Travelling in company

Old Aug 14th, 2008, 07:21 AM
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Travelling in company

I liked the article on travelling with your significant other. Does anyone have tips for 2 couples (relatives) travelling together (sharing 2-bedroom apartments over two weeks) to maintain harmony and ensure we are still talking to each other on our return?
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Old Aug 14th, 2008, 08:59 AM
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I did just this earlier in the year. My husband and I traveled to Rome for 8 nights with friends and rented a 2 bedroom apartment. It was our first time traveling overseas with friends and I was a bit nervous.

I planned the whole trip and came up with some "Golden Rules" for everyone to follow. They are a bit toungue-in-cheek, but for the most part we all followed them and it worked out just fine. If you want to see them, they are on my website here:
http://www.wired2theworld.com/GoldenRulesforRome.html
There were a couple of times where someone would comment, "Careful, you're in danger of breaking Golden Rule #3" ;-)

In general I think it's important that everyone have reasonable expectations for the trip and that there is a lot of pre-trip discussion as to what those expecatations are. We had a lot of emails back and forth before the trip and a couple of dinners together to discuss our planning. One of the big ones is money; how will you handle dining costs and sightseeing and transportation. Some people might want to take a taxi everywhere, some people prefer public transport. Some people want 3 courses with wine at every meal, some don't. Fortunately, we were mostly on the same wavelength as our friends and it always worked out.
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Old Aug 14th, 2008, 12:15 PM
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One thing I think it is important to decide ahead of time is whether you all are going to be joined at the hip, go off on your own each day and meet for dinner, some combination, etc. People may have different assumptions about how things will be.

Also, if you have different ideas about when to get up and go to sleep, talk about it ahead of time and how you will handle differences. Early risers may be frustrated by waiting around for late sleepers, but if you decide ahead of time that the early risers will go out when they are ready and the group will hook up later, you can avoid the waiting around and frustrations.
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Old Aug 14th, 2008, 01:37 PM
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Work out how you are going to deal with finances *before* you leave home.

(Taking turns paying, having a shared kitty system, keeping a running tally then even up at the end of the trip, each pay your own each time, etc.)
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Old Aug 14th, 2008, 06:49 PM
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I agree with the others:

Decide before making the arrangements:

1. How you will co-mingle throughout the trip - go everywhere together, meet up for dinners only, split between couples (i.e., wives go off together, etc.)

2. How you will handle the finances - split everything down the middle, pay individually for everything, create a "kitty" for communal expenses (i.e., taxis, etc.). Note: if you're in different economic brackets, you may want to discuss whether a strict budget needs to be adhered to by one couple - that way you can prevent the budgeted couple from feeling obligated to spend more to "keep the peace".

3. How do you want to plan the trip - do you want it on a strict schedule, do you want to fly by the seat of your pants, do you want middle of the road, etc.

4. What pace do you want to go at - get up and go go go, stop and smell the roses, nothing until after noon, out all night for party time, etc.

Everything else is usually workable during the trip.

The most important thing is to TALK to each other. I won't even say "communication" because it's important for it to be simple and basic talk (not fancy words and skirting around issues). TALK to each other before the trip, during the trip, and after the trip. Don't let things fester. Don't let things drag you down. Talk them out as soon as you're in a private place and aren't emotional.
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Old Aug 19th, 2008, 11:28 AM
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I made a whole set of rules for various trips - feel free to peruse them here:

http://www.greendragonartist.com/ST/STindex.htm

The main page has some info, the mini-guide and money matters page has more.
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Old Aug 19th, 2008, 07:52 PM
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Gee.... reading this and the other thread about traveling with friends almost makes me glad that I can never seem to coordinate schedules and interests with friends, so I end up traveling solo.

Maybe the grass really is greener over the septic tank!
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Old Aug 21st, 2008, 09:23 AM
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Don't be a control freak, you will have a better time if everything doesn't have to be your way.

Give each other space. Agree ahead of time to take some time on your own and skip things you aren't interested in.

Figure out the money arrangements before you start. I prefer to pay seperately for anything I can because my tastes are simple. I get perturbed evenly splitting my salad and a carafe of house red with their three course meal and a bottle of vintage champagne (I'm only exagerating a little). I would rather treat them to their meal than pretend they are truly paying their share.
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Old Aug 24th, 2008, 09:23 AM
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Finances first, then pace of schedule second, are the two places I think trips with friends can most easily go wrong. Work out those two things and you'll be OK.
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