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How To Travel With Your Friends (And Still Stay Friends)

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Enticed by great deals, the lure of adventure or the love of sport, Canadians will take more than 8.2 million trips abroad this year. From the EU to South America, more of us are choosing to spend our precious days off exploring a new country and getting lost in new cultures.

Embracing our internal wanderlust is great. But, it is even better when we do it with friends. Traveling with a group lets you share the adventure, provides more safety and ensures you have a photographer to capture those moments you never want to forget.

While traveling with a group may be fun, it isn't always easy. That's why it's important to set some ground rules and ensure everyone gets the vacation experience they want. Here's a quick checklist to use when planning your next getaway with friends.

1. Set expectations

Long before you ever embark on your holiday, it's important to sit down with your friends and be honest about your expectations, travel goals and to-do lists. If you want to spend your time jetting around to all the sites while some of the others want to lounge by the beach all day, that's fine. But, it's important to know this beforehand.

By discussing this before your departure, you and your friends can come to a compromise or at least be aware of who to expect on day outings. Setting clear expectations can also prevent resentment from building up between group members.

2. Go in with an open mind

A vacation takes us outside of our comfort zone in many ways. From eating new cuisine to trying something completely new like ziplining, you can get the most out your trip by pushing your envelope and trying something new.

Using your group of friends as a motivator and support system can strengthen friendships while also giving you the little push you may need.

3. Create a balance and set a budget

Despite our best efforts, sometimes the things we plan don't come to fruition. So, when planning a trip, make sure there is a balance of activities that everyone wants to do throughout the trip.

If one person wants to visit a lot of specific places and sites, make sure to scatter them throughout the trip. That way if most of the group wants to spend more time relaxing towards the end of the vacation, that person doesn't feel like their vacation goals weren't heard or met.

Balance is also important when budgeting for activities and the trip as a whole. Balance free activities with pay-per-play activities to save money. Setting a total vacation budget and daily
budget will also help during the planning phase and ensure no one feels like they are spending outside of their means.

4. Room arrangements

Sharing rooms is economical and can save money on travel expenses. However, it may be impractical for your specific group. Decide before booking if you want to share rooms or bunk solo.

If you decide to share rooms, assign those with similar sleeping patterns or vacation expectations with one another to avoid conflict. Roommates can also serve as travel buddies who can check in with each other for safety and security.

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