By the time you read this, I will be on my third week of travelling and sharing a room with my cousins. Now, I am in the purple room, practicing my EILTS writing test by writing this article (what an excuse, eh?). I am already excited at the prospect of it (traveling, not EILTS). As a single child, I grew up among my cousins. They became my first real life friends, and still are now, so I know there will a lot fun and future memories in the making. It also got me thinking about the people we choose to travel with (if we have the luxury to do so). I then came up with the travel tips with your friends below (because my mind works better with bullet points), here goes:
Choose your travel partner wisely. Your best friend isn’t necessarily equal to a suitable travel buddy in a foreign land. I can’t emphasize this enough, even though I never had a bad experience of traveling with my friends, I had a hell of a time traveling with my colleagues. Never again will I travel with colleagues, not even if it’s paid for. Or maybe yes, only if I am paid for it.
Be clear on what type of vacation you want to do. You can choose hiking, backpacking, even a gastronomic one. Whatever it is, make sure that you are on the same page. Not everyone has a similar interest than you, including the idea of a vacation. For me vacation equals to exploring a new place while others (Hulk per se), prefer a more relaxed time, like a beach holiday. Believe me, it’s not an easy issue to settle. We have had enough arguments in the beginning of our travels regarding of point of interests and the way we spend our holiday. The solution? To take some alone time to do whatever each of us wants to do and find something that interest us both (even if it does in a different way).
Also, you should prepare the itinerary together. Include your must do, eat and see. Be flexible and follow their musts as well. Fit everything else in between. This way everyone has a rough idea what to expect while traveling. I do this all the time with my friends. When we went to Japan, I told the girls I must go to Tsujuki fish market while Vi chose a sleepover in the temple. Everyone’s happy.
Get down with the budget. Be honest about how much are you willing to spend and on which areas are you willing to splurge and save. Also, start extra saving now if you need to. I never care much about accomodation while traveling, as long as the bathroom is clean. I also am not bothered about shopping, nor about food, I can survive with bread and olive oil if I need to but there is no way I am willing to skip the sightseeing tours. My friends know this, Hulk knows this. The rest is their choice.
Bring the props. Be it the bright red pants, fake eyelashes or #selfie stick, pack that silly stuff to make your vacation more memorable. On our last day in Hong Kong, BFF and I wore bunny ears while coffee shop hopping. It was ridiculous and a little embarrassing (that time), but the fun we had that day and pictures we have now are so worth it.
Be nice and take care of yourself and them physically and mentally. Take vitamins, get (at least the bare minimum) rest and empathize with your travel partner needs and feelings. I must admit I am usually the culprit here, I sometimes feel sick and ended up staying in the hotel room for the day. These days, I hike up my Vit C intake, clock in enough rest and keep repeating happy travel thoughts a few days before. It helps.
Carve time alone for yourself. You will need it after spending days with the same person. As an only child, this is a must in my book. I can and will go crazy if I have to spend time with the same person(s) for more than a few days. No matter whether they are my mom, BFF or Hulk. I need my alone time and I need it regularly, even if it’s for a half hour at a time. I usually take the “time off” by stopping for a coffee, visiting a nearby shop or even simply sitting on the bench while my friends roam around. Then, more often that I like to admit, they would find me reappearing from a gift shop.
Make and record happy memories because traveling with your friends is awesome. We grow even closer to each other each time we travel and I have had the best days of my life traveling with Hulk and my friends. I treasure those moments a lot. There are times, especially now when I am far from them, I click through photo, reminiscing our old times together, to make me feel better. And it always works.
And that’s that. I will be back soon with new travel stories to share, so stay tune! Btw, I also made a pin-able summary above. I hope these mediocre tips help you in some ways. Thanks for reading.