As I’m sure you all know by now, Rob and I LOVE to travel. We still haven’t quite figured out a way to travel full-time without stopping intermittently to accommodate our careers (cause ya know…money) but we’re still able to keep up a prettyyy good pace. What you may not know is that we have a strong 1:1 ratio of travelling just as a couple and travelling with a group of friends! The latter is what I like to call Friendship Friendtrips (and by “I like to call” I mean that I coined that incredibly corny term in my head at about 4am while mentally writing this blog post so my hopes of it catching on are little to none).
You’ve heard the theory that you truly get to know your partner once you’ve traveled together, yeah? Or horrifyingly that it can help you determine what type of person they are by the luggage they carry…ahem, ahem, I’m looking at you Landon from Southern Charm (for those of you who aren’t reality TV buffs that is a character from a show on Bravo, aka my guilty pleasure that I don’t feel guilty about in the slightest). Well the first sentiment can be true for friends as well! And I don’t mean in a judge-and-be-judged-make-it-or-break-it way. I mean in the way that it’s another chance to get to know them for an extended period of time.
So other than having the time to soul search with your friends, what else is so great about travelling with others? For the same reason that quality time with your partner on a mental and physical vacation is important, it’s just as wonderful to be able to enjoy quality time with your friend group. Enjoy a change of pace and place. There is also a varied dynamic with more personalities in the mix. We find that every friend we have traveled with brings a different aspect to the trip and we end up experiencing new excursions and adventures that we wouldn’t have otherwise.
Okay so I also have to acknowledge the elephant in the room – what about all of those stories you hear about group travel gone wrong? Personality conflicts, difference in opinion on what a vacation looks like, etc? The easy answer is that Rob and I just have amazing friends and we also happen to be the most fun and amenable travel buddies around! 😉 But the real answer is that you can find a way to enjoy time with other couples or groups of people if you are intentional. So here are some of our tips and tricks to planning and enjoying a trip with some of your pals:
- Have a good friendship base with your travel mates – While the trip will be a great chance to enhance your friendship, you definitely need to know enough about each other to navigate any forseen personality differences or hang ups.
- Start small – The best way to dip your toe in the group travel dating pool is to try it out on a small weekend getaway first. Are you pleasantly surprised with the outcome and feeling enriched from spreading your social butterfly wings? Excellent! You’re ready to graduate to a full blown vacation with your gang!
- Find a time for your partner alone – Whether it’s just winding down together at the end of the day with your regular bedtime routine or enjoying a dinner that you planned as a couple, take some time for each other.
Find a time for yourself – I think this is important regardless of who you’re travelling with. Small moments alone are so necessary for quick mental palate cleanser so you can be the best version of yourself when you’re in the mix with everyone.
Go with the flow and try something new! – This is truly one of the best parts of taking a trip with people who have different definitions of “what’s fun” than you do. I would never in a million years have gone on a bar hopping tour bus called the “Kukukanooku” in Aruba if it wasn’t an excursion selected by one of our travel buddies. And you know what? I had a BLAST!! Simultaneously, I chose to venture to a donkey sanctuary that others were skeptical of and guess what?! Yeah, they had less of a blast than I did but they were great sports about it.
Some of our favorite group vacations include Ireland, Aruba, San Francisco, Yosemite, and Rocky Point. So what are you waiting for?! Grab your pals, plan a trip, and enjoy a break from everyday life. And remember not to judge people by the their luggage – ’cause that’s not cool.
xoxo Ariel & Rob