Not everyone is a fan of loner travel like I am. I personally love the freedom of doing what I want, when I want and planning it however the hell I want. I realize, other people are afraid of traveling alone and just overall may prefer to travel in groups. But what do you do when your friends are waste or shitty at planning?
This is where I can tell you, you are not alone. Many people have friends who are good humans in this country, but god awful in others/while planning to go to others.
I have come up with a 'how to' properly travel in a group trip without losing your mind or friendships.
- Don't travel with broke people; not everyone is in the financial situation to travel but for some reason SO MANY feel that it is still a brilliant idea to travel anyways. Tell them politely to wait for the next opportunity, trust me, they'll weigh you down and piss you off once you get to your destination. You know the 'oh I'll just have ice water and a sugar cube at dinner' people? Or heaven forbid there is an emergency on the trip or you miss your flight and they now stuck in Lebanon selling milk on side of road to get home. Don't do it. Tell them to save up and maybe next time.
- Someone MUST be the designated asshole; so there's five of you planning a trip to Ireland, one of you has to put the other four on a schedule and on notice. This person is in charge of making sure that deposits are paid on the proper dates and telling the other four that if they fail to do so, NO trip for them. Simple. No hurt feelings, it's just business and one person being flawed/late on their payment could cost the rest of you more money or even an awesome spot that had a deadline to book.
- Schedule. Schedule. Schedule; you have to set payment dates, and I mean HARD payment dates. If the payment for your villa for Cropover is due December 15th, then all of those coming should have money ready December 1st. This gives you all until next pay week to make the money back JUST IN CASE one or two people suddenly can't go. This is where the designated asshole has to lie and give an earlier payment date to everyone, because stuff like this can and will happen. You need to have time to adjust. Best case scenario? Everyone actually gives you the money on December 1st to pay - now it's paid. The end.
- Don't plan trips with closed-minded people; so your friends are fun, some are eccentric, but are they the type to just stay on the resort? Are they the type that want to do super-touristy things while you enjoy a more real experience? Will they only want to eat McDonald's in Greece but you traveled there to eat, I don't know, Greek food? Consider these things before you even put forth the idea of a group trip. You don't want to be in Italy with someone who is fun to party with but doesn't know what the Sistine Chapel is.
- Start small, then go big; do try smaller trips with your friends before you go all out and have 15 of you going to Phuket. Small trips to Montreal or Niagara etc. will show you how reliable your friends are with minimal planning and saving needed. If they are seamless at a road trip weekend to Montreal, then those are the people you would like to plan a much bigger trip with. Look for how reliable they are, how timely and how responsible. You don't need to find out that someone is completely unreliable as you arrive to your hotel in Tokyo with no reservation because they forgot to do it/did it wrong.
Luckily, I have been blessed in never having any issues in the group travel I did partake in. Probably, because I strongly believe in these five things and because I'm usually the designated asshole. I really do hope these tips help keep your travels happy and your friendships solid.
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