If you’re planning on traveling with other people, I would suggest asking some important questions before making the trip. From personal experience, not asking the right questions of your travel buddies can lead to frustration. To help you get started, I’ve come up with some things to consider before traveling with other people. Even if you’re traveling with family or friends, considering these questions will make your trip a whole lot easier.
Who Are Your Travel Buddies?
With whom are you traveling? Are they children, senior citizens, young adults, foodies, adventurers? Knowing your audience is pivotal because it gives you unspoken insight into the types of activities to plan. Also, it makes you evaluate whether or not they would make for good travel buddies at all. Traveling together can test any relationship. If you and your travel companions don’t share some interests and expectations, you should probably rethink your plan.
Does Anyone Have Physical Limitations?
Physical limitations usually aren’t top of mind when planning a trip with others. Just because someone appears to be physically healthy on the exterior, doesn’t mean that they are. Back issues, asthma, heart conditions, and even severe allergies can have a big impact on your travel itinerary. If your travel companion is physically unable to participate in a particular activity, it’s best to know this before planning any activites. My advice to you is to just ask, “Hey, is a 5-mile hike through the mountains something you’re interested in?” As a wise man (or woman) once said, “It doesn’t hurt to ask.”
What Does Everyone Value When They Travel?
When it comes to traveling, people value many different things. Some people really enjoy learning about the history of a city by going to museums and on historical tours; others prefer to take in the food scene; others like to just relax and have a low key trip. Knowing where your travel buddies stand when it comes to these things is very important.
One thing that can happen to really take a trip downhill is to have an “everyone is going to love this” mentality, but failing to ask them. Not all activities are going to be appealing to all travelers, so when you travel with others, being able to give and take is essential to creating an enjoyable travel experience. Which leads us to…
Does Anyone Have Any Travel Expectations?
There is usually one thing in particular that I’m super excited to see or do when I travel. Sometimes it’s trying a popular restaurant in the area or seeing a particular landmark. Just like me, I can assure you that the people you are traveling with may have something in mind that they want to accomplish on the trip. When planning your trip, make sure you know what everyone’s one thing is. Not being able to do the one activity that you’re most excited about can be very frustrating, especially when you’ve spent money and time traveling somewhere. By communicating in advance, you will have the information that you need to be able to create an itinerary that either meets everyone’s expectations, or sets a realistic expectation of what can or cannot be accomplished during the trip.
Is Everyone on the Same Page Regarding the Costs?
Money can be a touchy subject, but when traveling, it’s important to make sure that everyone participating in the trip is as open as possible about money. You don’t have to ask people about the details of their financial situation, but do talk about anticipated costs. Coming up with a travel budget is awesome, but if you’re the only one aware of what that is, it’s not a very helpful tool.
Keep the group accountable for discussing the costs of activities and make sure that there is a realistic expectation for how much money everyone could end up spending. Do your research. Being in a situation where someone is either unable to afford something that the rest of the group wants to do, or they are the only person that can afford it and are forced to miss out because the group cannot cover the costs is not fun.
Who is Covering which Costs and When?
One of the most important things to consider is who is covering which costs and what is the timeline for finalizing plans. Are you booking the flights and your friend is booking the hotel room? Or are you both covering the costs for your own transportation and lodging? By what date should the plans be solidified?
Nothing is more frustrating than having a lack of clarity around these things. I mean, we all have that one friend that is the ultimate procrastinator (maybe you’re that friend). That person that waits until the very last second to make reservations. This may be okay when traveling alone, but when traveling with others, specific dates need to be discussed.
When it comes to covering costs, my rule of thumb is, “I cover my stuff and you cover yours”. Simple. No drama, no burned bridges, no confusion, lasting relationships.
Have you had any unfortunate travel experiences that these questions could have helped you avoid? Comment below about with your experience!