Have you, like us, discussed to death a trip with all your friends? And have you, like us, failed to ever see this dream become reality? It seems we are always wanting to escape to the hills or the beach (all hail Goa!) with our best friends, and yet, never actually get around to doing it.
There are a hundred reasons why it never works out, it is difficult to match everyone’s schedule. The length of the trip and the budget is discussed endlessly, without conclusion. And how you plan on spending the vacation? Will it be an all-indulgent, uber-relaxing week? Or a tourist’s delight, ticking off every item from everyone’s bucket list? Or perhaps, it is just countless nights of partying and sleeping it off during the day. A difficult feat is to find balance. But, in 2020, we plan to leave all of this confusion behind and embark on a focused journey. And if you start now, we reckon you might be able to plan that trip for this summer!
Travelling with friends is probably one of the best experiences you can have, a great way to bond, reminisce and create new (sometimes a bit blurry) memories. It can be as rewarding as travelling solo and as healing as travelling with your family.
The first step to getting the trip right and to making it hassle-free would be to figure out what everyone wants. And, if it is you spearheading the trip, then pick the group of friends wisely and find out beforehand. If you wish for a relaxing vacation, look for friends who want the same.
Next comes the choice of destination. When it comes to spinning dreams, the world is our canvas. But when it comes to planning a vacation, one must be realistic. What is a feasible option? How many days are you willing to spend? And, most importantly, once you reach the destination, what do you plan on doing? For instance, are you going to Paris for the architecture or the food?
The next bit, a more complicated and delicate subject for most, is the budget. How much is everyone willing to spend? It could range from crashing in basic hostels to renting out villas to picking all-inclusive resort retreats. It is best to hash out all this and make all bookings accordingly. When it comes to the budget (unlike the itinerary) it is important that everyone is on the same page. Figure out how to split meals, stays and rentals. On my last trip to Pondicherry with my friends, we created a tab on Splitwise and put all our spendings on it for easy accounting. When it comes to money, it is best to keep everything clear and straight forward.
It is also important to compromise and go with the flow sometimes. Even when you have zeroed in on all the details, things can go sideways. In such situations, we suggest you improvise, compromise and remember that the friendships you have are far more significant than any holiday mishaps.
More than anything, it is important to strike a balance. If you wish to party till the sun comes up, while others wish to rise early to beat the crowds at tourist hotspots, then go right ahead. It is okay to separate for a bit and come back together later. It not only provides a necessary breather but also reduces the chance of clashes and arguments - situations you don’t want ruining your much-anticipated vacation.