Travelling in groups can be a pain. I love my peace and quiet, and I have always gravitated towards solo holidays or travelling in tiny groups of three or four. But a few years back, I’ve become a part of this giant group of seven, my fabulous group of gorgeous ladies who I love to bits, and who like to drag me out to parties, and holidays I can’t help but marvel at – because none of the destinations we went to were even remotely on my radar before I met them.
Of course, compromise is a b*tch. You might not be able to visit some of the places that’s on your list, and that can be a blow especially when the destination is expensive enough that you had to plan it for months in advance. On the other hand, travelling with your friends might mean catching them in compromising situations that will bring you laughter for years to come. I know I have blackmail fodder enough for a lifetime. I would love to share some photos, but I need to keep them for when I really need something!
One of the things I learnt with my friends is the fact that even the best of friendships mean nothing in the face of spending 24 hours a day with someone. I’ve had friends I had to avoid for a while after a bad holiday, but I’ve also gotten closer to people after an amazing one. Once you fall into a group that you can negotiate with to accommodate each other’s wants and needs, and still somehow manage to have legendary fun times with – you need to hold on tight.
Over the years my friends and I have managed to develop a system that works for us. For instance I need more sleep than my friends, but I take less time getting ready. That means I get to shower last while my friends who need more time to get ready, get shoved in the shower first. That’s just one example of how we’ve managed to hop across countries together, without anyone getting murdered. And really, some of these are just common sense!
- GO IN WITH YOUR EYES WIDE OPEN
If you’re travelling with friends, you already know a sliver of what to expect from them. But… and I’m saying this in the nicest possible way – you need to manage your expectations. You won’t be able to do everything you want. If you want people to listen to you then you need to listen to people too! And that might mean sacrificing some things. Which is why you need to…
- PLAN AS MUCH AS YOU CAN AHEAD OF TIME
Get a group chat going and list out the minutia of the trip. Places to see, people to meet, shows to catch… basically, everything you can think of! If you’re super organized, get an itinerary going so everyone has an idea of what’s coming up on the holiday. Fight about the places you’ll be staying at, and the modes of transport you’ll take. Believe me, the more things you have already agreed on pre-trip, the smoother the actual trip will go!
- COMPROMISE’ IS A BEAUTIFUL WORD
List out your priorities for the trip, things that you as an individual have to do, and things you want to do. Put them in order of importance and negotiate with your group. When travelling with a group, you also need to figure out if there are obligatory group activities. Figure out the things you have to do together, and the things that maybe can be put on the back burner. Compromise can actually lead to amazing stories.
- WHISPER, SCREAM AND SHOUT; JUST KEEP COMMUNICATING
It might feel more difficult to speak up on a trip, because you know that you can’t run away if conflicts arise. This is usually where friendships get tested. Everyone shelled out expenses for the trip, and everyone had their own expectations. When things go south, you need to be able to voice your opinions and concerns, and calmly have a discussion of your next move. Or have a shouting match, but just make sure things get resolved.
- KEEP AN OPEN MIND
In general, whenever you leave your home you have to prepare for things to not go your way. The chances of things happening outside of your control might double and at times quadruple when you factor in other people into the mix. But remember, even the worst of times can be funny stories and exciting anecdotes when you have enough distance from it.
A trip is an adventure, and you can’t have adventures without shenanigans!