Traveling with friends can be a true test of friendship. Being cooped up together in a car, plane, or hotel room can easily lead to friction among the best of friends. To help stave off tensions, make sure you and your traveling companions have three things in common:
Similar Tastes: If you prefer picnics in the country and simple country inns, don’t travel with friends whose idea of heaven is a five-star city hotel and going to night clubs.
Similar Budgets: Having an overall idea of what you’re each planning to spend on travel, meals, and lodging means everyone can enjoy the trip without worrying about finances.
Synchronized Body Clocks: If you like to be up and on the sightseeing bus by 8:00 am, don’t travel with people who prefer to sleep until noon.
When you plan your trip, make sure you agree on the general itinerary, and give each person the opportunity to include their “must-dos” or “must sees.” You and your companions don’t have to do everything together. If you spend an afternoon at a museum while your friend explores the city, you’ll be able to share each other’s experiences over dinner that night.
However you handle the costs, work out your plan before you head off on your journey. A few options to consider include:
- Pay your own way. With credit cards as widely accepted as they are, it’s easy for individuals to pay for their own admission tickets and split shared meals.
- Settle up at the end. Hold on to receipts when one person pays for the group, and do an accounting as you go along or at the end of the trip.
- Use a “kitty”. For miscellaneous shared cash expenses, have each traveler (or couple) put the same amount of money into a kitty, which is replenished as needed. Any funds left over can be divided evenly.