When it comes to travel, sky is the limit with regard to budget, destination, flights, accommodations and who you travel with.
Do you have a significant other you travel with? Do you have friends or family who you travel with? Do you enjoy solo travel or traveling in a group? I’ve been really curious what makes travelers tick and why so I posed the question to a Facebook Group I am in and what wasn’t a surprise was that it was pretty even across the board, what was surprising was everyone’s thoughts about these options.
Traveling With Friends or Family
For these travelers a couple of similar sentiments were, they loved experiencing with their friends and family and gave them a certain comfort on the trip. That was part of what made the trip special. For instance Lydia said “I just took my first solo journey and quite honestly hated the solo aspect of it. I was incredibly homesick and longed for my loved ones to be
there with me. I stayed in a hostel with others my age, but as an introverted person, I really struggled to make friends. I’ve definitely learned that I prefer traveling with my friends and family. Part of travel for me is who I’m having the experience with. I think anyone who can do solo travel is amazing, and I honestly envy them!”
There are always challenges to traveling and the same holds true with traveling with friends and family. Some ideas to make sure your trip goes well is to assign a meal or day to each traveler to plan. One of my biggest frustrations is deciding on when and where to eat and Tori agreed “I like traveling with one other person ideally (maybe one other adult and some kids). I get frustrated when there are more than a couple adults because it takes forever to make decisions and agree on stupid little stuff like where to eat for lunch, etc.” It is so easy to get off track of an eating schedule and each person may have a different budget but if you are traveling with friends and family, putting together an itinerary with expectations will help. The other option is to travel with your kids. According to Nicole her favorite travel buddy is her 17year old daughter “Travel with my 17 year old daughter. She’s super easy going. So I get to do everything I want without compromising, I still have someone to keep me company, and I’m making memories with my baby girl.”
Last year during our Thailand trip I was fortunate to have my aunt and friends on the trip. It was the best of both worlds and now we can reminisce with each other. It’s a fun bond. This fall, my parents signed up for our Ireland trip and I don’t think I could be more excited to get to experience this trip with them!
Khadija sums up the friends and family travel perfect “with friends is always something special, for me it's even better than with family!
Traveling With A Significant Other
Cristy is in the process of planning a trip for a group of friends and she describes the challenges perfectly “I am currently planning a multi city Europe trip with a group of 5, 2 couples + 1 single, all with different travel styles and things they value ex: hotel vs experiences vs food etc. getting everyone on the same page to arrange to book something is difficult. Plus finding as many separate bedrooms as we need (don’t want to split up) makes the lodging aspect limited in selection. Much easier when it was just me and my bf and we could rough it and save money here and there 😊
The planning is tough. Unless every person has the same budget and the same interest, it is tough. I am going to refer back to my suggestion on dividing out some of the planning. Maybe instead of assigning different days, have one couple responsible for the accommodations, one for the meal planning and one for the experiences. One of my favorite tools for trips is creating a private group Facebook page. Assuming everyone has a Facebook account, it really is a very easy way to communicate and share ideas.
Before my boyfriend was my boyfriend we traveled as friends for several trips and found we really do travel well together and that continues to this day. So when Cristy mentions “much easier when it was just me and my bf and could rough it and save money here and there” that really resonates with me. My boyfriend and I are definitely on the same page when it comes to travel. We value things like accommodations, food and experiences on a very similar scale and if we are ever off, we have mastered the art of compromise. I love how Yulia answers “Option 4. With significant other!!! My best travel partner, my perfect person willing to share all experiences, person without whom can't imagine indulging in something unique or delicious, person who makes you feel safe, and never bored." and the best answer ever came from Lianne "Never travelled solo (except for spending the odd day by myself here and there while away) but my personal preference is just to travel with the hubs. He's hot (😉), we like to do similar things, he never annoys me (Which is weird tbh as I'm not very patient), we like the same types of food and trying new things and he always makes me giggle. I don't mind bigger groups of family or friends, but travelling with him is the least stressful!"
The solo travel comments were my biggest surprise and many of the comments warmed my heart. I think my favorite comment was from Brooke “Honesty i enjoy all types of travel, but travelling on my own was the best thing I ever did for myself” and Leeloo second that with her reply to Brooke “totally agreed this is when you get the full meaning of freedom”
Monica mentioned in her comments traveling solo is cheaper “Traveling on my own because it’s cheaper, not many of my friends or family are able to or want to travel, I decide my schedule: where I eat and what I do” I often hear from people that join our trips that their friends and family either don’t have the money to travel or don’t have an interest in traveling.
I am not exactly sure why it is cheaper for her to travel solo so I’ll likely follow up on that later and I think Michelle defiantly touches on the reason why people maybe don’t travel solo with her experience “Love traveling solo but you kinda have to be willing to put yourself out there! I stay in hostels and have recently discovered that co-living spaces are great for the slightly older crowd that may not be there to party every night (I’m finally at that age). Ive learned so much about myself and what I can handle and do on my own.”
Traveling In A Group
Group travel seems to be either a hard yes or a hard no. That was sort of expected. I did read a “hard pass” from one commenter that made me laugh and I am sure there is a good story behind it, however Crystal shared “I've travelled on a tour group solo which was an incredible experience and I would do again in a heartbeat, you make some incredible friends along the way. Technically haven't travelled fully solo although the person I was with may as well have not been there and I ended up doing my own thing and loved that side of it. Also travelled with a friend who has a similar travel style to me, we both are willing to try things and do things even when they are typically not our thing. I think it's super important to have someone who is similar in travel style to make it work. So I don't really have a preference. I've learnt that if I want to see the world I can't wait on people to come with me."
Traveling in a group definitely takes an open mind and flexibility. My best advice is to be respectful, we all have our differences, speak up if there is something you are interested in doing, remember you may never see the person you are with that is irritating you again AND there is a good chance you won’t be back to the location you are traveling. Don't waste a minute on the things that just don't matter! Enjoy your minutes exploring and experiencing. The great thing about groups is there are several others to get to know!