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Planning a vacation with friends should be an exciting experience. However, the reality is that when different personalities come together, hiccups may happen. Figuring out how to travel with friends so everyone is on the same page can be hard, but there are some rules that may help avoid travel drama.

With the right approach, traveling with friends is a memorable, thrilling experience. Following group travel tips–such as the ones below–is a helpful way to start a group vacation off on a positive note.

1. Make a Relaxed Plan

Some people are planners and some people are on the more spontaneous side. When it comes to traveling with a mix of personalities, it may be best to create a loose schedule of activities. This doesn’t mean creating a spreadsheet with specific times and locations. A relaxed plan consists of ideas for the vacation that span everyone’s interests. If someone is a little more organized than others, they can create a Google Doc with trip ideas. Everyone can add activity preferences to the document and go from there. When the plan is casual and includes activities everyone has input on, planning becomes less stressful.

2. Listen to Everyone

Every group of friends includes a mix of personalities–that’s what makes social gatherings so exciting! However, it does mean not everyone will enjoy the same activities or plans. Instead of jumping to conclusions or avoiding tough conversations, listen to what everyone has to say. Someone is more than likely going to have an idea you didn’t take into consideration. It’s important to incorporate all suggestions and opinions when traveling with friends.

3. Casually Discuss Budget

No one ever likes talking about finances when on a leisure vacation, but it’s essential to a great trip. While creating a spreadsheet specifically for financial planning may be taking it a bit too far, bringing up the topic of budget may be a smart idea. It’s rare that every friend in the group has the same job or income. Therefore, not everyone may feel comfortable spending money on flashy activities or upscale hotels. Make sure there are lots of different options when it comes to spending money.

4. Give Everyone Alone Time

Most people need alone time to collect their thoughts, relax, or enjoy an activity personal to them. Whether alone time includes an afternoon nap or visiting a local bookstore, allowing time for these activities is important when traveling with friends. More times than not, big groups who travel together try to do everything together. Sometimes, spending every moment of a trip as a group can cause tension–especially for those who do enjoy their alone time. Speak out about this before the vacation begins. If friends have specific activities they want to explore on their own, make sure there is more than enough time for them to happen!

5. Communicate Clearly

Figuring out how to travel with friends doesn’t have to be difficult when everyone feels comfortable communicating their needs and interests. Communication is key in most situations and definitely plays a major role when traveling with friends. Discuss how people prefer to travel and what activities they want to do together and apart. Bring up different lodging options–such as hotels and Airbnbs–as well as meal suggestions for each day. When communication is clear and lighthearted, everyone feels comfortable sharing their thoughts and opinions.

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