Updated: Jan 27, 2020
A cup of tea would be better fitting as I write this blog post, but I only have coffee, so it will have to do.
We’ve all heard the old adage. You do not know a person until you have lived with them. It’s absolutely the same for travel.
“You do not know a person, until you have traveled with them.”
I say this from the depths of my soul. I know you love your friends (same goes for family), but if you want to salvage your friendships ahead of time, there are a few items you might want to sit down and have a discussion about, before galloping around the world together.
Here are a few items to take in consideration when planning your girl’s trip.
Airfare - Everyone books their own. Plain and simple.
Memorandum of Understanding - Get it in writing or at least agree by text or email. I can’t stress this enough.
But of course some of us….Oh those are my girls. We have a mutual understanding and a undying bond. No ma’am. You will find out how much understanding and undying bond you all have when someone backs out and wants their money back. Sips pretend tea (I only have coffee remember).
An associate of mine was sued behind this very thing, and the friend who sued her and a few others won. They’re no longer friends. Two decades of friendships down the drain.
Documentation - Make sure everyone understands what important documents are needed. Not asking how to apply for their passport 3 weeks prior to the trip. WHAT!!! Yes you can get your passport expedited, but I do not need that negativity in my life.
Deposit (non-refundable deposit) – When deciding on a deposit amount. Set the deposit to cover at least the cost of your accommodations. If anyone backs out or is unable to go, the rest of you, won’t be stuck paying the extra costs. Sorry, but not sorry.
Payment Plan Due Dates - Yes, due dates are necessary and imperative. Not, hit my hand when you can.
Make sure your actual due date is at least a month after the group’s due date. Just in case someone pays late.
Pick The Right People - I’m sorry. I know you want your best friend to go, but if she’s having financial problems, it’s probably not a good idea. Having that heart to heart is real. But “Hey friend I know you’re....
The Complainer - A friend who is unpleasing and complains a lot. Leave that Negative Nancy at home.
Locked Up and Abroad – Do your research on the laws and customs, especially traveling abroad.
I understand you and your friends may be “bout it bout it” in my Master P voice, but that disorderly conduct may land you in jail or fined.
Miss your flight over some BS, because you didn’t know, you couldn’t bring Chi-Town to Dubai. “Mo money, mo money, mo money.”
Sleeping arrangements and what type of sleeper you are.
Bow Chicka Wow Wow – No unregistered guests "Baby Grind On Me" In my Pretty Rick voice...LMBO
I would laugh too, but random guests in your room for unadulterated activities, issa no. Flag on the field. That’s putting your group safety at-risk. Also keep in mind. Thieves do not mind getting both booties (cash & ass).
Trial Run – If you’re unsure if you can stand a week+ with your girls. Do a quick weekend getaway. See how this goes before taking an extended trip.
Let me tell you briefly why. I allowed a friend who is a Licensed Clinical Therapist to tagalong on my trip to Thailand with me and my mother.
Bad, Bad, Bad, idea. The trip lasted about 2 weeks.
By the 4th day, it was about to be a Bangkok Shakedown.
She brought her academia on vacation. No ma’am, this is a vacation, not the office. My mother and I are not your test subjects. You’re about to be touched, and not by an Angel.
My mother recommended her to switch rooms with her for the remainder of our stay. She went into my mother room, and mother stayed in the room with me.
I did not shell out my hard earned money to have an “F’upped” vacation. I still had a great time, because I’m a solo traveler, so she didn’t phase my vacation. She found herself doing things alone.
But hey, this was my mistake. Allowing a person I did not vet on my extended trip.
Create a group itinerary (discuss what activities you will be doing together and apart).
Of course I saved the best for last.
For The Love of Money – Now this may get a little awkward, but it encourages openness. It’s best to be upfront. This allows you to set a realistic budget among you and your friends.
I’m a budget traveler, so if you’re going to get upset with me because you want to flauge minion (filet mignon) the entire trip and I’m sweating the chicken truck, then you might not want to travel with me. I’m no cheapo, but I don’t have to have a white table cloth every night. “YOLO” my ass, but that’s just me.
I had to kiss a few travel frogs along my journey of finding the right mix of travel buddies. But I have arrived. I found my travel tribe, and they have become some of my closest friends.
Traveling with friends has its perks, but before you take that leap, have a discussion.