My family loves to travel. We’ve been ‘round the world and don’t intend to stop anytime soon. One interesting approach to travel that we enjoy from time to time is traveling with friends. It’s a great way to capitalize on common interests, to spend more concentrated time together, and to enjoy unique experiences – memories of which you will share for years to come.
To maximize your time, mitigate disagreements and maintain healthy relationships, here are a few tips that we have found useful:
- Brainstorm together. Find a time to get together for drinks or a meal and brainstorm… everything from possible dates, to locations, to types of activities, all according to your budget.
- Are you wine or spirits afficionados (or wanna-be’s)? How about a jaunt to Napa Valley, Willamette Valley, the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, the Douro Valley, Burgundy, the Cinque Terre or Rioja?
- Are you lovers of the great outdoors? Maybe try hiking into the Grand Canyon, camping in any of the National Parks across America, biking along the Katy Trail, fishing in Alaska, white water rafting through the Rio Pacuare, or sailing across the Atlantic.
- Are you a group of history buffs? Think of visiting the monuments in Washington, D.C., touring the Legacy Museum and Civil Rights Memorial in Montgomery, Alabama, taking in the Pyramids of Egypt, or looking for the ghost of Elvis at Graceland.
- Assign someone to be the primary coordinator. Volunteer or seek a volunteer among your crew to take responsibility for putting together a draft itinerary, suggesting flights, booking activities, making dinner reservations, and the like. Don’t want to do it yourselves? Enlist the very capable and willing assistance of a travel agent. Be sure to speak up – and encourage your travel companions to do the same – about your interests and expectations. Once an itinerary is set, get together to review and confirm the plans.
- Don’t over plan. Travel can be exhausting and too many activities packed into one day can take you down a disappointing path. Choose two or three things to do each day… then, as my husband likes to say, let the day find you! Leave room in your agenda for dawdling, for casual strolls, for afternoon naps, for reading by the pool. In fact, ensuring that everyone gets a little down time to set out on their own is always a good idea – it will give each member of the party a chance to recharge in the way that is most meaningful and impactful for them.
- Enjoy every minute! Time to head out on your adventure. Don’t forget: The purpose of the trip is to make memories – not just take pictures. Be present. Take it all in. In fact, keep in mind that it is okay to get lost… especially when taking the road less traveled.
- Host a reunion party. Once you’re back from the trip, reconnect with the travel group… reminisce with stories, photographs, souvenirs, and videos. Laugh again about the funny moments. Plan your next adventure!
Safe travels. Happy Networking!