It all starts with a great idea to take a trip together. You’re hanging out with your friends and someone suggests traveling to a fun new place. At first, it seems like nothing but great memories, but it can quickly spiral into an early flight back home if you’re not prepared and everyone isn’t on the same page. The good news is that many friendcation conflicts can be avoided by following a few simple tips.
Choose the Right Group
It’s important to start with the right group of friends to set yourself up for a successful trip. Keep in mind personalities, sleep schedules, and group dynamics. In fact, this may be the most crucial piece to planning a friendcation. It won’t matter if you’re on a clear blue beach if Susie and Sharon don’t get along. That tension will stretch across the entire beach and affect everyone’s vacation. Although everyone will only be temporary roommates, be sure that you all are prepared, willing, and excited to spend nearly entire days with each other.
Pick a Date Early
It’s key to plan ahead and make sure the friendcation fits into everyone’s schedule. Communicate dates and plan early to avoid having to reschedule. As with most things, if you don’t plan and schedule for it, it won’t happen.
Designate a Leader
Among friends it may seem like the best way to coordinate is to split the responsibilities, but this can quickly lead to disorganization and miscommunication. Try to designate a point person for communicating options, plans, and duties. Chances are you have at least one person in the group who is more than willing to take on the challenge.
Planning ahead and having a perfect itinerary for the trip may seem ideal, but try not to over plan. It can be constraining and frustrating if you have to follow the schedule by the book. Instead, create an itinerary that has space for spontaneity and open to change.
Agree on the Type of Trip
In this case, honesty is the best policy. Make sure everyone is able to reasonably meet in the middle when it comes to the type of trip. Be forthcoming on if you prefer the trip to be mainly sightseeing, relaxing, historical sights, shopping, or dining. An ideal trip is one that also allows for breaking up into small groups. This allows people to still pursue their own interests if everyone doesn’t want to do a certain activity. Also, make sure everyone is upfront on the expected amenities of the trip whether it be a private pool, gym, onsite restaurant, or even coffee maker.
Schedule “Me Time”
Spending time with friends is a fun but space from the group can be restorative. This means making sure there is the ability to leave or join group is fluid with no judgements. Try to take some time for yourself to shop, go to the spa, workout in the gym, or just explore.
Use an App for Money Stuff
The easiest way to avoid the awkwardness of money is to let an app do the work. It’s accurate and accessible to everyone. Splittr or Splitwise are great apps that can help you keep track of money during the trip.
Remember that you’re there for the company, not to have your way all the time. Try your best to compromise, go with the flow, and enjoy a trip with friends!