How to Travel With Friends and Avoid the Drama

You know that friend you like so much? The one with all those wonderful, enduring little eccentricities? Going on a trip with them might sound exciting! But is it worth the risk? Since you’ve spent inordinate amounts of time together and never had an argument before, what could possibly go wrong if you were to travel with friends? Well, all that one-on-one time could stretch your relationship in ways you might not expect. You might begin to see those “wonderful, enduring little eccentricities” as annoying quirks. So, the question then becomes… 

Is traveling with friends a good idea?

Traveling with friends can lead to some of the most incredible memories in your life, but it also comes with relational risks. Here are five things to remember if you want to travel successfully with friends.

Top 5 Ways to Travel With Friends and Stay Friends

blue circle with white number 1 in middle Travel With Friends You Know Well

When you’re hangry at midnight after a 5-hour flight, and the hotel claims you don’t have a reservation… you probably don’t want an acquaintance to see that side of you. It’s better to leave your adventurous choices for the itinerary and keep your choice of travel partners conservative. Because when you travel with a great friend, you’ll often share higher levels of understanding and empathy for each other. This can often save your friendship and help smooth any bumps in your travels together. Likewise, traveling with a new romantic partner is usually not a good idea. Traveling with them often creates far more pressure than most new relationships can handle. Check out this thoughtful article by World Packers to determine who your travel partner should be.

blue circle with white number 2 in the middle Communicate Your Expectations

There are two basic types of travelers: those who like to see everything and those who want to unwind. These two types can be like oil and water on vacation. Other times, they can be like salt and pepper to enrich the travel experience.

The important thing is communication. If you like to lounge by the poolside in Mexico and spend your vacation drinking beverages with tiny umbrellas in them, that’s great. Just let your travel partner know ahead of time. And make sure to ask how your friend likes to travel. 

If your friend likes to travel differently than you, it can be an excellent opportunity to get out of your comfort zone. See what the destination has to offer. That’s not to say you need to be on the go 24/7, but there’s a happy medium to find. Finding that sweet spot between constant movement and pure relaxation when traveling with friends is possible. 

cool guy driving a convertible car with his friends at sunset

blue circle with the white number 3 in the middle Align Your Budgets

What one person may consider affordable, the other may think is a ton of money. You and your travel buddy must discuss your financial expectations well before embarking. You might even consider making a travel budget together. This will help make your overall travel experience smoother, and you may even save a few dollars. 

Taking a vacation is such a worthwhile investment. Some of the priciest items are often your flight and hotel. Thankfully, you can protect those items with travel insurance. So once you make your first trip payment, don’t forget to protect them in case something unexpected comes up before your departure. You can get a free, instant quote for your trip below.

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Pro Tip: Calculating your total trip cost ahead of time could help you better manage your expenses while you travel with friends. We call that a financial win!

blue circle with the white number 4 in the middle Abide By The Golden Rule

You’ll have a better trip if you try to be aware of your friend’s moods, wishes, and needs while traveling. Do they seem tired? Maybe you don’t have to go to that late-night club tonight. Do they seem hungry? Perhaps you can arrive late to the game and stop for a quick bite beforehand. 

Also, it’s important you both enjoy the itinerary. You don’t want to dominate the entire trip with only things you want to do. Make sure you’re doing things your friend wants to do, too, even if it’s not your jam. For example, if your travel buddy is a morning person, consider whether or not you should constantly pressure them into staying out late every night. Or, if you’re traveling with a friend who has travel anxiety or a food allergy, it’s kind to consider those and support their needs along the way.

blue circle with the white number 5 in the middle Spend Time Apart

This one might surprise you, but it can be essential to travel successfully with friends. Even though you’re traveling together, there’s nothing wrong with spending some time apart. This is even true for travelers who are romantically involved. People sometimes feel that because they’re vacationing together, they must spend every waking moment with one another. You don’t!

Sometimes, you can’t compromise on itinerary items, and that’s okay. If one person wants to see the best spots for foodies and the other friend wants to visit a museum, that’s fine. Separating for a few hours can enrich your entire trip. It allows you to share your unique experiences and have new things to talk about when you meet up afterward. 

Now that you know how to travel with friends and stay friends, it’s time to plan your next adventure! You can find your travel style and share the link with your travel buddy to maximize your vacation together.

Skylar, a seasoned content writer with over seven years of experience, possesses a deep understanding of the travel and travel insurance industries. Her commitment to authenticity infuses her work with a unique perspective, drawing from three years of dedicated writing in the travel and travel insurance sectors. Skylar's expertise is further enriched by her proactive approach to seeking insights from industry professionals, ensuring that her findings are comprehensive and reliable.

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