I have been very blessed over the past few weeks to have numerous guests join Andy and I on our travels. Some have been planning their journey for months, while others found a break in their schedule and thought, “why not?!”
We dined like kings in Italy with my almost-in-laws, road-tripped around Sardinia with my friend Emma, explored Paris with my mother (her 1st time in the City of Light), and drank far too much beer with our globetrotting friend Kerri in Belgium. The memories that were made will last a lifetime, and the stories that can be told, well, many will be kept within the pack.
But is travelling alone easier than travelling in a group?
Relationships grew, at times were tested, but my appreciation for the life I have been given, one blessed with adventure and amazing friends and family only deepened. That being said, travelling can often create friction and strain certain relationships therefore, since I now fancy myself an expert in “Friends, Family, and Couple Travel” – here are some tips I have learned over the past few weeks to be successful in travelling with a pack.
Here are three tips to keep group travelling on point:
Defined as “an ability or willingness to suppress restlessness or annoyance when confronted with delay”, it is no surprise that patience and travelling go hand in hand. I have yet to meet a seasoned traveller who does not subscribe to the proverbial phrase, “Patience is a virtue”.
In order to travel with company, you must be patient, not only in situations but also with each other. Granted, I am the first to admit I have not necessarily mastered this virtue and there has been more then one time when my patience was tested (Mom, I apologize for the times I regressed to a teenager), but being patient allows the travel experience to not turn into a stressful one. If you just take things as they come, and accept peoples quirks, the travelling experience becomes far more enjoyable.
Whether you are travelling with friends, family, or as a couple – compromise is key. The quicker you accept the fact that it’s “not all about you”, the better time you will have. People have different interests. People want to see and do different things, and sometimes it ends up being the things you don’t want to do, that you end up enjoying the most!
Therefore, it comes as no surprise that sometimes you will just have to suck it up and spend the afternoon doing something that wasn’t on your “Must-See” list, but if you are truly compromising, something you want to do/ see will take priority next time. Also, learn to take some joy in the fact that compromising might make someone else really, truly happy. An experience that might change someone’s life is truly worth sacrifice, and is a wonderful gift.
But if you are truly unwilling to compromise, then…
If you have no interest in going to the Museum of Archaeology in Whatever Town, that’s okay, but don’t go and ruin everyone else’s good time by being miserable. Make a plan for yourself. Whether that is staying at the hotel or exploring a different part of town, choose to not be the “Debbie-Downer” of the group and make plans to reunite later.
Speaking up also refers to limiting the use of “I’m fine”, “I don’t care”, “You choose”, etc. If you have an opinion of the restaurant you would like to go to, speak up. I have yet to master the art of mind reading, so if you really have to use the bathroom and can’t go another minute, speak up! The group needs to know where you stand in the order of things, so don’t hide behind silence or indifference. In order to travel with company, everyone has to feel that their voice can and will be heard.
Travelling with a “pack” can be extremely rewarding. Do you have any tips for globe-trotting with friends and/or family?