amazing experiences that strengthen friendships and make memories that last a life time.
Be up front.
Be clear about everything. It is important that the group discusses their expectations about the trip. This can range from things like activities you want to do, sights you ‘must-see’ all the way to accommodation preferences and budgets. Disagreements over these things can make or break a trip, so its important to know them before any decisions are made so that you can plan around them. Extra planning might be necessary to accommodate the larger groups needs.
Plan some alone time
However, just because you are traveling as a group doesn’t mean you have to spend every waking moment together. If there is an activity you had your heart set on that the rest of the group didn’t fancy doing, that’s no problem. Go on your own. It could be as small as taking some time alone at the end of the day to read, meditate, take a walk on your own.
Plan to compromise. Be prepared for the fact that this trip will not be 100% exactly what you pictured. How could it be? That wouldn’t be fair to your fellow travel companions. But, who knows you may find that you truly enjoyed something, chosen by a friend, that you’d never even considered before.
Don’t sweat the small stuff.
Try to practice patience on the highest level on this trip. You will be spending more time with your friends and travel companions than you probably ever have and all that in tighter spaces and unpredictable conditions.
BUT don’t let the small stuff turn into bigger issues.
If you find that you can’t stop sweating the small stuff, then you need to have an open and honest conversation with that person or persons. Because if you let those things stew they could explode!
Don’t worry about splitting the costs.
Dealing with money while traveling in a group can be one of the most difficult parts, making sure everyone splits the cost evenly. Once again technology has made our lives easier. Using the SplitWise app, and you won’t have to even think about. Every time someone pays for the hostel bill, the rental car, a meal, an activity, anything, you just put it into the app and it will divide it for you. At the end of the trip you can see how much money you each owe and to whom.
Share the memories!
Once you follow all my wonderful advice (humble brag, much?) and have the adventure of your lives, don’t let the memories fade! Use the shared albums on iPhone, Dropbox or many of the numerous photo sharing apps so that everyone has access to the photos and videos take on the trip. We all know there is that one friend who never lets the phone/camera leave their hand – this is where that comes in handy!
Have you ever traveled in a group? What are you survival tips?