Travelling with a friend for the first time? Here's what you need to know

Travelling with a friend for the first time? Here’s what you need to know

Travelling with a friend may seem like a great idea, but can you actually cope with it? After all, it isn’t all rainbows and sunshine! Here are our tips for travelling with a friend for the first time to help you enjoy your holiday and stay friends. You’ll need them, trust us!

1. Ensure that you are compatible

Yes, you may well be compatible as friends, but being compatible as travel buddies is an entirely different story. Before you start to plan anything, you need to be sure that the two of you have the same ideas about travelling. First and foremost, do the two of you view your theoretical trip in the same way? Travelling can be great, but if one of you is viewing it as a relaxing vacation and the other one wants a party holiday, that might cause a clash!

Likewise, do you both have similar interests? As whilst you don’t have to be alike to be friends, you generally do as travel companions. Of course, you can do some things separately, but if you don’t want to do anything together then there isn’t much point in going on holiday together!

Finally, it is important that you know that the two of you can spend prolonged periods of time with one another. This is important for obvious reasons, and it is often something people don’t consider when they travel together – after all, they’re friends, so of course, they get on!

2. Discuss your daily routines

We’ve all had friends whose routines don’t match ours, whether that’s because you’re a night owl and your friends were all early birds or vice versa. Normally, this isn’t a huge issue as you just work around it when you’re all sleeping. But if you’re planning on travelling together, suddenly your routines affect one another much more. You need to make sure you can come to a compromise if your routines are different, or ideally, travel with someone whose routine is relatively similar to yours.

You don’t want to be waking up at 7 am each day only to wait around in the hostel or hotel ’til 11 am when your friend slowly wakes up. You want to both be able to make the most of your time travelling!

travelling with friends

3. Decide what you want for your travels

Before you go, both of you should come up with some ideas of what you definitely want to do whilst you’re travelling. Almost like you’re creating goals for your travels. These goals might be things like:

  • Want to try local cuisine
  • Want to visit X
  • Want to enjoy the local culture
  • Want to find and buy some local market produce

That way you can shape your holiday around all of your goals and ensure that everyone’s goals get met.

4. Let’s talk budgets

Not everybody has the same idea of budgets when it comes to travelling. Some people are happy to slum it in a hostel and others demand a Hilton regardless of where they’re going. Therefore, it is important that you have this conversation before you go, and ideally before you begin to plan your travels. Prior to having this conversation, it’s important to look at your own budget. Try to decide roughly how much you can spare to spend on travelling so that you have your boundaries set before going into the conversation.

When chatting, it is important to discuss the kind of needs you both have (dietary, disability, comforts.) That way, you can find travel and accommodation to fit those, as well as the kinds of things you want to do whilst there and what is going to cost money in that way. It is especially important that you tell each other your rough budget before you begin to plan so that all the planning can be done with that in mind.

You should also plan out when to book the essentials like flights and accommodation so that you know roughly when you can begin to book it before you go. You should also plan whether or not to equally split all the costs or whether to take turns, and whether it is worth setting up a shared fund for the holiday, i.e a Monzo pot. Check out some of the cheapest places you can fly to from the UK here. 

5. Come up with a basic itinerary

It is very useful when travelling – especially if you’re travelling with friends or if you’re not travelling for very long. Coming up with an itinerary makes sure that you don’t waste any of your time! Make sure your itinerary is an even split between the two of you and everything that you want to do, otherwise it isn’t fair. Your itinerary doesn’t have to schedule your day down to the minute, but allocating a rough day for each thing you’d like to do will help you to plan out your travels, preventing any arguments.

travelling with friends

6. Ensure you get much-needed alone time

Whilst travelling together is great fun, sometimes you will just want to spend some time alone. You need to make sure there is room in your itinerary for this, as otherwise, you might find that you get very snappy and fed up with one another. Which is not what you want! Plan in some time, even if it’s just for a trip to the local shop, a dip in the pool or some time in your own room, to have to yourself. You’ll need it!

7. Be prepared to learn new things about one another

Just like moving in with a significant other, travelling with a friend will inevitably mean that you learn new – and possibly disgusting – things about one another. If you’re not prepared to see your friends in a new light then you need to reconsider whether or not you want to travel with them. Being around somebody for extended periods of time means that you get to see them behave how they would day-to-day, and some people have some weird and grotesque habits (we’re talking biting their toenails weird!).

travelling without parents

8. Accept that you will probably argue

When you spend a lot of time with someone, you’re bound to argue at some point. You’ll get tired, hangry, frustrated or stressed and one of you will snap. Or, they’ll leave the toilet seat up and you’ll fall into the toilet water, they’ll leave pubes around the shower and you’ll be grossed out – rightfully so!

9. Be as flexible as possible

Whilst it is your travelling trip as well as theirs, you should both aim to be as flexible as possible. If your friend is feeling under the weather on the day you had planned to hike Kilimanjaro, maybe reschedule, for example. Or even if it’s something smaller like you slept poorly one night and were due to get an early start, ask if they’d mind pushing the day’s activities back by a couple of hours or so.

travelling with friends

10. Communication is key

Ultimately, the most important thing is making sure that you both communicate with one another. From the second you start talking about travelling together to the second you land back home, you both need to be completely open and honest. If your friend is struggling to save up in time, they should communicate that to you so that you can both work out a solution – even if that solution involves pushing the travelling back by a month. If you’d like to change the hotel because you’re not a fan of the destination, you need to be honest about it rather than letting it build up into resentment.

So, now you’re fully prepared for that first trip away with your friend! Not sure where to go? Check out our top picks for girls’ holiday destinations. 

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