When you begin to plan your upcoming vacation, one of the first things you need to consider: Who will you be going with? It may sound like an easy question- your boyfriend, husband or best friend! WELL, there are a few things you should consider before booking that month long European whirlwind with your bestie. Even though you have SO MUCH fun at home, doesn't always mean you will be compatible when spending every waking moment together. There are a few questions you need to ask yourself to avoid wanting to hide your friends passport under the bed so you don't have to endure the long flight home next to her!
1. Are you interested in seeing the same things?
If she is an art buff and you are a shopper-you may have a dispute when she is spending the entire afternoon at the Van Gogh museum and you want to hit the designer shops down the street! It is always great to travel with someone who shares the same interests as you do, and wants to get the same things out of the trip. Some people also don't mind splitting up for the day to see different things-which is a great compromise as well. Each location in the world has their own museums, architecture and buildings which make it special-if you both aren't on the same page when it comes to creating your itinerary, you may be taking separate flights home!
2. Do you have the same budget?
Money is often a hot button issue when it comes to friends or family. It is no secret that traveling isn't cheap-but you can make it as affordable as you want by staying at hostels or avoiding shopping/only seeing the main sites. Other people feel that since they are on vacation they can YOLO (Cheesy I know, but I had to say it!) It needs to be discussed before booking what your expectations are, and how much you are willing to fork out for the hotel and flight. Coming up with a grand total budget is also a great idea so you can maybe splurge on a nicer hotel but then give your self less of a shopping budget while you are there. You don't want to get there and be stuck with someone who can't afford to buy a ticket to the castle you wanted to tour. You also need to think about how you are paying for the trip. Is one person putting it on their credit card and the other is paying them back? If your friend is in a lot of debt, you may not be seeing that money you fronted them for a while- which can get stressful when your credit card is racking up the interest! SO to sum it up, discuss your finances in advance-You may be getting a divorce after your wife books you a week at the Ritz Carlton and you wanted to stay at the Holiday Inn Express!
3. What is your pace?
OK so this is a big one for me since I am always on the go! I can't travel with someone who sleeps in till noon, takes 2 hours to get ready and then walks slow. (Seriously, PICK UP THE PACE, SISTER!) When I go away I am up and at ‘em at 8am (with or without a hangover!) I have a quick shower and am out the door at 9, I grab a coffee and start my day! When I am on vacation and trying to see a new city, I want to ensure I have the most time to see everything! Some people take longer to get ready in the morning, which can be frustrating for someone who just wants to hit the streets. Are you someone who likes to read everything while at a museum or art gallery? Others may just want to take a look around, get the gist of it and on to the next! Everyone has their own way they like to site see; you just need to ensure you are with someone you are compatible with.
4. Are you a planner or a free spirit?
I am guilty of being the typical over-planner. If anyone has travelled with me, they know they are getting A+ service when it comes to a well-planned trip. (I will even send them my packing spreadsheet to ensure they pack the correct items!) I like to research the points of interest, the shopping, the best look out points etc.. I can't go to a city and see where the wind blows me, that’s when the anxiety sets in!! HOWEVER, some people love to be spontaneous, buy a ticket and whatever happens, happens. That is great if everyone feels the same way, and you can be free spirits together! If one person wants to pack the itinerary with sites and tours and the other person wants to wake up and go with the flow-that may be a recipe for disaster.
5. The Little things that you don't consider
We all know that when you spend a lot of time with someone, little things they do may start to get on your nerves, even if it usually isn't a big deal. If you are sharing a room; do they snore? If so, earplugs are A MUST! Do you like to take a million photos (as I do!) If they get annoyed that every 10 steps you take you are snapping up a storm with your new Nikon, they may not be the ideal person to travel with. (Lucky for me my friends all count on me for MY photos, so they are courteous with my stop and go site seeing style) Are they a picky eater? If so it may be a battle when you are BOTH getting hangry (hungry + angry) but can't agree on a place.
SO: To make a long story short, consider who you are vacationing with. The main idea when on vacation is to HAVE FUN! You don't want to spend your nights stewing about something that could have been discussed before hand!