Do you travel with friends? A lot of people don’t.
They just aren’t confident that the friendship will actually survive the getaway.
It’s one thing to meet your pals locally for dinner, or entertain at the house for a few hours. It’s quite another to go away…like way away…with friends on a bona fide trip.
Traveling together as adults has a tendency to be very different from traveling in groups as younger people. For one thing, kids are more likely to see the world the same way; it’s when we grow into mature adulthood that our likes and dislikes, and even the core values system on which all of it is ultimately based, become noticeably different.
The “part b” to that is that, as we age, we become more set in our ways. This means that not only do we have different ways of seeing some things, but we find it more difficult to be at all flexible for even shorter periods of time in the interest of accommodating the preferences of another.
Another problem that becomes especially stark as we move to adulthood has to do with the differences in financial means. While 18-year-olds who grow up in the same community all tend to have the same resources, that can, and usually does, change significantly as people reach their 30s and 40s.
So, given all of this, how can adult friends actually go away together and remain on as good a set of terms when they unpack as they were when the trip began?
An article over at CNN Money, “How to take group vacations (without losing friends)” by Laura Sanicola shares some strategies you can employ to keep everyone on an even keel.
One of the biggest problems group vacationers may have with one another is choosing where to stay. Depending on different tastes and budgets, deciding on where the group hangs its hat at the end of each day can be a chore.
But it doesn’t need to be. Although you’re traveling together, that does not have to mean you necessarily stay in the same hotel or motel. Those with more dough may want to stay somewhere characterized by greater luxury; others may prefer to stay at a place that’s closer to a particular venue.
Additionally, by staying in different locations, couples get that very “breathing room” at the end of the day that helps to keep any possible tensions at bay.
Another potential problem concerns money, more generally. Namely, how much to spend not just on lodging, but on activities, restaurants, and everything else. According to Sanicola’s article, one option is to start a community fund, of sorts. The idea is that everyone contributes what they can, and if the better-heeled of the group want to partake of pricier options, they can contribute more, accordingly.
The final problem noted by the article is that of the group arguing over just what activities to pursue. Oftentimes, vacationing adults don’t get serious about choosing what to do until they’ve arrived, and disagreements over what to actually do then may ensue.
A solution to that - posed by a financial adviser, no less - is to arrange for a “pre-travel party.” The idea is that even before the trip, the group festivities begin with a get-together wherein, over food, drinks, and good cheer, the itinerary is planned and agreed-to. That way, there are no surprises…and, therefore, less cause for hurt feelings or other agitations…when the voyage actually begins.
By Robert G. Yetman, Jr. Editor At Large