While solo travel sure has its perks, I think it’s easy to fall into a “me, me, me” mindset if you’re not careful. I’ve been thinking more about the beauties of solo travel and how traveling on my own has shaped me as a person. Although traveling by yourself can be challenging, so is traveling with others.
As I travel on my own, my days and travel plans are for the most part all up to me. Work commitments, weather, and budgeting are really the only other factors I need to take into account. Generally speaking, most of my extensive travel has been alone, but I’ll be traveling with others very soon, which is why I wanted to write this blog today: How to travel with others.
I’m happy to report that I have family traveling from the states to meet up with me in Ireland next week. While I’m truly looking forward to this, I’ve also realized that it requires a mindset shift. While solo travel requires a particular skill set, so does traveling with others.
Whether you’re traveling with family, friends, partners, or possibly people you’ve just met – it can be a challenge at times. While I don’t claim to be an expert on traveling with others, here’s a few tips I have picked up during a few trips when I’ve traveled with others, in addition to some research I’ve done as well.
So with that, let’s dive into How to Travel with Others
Make a Plan
It’s good to plan a rough framework as to what the trip is going to look like. Where do you want to go? What do you want to see? Are there any musts you can’t miss out on? Having an outline of the trip helps to get everyone on the same page. Mind you, it might not be necessary to plan out everyday and every hour of your trip, but having a general idea of the overall trip is a great place to start.
Talk About Budgets
Money isn’t always the most enjoyable topic of conversation, but it’ll help to talk about money prior to traveling. If your budget doesn’t roughing align with your travel buddies, that potentially could cause problems. One person might want to spend a ton of money on big activities like skydiving, while the other person can’t afford to do that. Same goes for accommodation, as one person might only want to stay in hostels and the other needs a 5 star resort. Talk about how much you’re willing to spend on accommodation, transport, and food, which will help iron out the details before you hit the road.
Being flexible is important whether you’re traveling alone or with others. Keep in mind that although you’ve made a plan for your trip, things don’t always go as expected. The weather could be terrible, which means going on that walking tour just isn’t going to happen. I’ve had days when I’d planned to visit museums, but the weather was so good that it seemed like a crime to be inside! Instead of admiring paintings, I ended up in a park instead. You’re bound to get flat tires, miss trains, or possibly get sick on the road which is OK. Just be flexible and go with the flow.
Something not going well during the trip? Well gosh darn it, speak up. People can’t always read your mind or body language, so be sure to communicate. While trying to be a good communicator is easier said that done, make an effort to vocalize your thoughts and needs when they arise.
Find Some Alone Time
No matter how much you love or like the people you’re traveling with, you’re going to need some alone time. There’s plenty of research showing the benefits of alone time, so don’t feel bad for needing to take a break. It might not be necessary to spend an entire day alone to recharge though, as 20 minutes to an hour might be enough. Go get a cup of coffee on your own, take a walk, or visit a museum on your own. I’m willing to bet your travel buddy probably wouldn’t mind some alone time too!
Remember It’s Not All About You
You might not get to do all of the things you wanted to do when you travel with others and that’s ok. The nice thing about traveling with others means you’ll probably get to experience things you would have missed when traveling alone. Find a way to make compromises so that everyone can enjoy the trip, because at the end of the day it’s really about spending time with each other and experiencing new adventures together.
Be Grateful for Others
Take some time to step back and be grateful for the opportunity to travel with others. More than likely people are taking time away from work or their lives at home to spend time with you. Flights have been purchased and plans have been made to make the trip happen with each other, so be grateful for that.
When I think about a lot of the trips I’ve had with other people, I now realize how lucky we all were to have found that time together. I was able to take a cross country road trip with a good friend from college a few years back and now realize how special that trip really was. A moderately cheesy, yet true statement!
I sure hope these tips might be useful to your future travels as you set out on the road. Please do share in the comments for other tips when traveling with others, as I know I’ve most likely missed some. I look forward to sharing my adventures as I head out on a family road trip through beautiful Ireland, while putting my own advice to good use!
Written in: Clane, Country Kildare, Republic of Ireland