“I have found out that there ain’t no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them.” – Mark Twain
I have found that this could not be a truer statement.
I love a girlfriend getaway. Girlfriend getaways can be great. It is an opportunity to strengthen and renew bonds of friendship, a time where you can share laughter, stories and uninterrupted time together, away from our everyday lives as working women, mothers, and wives. However, I know I am not the only one who’s had the girlfriend getaway that you couldn’t wait to get away from.
To make sure it’s all good at the end you have to do prep work in the beginning. Prep work is about setting up expectations and boundaries before the deposit is made. This is about knowing who you are and what you can and can not put up with, what you like to do on vacation, and the type of people you like to associate with for an extended period of time. For example, that fun chick who is loud and proud at the parties, may be fun to party with, but not great when she’s up in your room at 2:00AM. Which leads me to tip #1
Tip #1 – Get Your Own Room
This is truly about knowing yourself. If you’re not an extra extravert, get your own room. The only exception to this is if the person you’re sharing with is similar to you in regards to expected boundaries and temperament. I’ve made the mistake on more than one occasion of sharing with people I didn’t know that well. This is not the time to find out that the person you’re sharing a room with gets passive aggressive and angry when they’ve had too much to drink.
Getting your own room is a must do if you’re an introvert. Introverts can be quite social. But after the party is over, they need to go back to their own space, regenerate, and be with their own thoughts. If you are someone who slightly prefers to be curled up on the couch reading a good book over being with a crowd of people, this may apply to you. It certainly applies to me. I come across as very social, and I am. I love to talk and meet new people. But, I need my private space on a daily basis, and I view my space as my sanctuary. Introverts should only share a room with other introverts, if at all.
Tip #2 – Financial Compatibility
This is huge! No one wants to feel broke, and no one wants to feel they’re being judged on how they choose to spend their money. You do not want your friend to feel like crap because you’re shopping up a storm and she had just enough money to get there and pay for the room and food. She may not even understand why she’s started to get semi-bitchy, and it’s basically because she’s feeling inadequate and that causes tension, etc. On the other hand, a person doesn’t want to feel they have to monitor their activities because they have a broke friend. You can see this turning into subconscious resentment. The next thing you know the phone calls and messages get less and less; you know the deal. And, I won’t even mention the implications of lending money to a friend for them to go on vacation. If you can’t immediately see the problem here, I recommend watching an episode of Judge Judy.
If you’re into elegant hotels, your hostel loving friend may judge you because they think you’re wasting money. And, if you’re into hostels your hotel loving friend will not even want to look at the inside of a hostel. It’s about compatibility on multiple levels, but financial compatibility ranks as one of the most important.
Tip #3 – Discuss Expectations
Everyone has something they want to see and do while on a getaway. Everyone in the group should list something they want to see and do. When traveling with a group, everyone may have different expectations for the getaway. Some may want to shop, some may want to lounge by the pool and some may want spa time. Discussing expectations ahead of time insures everyone can spend the getaway doing what they want to do and still be a part of the group.
Be warned. If you have someone in the group that continues to state, “I really don’t care what we do. I just want to getaway and have some fun,” that person is the one who will probably end up being a pain in the ass. This is because now they’re putting responsibility on the trip organizer and the group for their perceived idea of what “fun” is. And, if they’re not having “fun,” they’re complaining. My thoughts are if a person doesn’t have the energy to care about what you do, then why should I?
Tip#4 – Handle Your Own Money
This seems easy enough until someone suggests a group fund for food and drinks. Don’t do it. You do not want to be fighting over money or why the person in charge of the group money is spending it on their own individual coffee and food. It’s uncomplicated enough to split the bill, everyone puts in their money or their card and call it a day. This is why it’s a good idea to carry cash for food and drinks when traveling with a group.
So, there you have it, my suggestions for staying friends after the getaway.
Happy Travels and Good Luck!! 🙂
*Please note: photo is courtesy of © Rob Byron