I have travelled with family and friends a few times during my adult life. Let me share with you my tips for travel with friends and family.
Now when you set off travel with your friends and family everyone will have their own ideas and expectations about their travel goals.
So right from the outset – before you get on that plane or in that car, sit down together, start talking AND start planning your trip.
Tips for travel with friends and family
1. How much say do you get.
As far as I am concerned this depends on where in the planning process you joined the travel plans.
- At the beginning – equal say. For example:
When I went backpacking around Europe with my girlfriend it was a joint venture. Right from the start we sat down together and said where we wanted to visit. If our ideas differed, we stated that it wasn’t required of the other to go to these places if they didn’t want. However we both agreed we would like to see as much as possible, so we would visit all the sites.
- If someone joins your travel plans part way through – they can’t change what you have already booked.
When I went to Mexico a girlfriend decided she to join me after I had already booked the tour. So whilst she didn’t get a choice in the tour we agreed that we didn’t have to do all the same day trips.
- If you come in after plans have begun – you can’t change what has already been decided.
Then just recently I went to Busselton with my sister’s family. They had made the original booking and so we followed their lead.
If you come late into the planning stage don’t whine about the cost of things whether it be that it is too expensive or that you would prefer more luxury. You are the one joining – if you are not happy don’t go.
However if you are in it right from the start, be honest about what you can afford or what luxuries you want.
3. Choosing Accommodation.
- Take your time with choosing the right accommodation for your trip. Consider whether you would like to share accommodation or have your own room/chalet at the same venue.
- Discuss how the bill will get divided if you are sharing – by number of rooms taken, by per person, or by family. If you are not happy with the arrangement speak up, separate accommodation might be a better answer.
- Think about needing your own space if you are sharing. Do you have somewhere to retreat? Will too many kids be too much noise? Or would it be better if each family could slip away to their own accommodation.
- Also think about housekeeping. I can’t tell you the number of people I know who have come back from a trip saying they did all the cooking and cleaning. I know you are on holiday and you don’t want to do any. But if you have hired a self-contained villa or house a bit of cooking and cleaning will be required.
During your planning stage of your travel with friends and family set ground rules for the housework. Perhaps give everybody a roster day to take a turn. Now remember that everyone will have different expectation and go at a different pace. Whilst you may clean as you go another may leave it all to the end of day. If this is going to bug you – get separate accommodation.
4. Going on Day Trips.
Now when you are on holidays most people will want to get out and about and do some sightseeing.
But again everyone is different. Some will want a fully packed schedule – be up and out by 7am. Others will want to relax by the pool more often than not, perhaps not even surface until after midday.
Again in the planning stage talk.
Talk about what you want to see and do, plus time frames. Remember if you don’t want to go at the other’s pace just say you would prefer to do your own thing (you don’t have to be mean about it) and then meet up for dinner.
You may even just like to schedule days that you are on your own or just your little family.
Yes I just mentioned dinner. And yes you have to plan that as well.
If you are sharing accommodation: are you all putting into a kitty and sharing the produce bought – no whining that little Johnny didn’t stop eating. Or are you going back to flatting days where you labelled your own food.
Perhaps you’ve decided separate accommodation is a good idea – surely you will want to meet up for some meals.
Set a budget for meals out, or perhaps take turns at hosting dinner in your own chalet.
When I went to Busselton with my sister we decided to have BBQ’s for dinner – bring your own but cook and eat together.
6. Choose a Project Manager for the Trip.
This does not mean this person makes all the decisions for the travel with friends and family. It just insures that someone is taking control of all the bookings for accommodation, day trips and even organising food and housekeeping rosters.
Remember you are all a team on the trip you just need a coordinator to keep it all organised.
Recapping the 6 tips for travel with friends and family
- Depending on when you came into the planning process depends on how much say you will get.
- Talk about the budget – don’t be scared to speak up
- Choose accommodation that suits you ALL
- Discuss how you will spend your days
- Organise meals
- Set a project manager/coordinator
AND don’t forget to talk and speak up if you are not happy with the arrangements. If you are not happy before you leave it won’t get better once you are there.
Have you travelled with friends and/or family?
How did it go?
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