Traveling with your best friend can be the highlight of your vacation. From picking hotels to actually arriving at the destination it give you both something to look forward to. My favorite travel memories include my friends, even if I’m without them I’ll catch myself wishing I had one of my bestie around to enjoy the moment.
Whether you are planning a weekend trip or an international vacation you want to make sure you pick the perfect travel buddy. Here are my top 5 tips to making it a successful best friends trip:
1. Scheduling Activities
Do you like having a detailed itinerary ready months prior to your trip or are you more of the go with the flow type? If it’s important to follow your checklist and see specific things then you probably don’t want to travel with your friend that prefers sleeping in and clubbing until 6 a.m. Sometimes you have specific friends for certain types of trips and that’s okay! It’s actually smart to know which of your friends are cut out for certain trips with you.
Think of the type of traveler you are and pick someone that has similar qualities. Personally, I’m not big into planning every detail of my trip, but I do have a small list of things I want to do. Taking pictures and eating are usually my main priorities so I invite my friends that enjoy the same things.
2. Patience is a Virtue
This should be a no-brainer, but you want to make sure you plan a trip with a friend that you can get along with for five or more consecutive days. We all have friends that get on our nerves after too much time together. Although they may be sweet as can be you might not want to invite them on your next cross country road trip. Good travelers are typically patient, flexible, and excited to explore.
3. You’re Ordering What?!
Now listen up because this might be the most important tip yet. Let’s imagine you are going on a trip to Tokyo and you are so excited to see the city and try authentic Japanese cuisine. As you are picking out your very first restaurant your friend informs you that she is actually a vegan, that hates Japanese food and oh, is allergic to gluten. Not that this has actually happened to me, but I would definitely be that friend you would never invite to an Asian country. I would eat Poptarts the entire time and return home 15 pounds lighter, not my ideal trip.
I specifically love trying new desserts when I travel and I will eat myself sick sampling every burger in town, but keep me away from anything Indian, Japanese, or Chinese. Make sure your travel buddy has the same tastes as your or is at least willing to try new things. My friend Jen was the perfect person to visit Chicago with because she wanted to try all of the same things I did.
4. Check your Baggage and your Friends
Don’t be that friend that makes everyone late to the airport and miss the flight. Nobody likes that person. This relates to traveling with someone that is flexible, but you want to make sure you are going with someone that can show up on time and knows how to navigate an airport. Since I fly standby there have been several times where friends fly with me, but they are not prepared for the adrenaline inducing game this is flying standby. Keep that in mind because you don’t want to give yourself a headache reminding your friend that security at LAX takes over an hour and yes, they will actually make you throw away your shampoo if it’s over 3 ounces.
5. Morton’s vs. McDonalds
Some trips are budget-friendly while others are not. You may not want to bring your bestie that is struggling to make rent if you are trying to ball out in New York City. I’ve done both kinds of trips and they are great in their own ways, but you want to know what to expect before leaving. If you are wanting to stay at the Ritz and eat at five-star restaurants for the weekend then do your thing. However make sure you bring a friend with a similar budget, otherwise you’ll be looking a little sad at that table for one. Try to calculate costs as much as possible beforehand including hotel, transportation, and any activities so you can both plan accordingly.
** The only place that I have found none of these rules apply is Vegas. You can mix a million different personalities, but everyone typically ends up having a good time. That’s just my experience, but feel free to comment below if you have something different to share!
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