By Kate Cheng
Traveling with friends seems like a dream come true, right? Long lounges by the hotel pool, treks through breath-taking scenery, and nights out dancing with your best partner in crime. Until you find that your spontaneous "let's see how we feel" groove doesn't go with Miss Planner's jam packed agenda for the getaway. Before you know it, that dream vacation means bickering and simmering resentment rather than fun sightseeing. Here's how to plan ahead to ensure a smooth ride regardless of varying travel styles!
Know Whom You’re Traveling With!
Ok, we know this is about traveling with a person you know inside out...but sometimes, it’s much better to hit the road with someone who shares your traveling style. Are you more of a city break, brunch-and-gallery kind of gal, or a free-spirited island-hopping fashionista? Having the same idea of a good time is always a good starting point. And much like getting seated at a dinner party next to someone whom you don’t know very well, but definitely have things in common with, going on holiday with a good acquaintance means that you won’t (yet) get frustrated at all the little niggles and quirks that could irritate you from the get-go if you were traveling with, say, your sister.
Be Honest About Your Lifestyle Pace
If you do happen to have the same destination preference as your favourite gal, awesome – but make sure to be open from the start about your energy levels and what kind of vibe you’re looking for this vacation. Looking for a heady, intoxicating cocktail of beaches, kayaking, cycling and dancing all before you’ve even pulled out your raffia wedges? Probably not the best partner for someone who wants to lay on a sun lounger or take languorous strolls sipping coconut water. Pace goes for time of day, too: just because you both like pavement pounding in Paris doesn’t mean that you both want to go to the Louvre late night opening (and even later cocktails!); likewise, in Venice, only one of you might be up for the sunrise cappuccino at the Piazza San Marco.
Spend Time Apart
So even if you have managed to find a fellow early riser who can’t wait to go food market hopping in Marrakech, it’s still a good idea to take a little breather now and then, and go on some solo venturing. Travel, after all, is great for spending time in your own headspace and noticing how you acclimatise to unfamiliar – albeit often beautiful – surroundings. Whether you decide to take half an hour while you explore areas of a gallery separately, or take a whole afternoon to find some vintage market treasures, spending a pocket of time on your own can be a great time for immersing yourself fully in your new environment without the distraction of another voice’s chatter. But be safe, people! Carry your belongings where you can see them, and don’t get into unmarked cars with strangers. Counter-intuitive, we know.
Share The Work
To save any resentment down the road, make sure that you’ve each taken your fair share of the planning, whether one of you has decided to compare flights and plan train tickets, or sniff out the locations of the most scenic spots for a convenient schedule. This goes back to knowing what kind of pace you both operate at, too: planning from both parties means that you’ll have factored in your personal preferences, so you’ll already have activities in place that work for you.