Traveling with friends • Is that drama on the road?

Traveling with Friends Abroad
Musings from group travel abroad

It doesn’t matter how long you’ve known your friends when it comes to traveling on the road for any period of time even the most intimate relationships can be tested.

As a solo female traveler (and only child) I typically travel with flexibility in my itinerary to do whatever floats my boat. This doesn’t always fly when you’re traveling in a group as people often get caught up in their feelings. So, to avoid that I make sure to communicate my travel style, preferences, and trip priorities up front when going on the road with others while also being open to their ideas.

So, imagine my surprise after a group trip where everyone returned home acting funny! In fact, no one has spoken since. It’s rather unfortunate given some of us have been friends for nearly a decade. I can’t put my finger on what happened exactly but I have some ideas and tips to help you get ahead of potential drama on the road when traveling with friends and/or groups.

be flexible

I’m down for a lot of things but some stuff I’m just not interested in. Doesn’t mean you shouldn’t carry on as you wish. Traveling with friends really doesn’t have to be a struggle. Everyone in the group should be able to see and do what they want, when they want. If joint activities are planned, great. If not, that’s great too.

My biggest irritation when traveling as a group is inflexible travelers who do not want to break away from the group and take issue when someone wants to partake in a different activity. Everyone is not going to be compatible and that’s okay.

give each other space

Being in close proximity to folks day after day and night after night can result in problems. That’s why I always book my own room. I really don’t have time to tip toe around someone and their baggage not to mention snoring, farting, talking crazy in their sleep, blasting the television and/or radio while sleeping, etc. Nor do you need to feel some kind of way about me sleeping in the nude! And let’s be honest, a lot of folks like to hook-up on travel trips with random men and women so that’s all the more reason to get your own room and give each other some space. Plus, who wants to hear someone having sex all night (especially if your bed is empty) or feel like safety is being jeopardized by the stranger in your bed.

what had happened was…

Some folks have issues being spontaneous. If you don’t enjoy the company of your friends, on a daily basis, don’t travel with them. People act very different in various scenarios. For example, when a person lives an alternative or promiscuous lifestyle in private but portray themselves another way in public and said lifestyle is exposed during the trip…drama! Being cooped up with someone on the road often reveals the true character of so-called friends so keep this in mind when planning that trip.

Then you have those who act brand new when the wheels go up. Either they don’t know you or you don’t know them.

Be yourself.

If you can’t be true to self on the road with your travel buddies, travel solo. We’re all grown here, no judgment zone. Seriously, if you’re about THAT life, be about THAT life!

split up

So, you’ve communicated your travel plans and agreed on excursions and activities before arriving. Now, you’ve arrived at your destination and you want to do some other stuff. So what! Keep enough flexibility in your schedule and attitude that these simple things don’t matter. And, if all else fails, split the heck up. No need to be joined at the hip.

I can’t say this enough, split up.

Looking back I actually think this was the biggest problem disconnect on the trip. Certain individuals were in their feelings every time I went in a different direction (which wasn’t often) but when you’re a vegetarian and the rest of the group wants to dine at the pork shack, you should know (and expect) that I’m going the other way. This was the main source of resentment I felt coming from the travel group. You had some folks on diets who elected not to eat, others who were frugal and didn’t want to buy food, those who ate all day and could care less about you, and others who were afraid to venture out. Regardless, folks have different preferences that simply need to be respected.

agree to disagree

Everyone doesn’t want to deep dive inside a mud volcano, screw every thing that moves, or get wasted with no recollection of what happened the night before.

How do you keep the peace traveling with friends or travel groups?

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