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How To Be A Great Traveling Buddy
According to the US Travel Answer Sheet, US residents took 1. 6 billion leisure trips in 2013, which accounted for $621. 4 billion spent. Most likely, you were among that number, and may be at this moment either planning your summer vacation or about to leave on one.
I am assuming you are traveling with friends – a group of women - bound for a destination chosen by mutual consent. These people are dear to your heart, and you plan on being friends with them for a long time. However, if you are not careful, a vacation with friends can either strengthen your friendship or break it , sometimes beyond repair.
So, in order to enjoy your vacation and retain your friendship long after you return home, here are some tips for you to follow.
That's my first piece of advice.
When my friend and I went on a cruise to the Greek isles recently, the first thing she asked me when we entered our cabin was, “Which bed do you want?”
I shrugged and pointed to the bed near the door. “I don’t care.”
She laughed. “That was exactly what I hoped you would say. I like the window.”
When I looked at the big picture window with a clear view of the ocean, her bed seemed like the better choice, but by allowing me to choose, she had been fair and so I had to live with it. I later regretted my choice because she liked to nap during the day with the drapes open, and I could never fall asleep with the bright light.
Tell us about your experience
How was your experience traveling with friends?
If you are an early bird and your friend is a late sleeper, be quiet while you are moving around. Avoid putting the light on. This also applies to space. Bathroom and bedroom space are limited, whether you are in a hotel or on a ship. Don’t spread your things all over the room or bathroom counter. My friend and I were very good at making use of our tiny cabin space, and we never got in each other’s way.
Manage your time wisely
Unless you rented a little villa some place where you can pretty much come and go as you please, your time is not your own. At least, not all of it. You have schedules. Meals, tours, shows etc. are not open-ended events. Therefore, if you happen to be a slow mover, you can try to keep up by starting early. Even though you are on vacation, you may have to prepare beforehand just like if you had to catch a bus or train for work. That means going to the bathroom and beginning your morning routine before the others. Set clothes out from the night before. A woman told me it takes her one hour to put her makeup on, and she and her friends fought everyday over the bathroom. If you need a whole hour to put on your makeup, then go find a public bathroom.
Be patient. If you do everything lickety split, be patient. You may have to wait a little sometimes for your slower friends. You can make a phone call or read a magazine while you are waiting.
Be fun to be around
Don’t grumble. Despite your careful planning, things sometimes go wrong. A trip turns out to be a disappointment, the weather changes, the lines are long, any number of things can happen. Look at them as a lesson learned, and when you get back to your hotel, have a good laugh over it.
Be responsible. If you are the type that gets wanderlust when you are in a strange place, don’t do it! If you must, at least let your friends know where you are going and when you hope to be back. That way they won’t be frantic with worry.
Tips to help you enjoy your trip
- Be considerate of others
- Don't be grumpy
- Manage your time wisely
- Be responsible
- Try not to borrow
Don’t borrow (or try not to)
Have you ever gone on a trip with someone who was always borrowing your things? This can become irritating. Women love to borrow each others things, but on a vacation is not the best time to do this, for the simple reason that everyone has a limited amount of stuff. So, don't borrow, unless you can exchange it for something your friend will really like.
Don’t borrow money. This happened to me once. The moment our cruise ship pulled away from the docks, I realized I'd forgotten my cash at home. I had my credit cards, but needed cash for things like tips and going on shore. This can be embarrassing, but if you do run short of money, friends are usually willing to chip in, as my friends did. If this happens, be sure to pay them back as soon as you get home - as I did - or earlier, if you can. One more thing about money, always make sure you pay your fair share - for food, tips and the like.
Some last words
Do your part to make sure your vacation goes as smoothly as possible. That means having your documents in proper order. Nothing can foul up a trip than being with someone who can't find her passport or other travel documents. And please, don't leave doors open when you leave the room and don't leave your valuables lying around. Safes are provided. Use them! Look after your safety as well as that of your friends.
These tips are really common-sense measures anyone can take to ensure that you don’t step on each others toes – literally and figuratively – when you are on vacation. There’s a lot more that can be said about being a good traveling companion, but I’m sure you get the idea. By following these tips, you will not only enjoy your vacation with friends, but they will invite you back again and again. Bon voyage!