When you travel in a group, it’s no longer just about you. Be ready to listen and compromise.
Dear Group Traveler,
Traveling with a group (3+) friends or family members can be such a thrilling adventure. You get to share experiences as they happen and share memories after your trip is over, reliving exciting moments.
But traveling as a group isn’t always full of fun. Sometimes there is tension, and even worse, full-on fighting. These issues can come about in any number of ways, from personal discomfort disguised as moodiness to low self-esteem disguised as excessive chatter.
You can anticipate some of these issues, but others you can’t–you simply have to live through them and learn lessons you can apply for next time.
Today we’ll deal with one issue in particular–when a group traveler such as yourself assumes that everyone else on your trip wants to experience things (food, activities, sights, etc.) just as you do. But when you travel in a group, it’s no longer just about you.
Maybe you have long list of restaurants you’d like to try or a checklist of obscure sights to see ready to go in your back pocket. Or perhaps you like to turn in early while others prefer to stay out late. Great! Totally fine! But resist the urge to force your opinions and desires on your travel companions.
Your travel style might be totally different from theirs so don’t ruin your companions’ experiences by being pushy, needy, or uncompromising.
You don’t want to be the group traveler who steamrolls others’ suggestions or doesn’t even ask for a fellow traveler’s activity preference. Acting like this can cultivate resentment during the trip which can then carry on even after the trip is over.
And so, when traveling in a group, don’t assume you and your travel companions will agree on the same sights, activities, and more. Avoid issues by discussing your trip expectations up front. Lay it all out on the table, and encourage your travel companions to do the same.
After hearing all sides, be ready to compromise. Perhaps each of you picks one activity to do each day. Or maybe you each choose a new restaurant for every meal. Or maybe you decide to have a free day where everyone goes solo and does whatever they want, coming back together in the evening for dinner or drinks.
There are different ways to handle a travel compromise, but make sure all voices are heard and respected before blindly plowing down a path that only you created.
I can’t tell you how many times my travel companions and I haven’t taken the time to discuss our trip expectations up front and land on some kind of compromise. Neglecting this crucial planning step often resulted in either full-on snappiness or passive aggressive BS. UGH. Sure, things turned out OK in the end, but these trips would have been much more pleasant without our drama.
Remember, you were friends/family before traveling, so make sure you remain that way after you travel too by listening and being open to compromise!
P.S. Do you have a travel question you’d like me to answer, or a travel topic you’d like me to cover? Email me and let me know–I’ll feature it on a future Travel Quick Tip post!
Featured photo location: Ban Jelačić Square, Zagreb