When it comes to the question of who you’d rather spend time with, your friends or your significant other – It’s no contest. Friends come first! They are the people that know you best, support you through thick and thin, and keep you grounded when your significant other is going quasi-sci-fi on you. So when planning a holiday trip with friends, remember this is not a test of your relationship, but a celebration of it. Here are 11 tips on how to plan the perfect trip with your best friends in mind.
Create a meeting place and invite everyone.
Every great business trip starts with a meeting. Before you invite your friends down to join you, ensure there is a space and date they can all meet in one place. Find a place to meet that is central and accessible to everyone. Make sure you book ahead or have a reservation. You can make this meeting your first social event, and maybe even host a happy hour. Make sure everyone knows everyone’s name and that you have a way to keep in touch leading up to the trip.
Coordinate travel together.
Figure out how everyone is getting there, and fly together. This will make sure that everyone is on the same schedule and creates a sense of camaraderie among everyone. If someone can’t make the same flight, see if you can assist in getting them there however you can. If flying isn’t an option, make sure you coordinate who is taking what transportation and when.
Choose activities that are doable for everyone.
While you want to plan a trip that is fun, you also want to make sure everyone is participating. If you have friends that are prone to injury, consider activities that don’t put them at risk of injury. If someone in the group is dealing with a chronic illness, find activities that are doable for them. This will ensure that everyone has a good time without being put in a position where they feel out of place. If you have a mix of extroverts and introverts in the group, try to plan some solitary activities for the introverts.
Go with the flow, but set boundaries.
Part of going with the flow is letting your friends call the shots. But you also have to set boundaries. When planning an itinerary, try to make sure you have the flexibility to adjust it, but also know what you don’t want to do. If you have friends that are rowdy and there are times when you need alone time, let them know. If someone has poor hygiene and you’re sensitive to that, let them know.
Don’t forget to be present.
Go on this trip as a celebration of your friendship. Being present means taking time to enjoy the sights and not just rush through them. It also means being mindful of your friends and not being distracted by your smartphone. Be present with the people around you, and you’ll find yourself coming back with memories that are more vivid and meaningful.
Come up with a group consensus before you go.
Part of going with the flow means coming up with a group consensus on topics like finances, social media, and communication. Decide when everyone will be checking their accounts, how often you will be checking in with each other, and what is appropriate to share on social media. By coming up with a consensus before you go, you can ensure that everyone is on the same page and nothing gets off track.
If you have to break up, do it gracefully.
No relationship is perfect and no trip goes off without a hitch. If things don’t go as planned, try to be graceful and let go of the things that don’t work. If someone is being disruptive to the group, talk to them in private. If you know there is a problem but you don’t know how or what to do about it, try to get some advice from experienced travelers. Planning a trip with friends is a fun and exciting way to celebrate your friendship and come back with memories that will last a lifetime. Just make sure you go in with an open mind and remember that everyone will have their own way of enjoying a trip.