I fancy myself a fairly experienced traveler, having traveled both domestically and internationally by myself or travel with others. You should know that my definition of traveling includes getting to know someplace new by experiencing and learning about that place’s culture and history, while simultaneously giving back to the community there. For me, traveling involves being conscientious, respectful, and open-minded.
Vacationing is a little different. Going on vacation serves as a respite from my regular life, and typically involves less time sightseeing and more time resting and relaxing. This is why I have found myself vacationing with groups of people and traveling alone. It’s easier to fit what I want to see and do into a trip when traveling by myself, whereas while on vacation, I’m more open to spending my time on group activities that might not fit my personal agenda.
It’s only been recently that I started traveling to new places with groups of friends and, to be honest, I have found it to be both a rewarding and challenging experience based on whom I decided to travel with. With that said, I’d like to share what I’ve learned from those experiences with you, so that you can get the most out of any future group trips should you decide to travel with others.
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1. How to Travel with Others
– Choose to travel with people that you know you can actually spend time with.
This seems like a no-brainer, but you would be surprised at how many people will go on a trip someplace with someone they dislike just because they want to explore a specific destination. However, if you’re traveling with people you don’t get along with, you run the risk of ruining your trip over trivial issues. I recommend planning a solo trip or finding a travel buddy you travel well with to check out the same destination at a later date if you don’t mesh with the people going on that initial group trip.
2. How to Travel with Others
– Determine whether or not you’re like-minded travelers.
Travel compatibility is a real thing. On top of actually enjoying spending time with the people you’re traveling with, you should also look into whether or not they have the same approach to traveling in general. For instance, are your friends more go-with-the-flow type people, or would they rather have a loose itinerary planned before you all get to your destination? Are they willing to pursue activities that may be off-the-beaten track or would they rather stick to the main tourist attractions? Understanding the group’s approach to experiencing a new area is a key part in determining whether or not you want to travel with them.
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3. How to Travel with Others
– Make sure the people you’re traveling with want to get the same things out of the trip.
This is very important. One common mistake people make when traveling with others is that the group has different expectations and desires for the type of trip they would like to have. Before agreeing to join a group trip, ask your friends what they want to get out of the trip. Do they want to leave the destination with a better understanding of the culture and history of the area? Do they want to spend their time going to spas during the day and partying at night? Find out their agenda and figure out whether or not it matches your own before you buy your plane ticket.
4. How to Travel with Others – Make sure you have the money conversation.
Talking about money can be uncomfortable, but it’s a definite must before traveling with others. Make sure you discuss exactly how much you’re willing and able to spend on accommodations, food, and activities to make sure that everyone is on the same page. There’s nothing more awkward than hanging back from participating in certain activities or eating out because your friends keep picking things to do and places to eat that are out of your price range.
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5. How to Travel with Others – Check that they respect your work commitments.
As a digital nomad, I have work responsibilities that do not stop when I travel. Therefore, it’s important that I choose to travel with people who understand when I need to hang back at the hostel or Airbnb for an hour or two to finish up a project for a client. If you have a similar work schedule, it’s important that you do the same. Traveling with people who respect you honoring your work commitments helps avoid any potential tension or negativity that may arise from you putting your work first.
Remember that traveling to a new destination can be an extremely rewarding experience, one that you’ve most likely spent a fair amount of money and time planning. It’s okay to be picky about choosing who you’d like to share that experience with. I hope this advice proves itself to be useful when you’re in the middle of making that important decision!
About the Traveler
Miya is a world traveler, digital nomad, and social justice advocate who currently works as a freelance editor. She believes in conscious travel and enjoys learning more about the local culture and history of every place she visits. You can follow her adventures on Instagram @buppieditbonsoir.