Vacationing with friends advice

Jul 14th, 2003, 09:03 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2003
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Vacationing with friends advice

We will be vacationing with friends this year, and are looking for advice so we stay friends!

Any sage advice out there?
travelbug2 is offline  
Jul 14th, 2003, 09:09 AM
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My advice is - talk alot upfront! Things that will kill friendship are: not enough private time, disagreement about what is "fun", large difference in financial capabilities - and definition of how much money should be spent, smoking/drinking incompatibilties.... Those are the big ones. If you're in separate rooms/condos - much easier to deal with. But my sage advice is - TALK!!! Also, during vacation, definitely schedule private time.... Good luck!
Debi is offline  
Jul 14th, 2003, 09:14 AM
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Debi gives excellent advice. I'll add DON'T spend all day (&night) every day together. I like spending days apart & rejoining in the evening. Then you all have things to talk about.

If you're sharing a house, make sure you know ahead of time who's doing what (shopping, cooking, cleaning) and who gets first pick of bedroom.
mclaurie is offline  
Jul 14th, 2003, 09:17 AM
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We have spent many vacations traveling with friends and will continue to do so at times. We have found it best to NOT be together 24/7. And as tempting as it is to minimize cost and share a room, don't do it. We all need privacy and I hate sharing a bathroom!
cd is offline  
Jul 14th, 2003, 09:49 AM
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My girlfriends and I travel every year together, (its usually about 4-6 of us). If you guys are really good friends, renting a summer home, (ie; beach house, cabin, with plenty of space and bathrooms is a good idea. If you are vacationing in a big city, hotel rooms on the same floor is great, this way you can all meet for a pajama party etc. These features allow for plenty of room for privacy... You can also consider choosing a vacation spot that offers good activities. You all may be good friends, but you will also need to get away from each if only for a day or two..You can then plan a group dinner and talk about how each of you spent your day etc. Plan group activities as well.....You want to keep the flow of activities going, but also allow for privacy as well.

louise1928 is offline  
Jul 14th, 2003, 11:30 AM
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If you can afford it, get separate hotel rooms, and do things indepent of eachother.
Grasshopper is offline  
Jul 14th, 2003, 11:49 AM
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My first condition would be: I'm getting a separate room. Not a room in a suite, but a completely separate room. Then it should be clear: you all don't have to spend all the time together. Some days you just meet for breakfast and dinner, some days you all go to the same place - depends on your interests. Just don't be shy to speak up softly but firmly when you don't like to follow others. Or it maybe this way: one day is the day of your choice, the next day it's my choice of activities.

And as usually I am the one to make all arrangements and reservations I don't do it before talking to each member of the group, and I use their credit cards for hotel and air. Learned it the hard way once
FainaAgain is offline  
Jul 14th, 2003, 12:05 PM
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My experiences were more from traveling with people I'd been dating, but going away is a pretty quick way to determine compatability. People have different expectations of what they want to do while away from home, even when it comes to simple things like getting started in the morning. Debi gives good advice about discussing expectations.

The risk in a trip is that someone tries to be the "leader" and ticks off the other person by seemingly calling all the shots or gets ticked off because they aren't seemingly getting their way. Unless you argee on everything, a bit of compromise from all parties will definately help.
Ryan is offline  
Jul 14th, 2003, 03:08 PM
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"Excellent Topic!"
Not just for friends, but families too.
Watch the old movie "Four Seasons" together to stimulate an honest conversation. Unrealistic/Unexpressed expectations can be critical. All matters of money should be for each individual, don't expect or be expected of.Respect Privacy and clarify in advance.
I have always loved to treat my niece to travel with me and now as an adult she has invited me to join her. We are total opposites, yet have amazing times together. First, we learned not to share a room and bath, head phones for our different music is joyful, united space to share, and cold for me/hot for her, to sleep and relax is most helpful. Never take the others wish personally, giving each other the freedom to their best experence is helpful. Yes, we may feel disappointed, but far happier to hear the fun the other had, doing what we did not want, and our negatives would have spoiled, just be honest!
And remember, there is no friendahip, with out mutual honest respect.
My niece and I, THE total opposites, can't wait for our next adventure together!!!
bodi is offline  
Jul 14th, 2003, 03:37 PM
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I have a few suggestions

a) if you don't have really good public transportation where you're going make sure there is enough transportation to spread around. EX there are 6-8 of you, rent 3 sedans and make sure there are multiple drivers on each vehicle.

b) have everyone make a list of what activities people want to participate in. Match people to the activities accordingly.

c) make sure everyone is super clear about early bird/night owl preferences. Ditto about food. Anyone who says they aren't picky about food is not being honest. Ditto about tidyness if you're in a shared house or condo.

d) ditto what's already been said about money.

e) do not try to do all of the above at the last minute. The spontaneous type folks will grouse, but the downside is that you will spend your vacation trying to figure out what you want to do and when and with whom instead of actually doing it.

e) to aid with the above, have a few people get different guidebooks to the area you'll be visiting. Different viewpoints of the same activities can help.

f) I find cellphones to be very helpful when coordinating on site. People get lost, or lose track of time. Not a problem if you can get in touch with your friends. Well worth the roaming charges.

Good luck!
BayArea is offline  
Jul 15th, 2003, 08:34 AM
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I never have understood the need to vacation with friends - not singles, of course, but couples. Going out for an evening to dinner or a show is one thing, but spending several days it another thing entirely.

Can someone explain this to me?
Leona is offline  
Jul 15th, 2003, 08:36 AM
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We did a cruise with 10 other couples. Had our own cabins, of course, would split up to do own excursions, etc. Get togethers in various locales on the ship when we felt like it and dinner together at night. It was great! But my husband and I aren't the type to do a 24/7 type of arrangement. That is why this worked for us.
inthechips is offline  
Jul 15th, 2003, 08:43 AM
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Agree with inthechips. We have done several cruises with varying numbers of friends. The worst was when we went with only one other couple. The best is when we've gone with at least ten. Great to do your own thing during the day - sometimes with several different couples or by yourself and then hook up for dinner in the evening. Some go to bed early-some stay up late. Everyone can do their own "schedule" and still have others to visit with if the mood strikes. We have 15 couples going next year to Alaska. And we always have the memories to talk about....
PamT is offline  
Jul 15th, 2003, 08:55 AM
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It's all 'different strokes for...', aw, you know the rest.

I know some folks where the husband goes on his vacation and the wife on hers, or where one spouse takes one kid and the other takes a different one. Would I do that? No. Do they enjoy it? It appears so.

The most important thing when traveling in a group is flexibility. It's the most important item you'll take along. You can also discuss some options before you go and get some idea of what you will be able to see and do, so it limits any unforseen surprises or difficulties.

My wife and I vacation alone and sometimes not. For instance, six of us went to Rome for eight days. My wife's parents, her two brothers and us and we stayed in an apartment (two bathrooms). Recipe for disaster? Maybe, but I actually had one of the best vacations of my life.

Every evening, we would either stop at the apartment before dinner or while having dinner, and we would discuss our options for the next day. Majority ruled in most cases where we would choose between doing this , this and this or that, that and that. I went and saw a few things that maybe I wasn't big on, but guess what? I enjoyed them. I'm sure that maybe some of the others did the same.

One day, we didn't agree. My wife, myself and her parents wanted to walk the Appian way and visit the catacombs, but the two brothers didn't. No problem, we split up and met for dinner.

It was odd that not once did anyone have any kind of arguement. I guess that it was a tribute to everyone being easy going and understanding.

I prefer vacationing alone with my wife, but it can be fun with more people, also.
leesimmons is offline  
Jul 15th, 2003, 09:06 AM
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Good timing on the this thread. My family will be spending this weekend in Maine with two others. The others have traveled together before but it will be the first time we've joined in. We've never traveled with anyone other than family before. Hopefully this will work out well and we'll have opportunities to do it again. The advice posted here should increase the liklihood of success.
bennie is offline  
Jul 15th, 2003, 10:33 AM
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DO NOT DO IT...did and wuould not do it again...think I'd learn after doing it 2 times...
help is offline  
Jul 15th, 2003, 12:42 PM
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I've vacationed with friends before and it's been a lot of fun. I guess a lot depends on the friends though. You know, choose your travelling companions wisely and all that.

I had a group of friends that used to get together for a long weekend in Lake Tahoe every year. We'd rent a condo or 2 right on the lake. One night we would all go out to eat at a casino, maybe see a show and do a little gambling. The next night we would barbecue at the condo. During the day people went their seperate ways, some on their own, some as a group depending on what anybody wanted to do. It was always a lot of fun.

When I was a kid, my family would frequently vacation with other families - either relatives or friends. Usually these were camping or outdoors vacations. Some days we would do things as a group, some days not. It just depended on what everybody wanted to do.

I think vacations with friends can be a great way to spend time together and build a closer relationship - just make sure that the friends have enough in common with you and have the same expectations for the trip.
J_Correa is offline  
Jul 15th, 2003, 02:07 PM
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It's going to be more stressfull just because you are accomodating more people and their quirks, along with your own. The tradeoff is being with people you obviously enjoy. I think all the advice so far about separate lodging, private time, etc. is good. Going your separate ways sometimes gives you something to talk about at the end of the day.

Most of all keep your sense of humor and
don't do it every year!
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