How to Travel with Friends Without Falling Out

How to Travel with Friends Without Falling Out

Nothing bonds your friend group more than travel. While family vacations are fun, going on a trip with your best friends is the ultimate way to explore the world. Your group chat is probably full of messages like “we should go on vacation!” or “I saw a TikTok on Budapest, we should take a trip.” 

2024 is the year to get your friend trip out of the group chat and make it a reality. “Friendcations” aren’t always easy though, especially if you’ve got different personalities in your group. Flexibility is key, whether you’re a trio or a group of ten. 

We’re sharing our top tips on how to travel with friends so that everyone is still friends on the flight home. 

ZenHotels Blog
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Be honest with your budget

The first essential “do” for any group trip is to be honest with your budget. Not everyone in your group will have the same disposable income or want to spend the same amount on travel. Be honest with your budget and have open communication from day one. Money is one of the things your group is most likely to fight over.

You want to set a budget that everyone is comfortable with. Don’t stop your budget at flights and accommodation. Everyone should be on the same page in terms of financial expectations during your trip. Consider a daily budget for meals, transport, and activities. Booking popular tourist attractions ahead of time can help you save money, and getting a travel card can eliminate expensive conversion fees that can quickly rack up. 

The first essential “do” for any group trip is to be honest with your budget. Not everyone in your group will have the same disposable income or want to spend the same amount on travel. 
Photo: kitzcorner/ Shutterstock.com

Choose the right destination

What will make or break your vacation is the destination. You might want to travel to Thailand, while everyone else in your group wants to head to Europe. You’ll have to compromise on your destination to find somewhere that works for everyone. It’s best to choose cities and countries with diverse activities, cuisine, and entertainment options. This diversity means each person in your group should be able to find something that interests them to add to your itinerary. 

Are you not sure what destinations to consider?

Discover the top 10 must-visit destinations for 2024 here.

Plan ahead

Planning is crucial for group trips. While you can be spontaneous on a solo vacation, group trips take more planning.

It’s the best way to avoid stress and drama by setting expectations early in your planning stage. 

Planning is crucial for group trips. While you can be spontaneous on a solo vacation, group trips take more planning.
Photo: G-Stock Studio/ Shutterstock.com

Make your trip planning a collaborative team effort. Ask everyone to choose one activity or restaurant to add to your itinerary to prevent anyone from feeling left out. 

Start a Google Doc to track your planning ideas and share access with your friends to let them see the itinerary on the go. 

Have alone time

Spending too much time together isn’t always a good idea. When we’re in groups, people thrive off each other’s energy – meaning if one person is feeling irritated, everyone is irritated. Allow everyone to have alone time throughout the trip to recharge their batteries. 

What stops some people from going on group trips is the idea of having to be with other people 24/7. Give the introverts and extroverts in the group a chance to unwind with a little alone time to explore your destination or grab a coffee.

Give introverts and extroverts alike the chance to unwind by the lakeside, with the serene solitude of a book or the quiet company of a coffee. It’s the perfect setting for everyone to explore and savor the destination in their own preferred way.
Photo: seamind224/ Shutterstock.com

Don’t expect one person to do everything

Every friendship group has a planner. They’re the person who naturally takes the lead and always has an answer to your travel questions. They might offer to plan most of the trip but don’t expect one person to do everything. Everyone is busy, and planning a group trip takes time. 

Make the planning process as collaborative as possible. Start a separate group chat to send each other travel blogs, social media posts, and attractions you’d like to pre-book. Planning together means that the stress isn’t only on one person’s shoulders, especially if there are a few hiccups along the way. 

Every friendship group has a planner. They’re the person who naturally takes the lead and always has an answer to your travel questions. They might offer to plan most of the trip but don’t expect one person to do everything. 
Photo: Rawpixel.com/ Shutterstock.com

Don’t plan too many activities

Planning is crucial to having a successful “Friendcation,” but you don’t want to over plan. Book the most popular attractions early, especially if there’s a discount for advance booking, but don’t lock in every activity. 

Flexibility is key, and you never know what might happen. Prioritize a few activities and keep a list of other things you’d like to do if you have the time. 

Voice your own opinion

It’s a common misconception that the best way to have a successful group trip is to go with the flow. This is what causes most problems! Everyone has an opinion, and a little compromise will help you find hotels and activities that offer something for everyone. Voicing your opinion can make it easier to come to decisions and keep everyone happy. 

Everyone has an opinion, and a little compromise will help you find hotels and activities that offer something for everyone. Voicing your opinion can make it easier to come to decisions and keep everyone happy
Photo: fizkes/ Shutterstock.com

Try new things

The beauty of a “Friendcation” is that you can try new things. Whether you’re a frequent traveler or stepping on a plane for the first time, everyone can experience something new. Keep an open mind and broaden your horizons. Planning a trip with friends allows you to try things you usually wouldn’t do, like going to the theater or trying a new cuisine. 

Don’t share a room if you don’t want to

Going on a group vacation is a great way to travel without breaking the bank, especially if you’re able to split the cost of accommodation. Not everyone will want to share a room. 

Whether you’re booking a villa or hotel, you want to decide early on how many rooms you need. Some friends might be comfortable sharing, while others would rather pay extra for their own room. Give everyone the space they need, whether it’s bunking with their best friend or having the space to be messy without stressing about a roommate.

Whether you’re booking a villa or hotel, you want to decide early on how many rooms you need. Some friends might be comfortable sharing, while others would rather pay extra for their own room. 
Photo: Soloviova Liudmyla/ Shutterstock.com

Talk about the type of traveler you are

Everyone travels differently. Some people like to be at the airport three hours early, and other people end up being the last to board their flight. We all have different habits, and these clash during a group vacation. One friend might be an early riser, while another prefers a later start on vacation. 

Ask everyone in your group if they:

  • Are an early riser or want a late start
  • Prefer a night out or an early bedtime
  • Plan to workout during your trip
  • Need a daily nap or break to recharge
  • Have any dietary needs 
  • Have any travel pet peeves to avoid.

Don’t post on social media without asking

Not everyone likes to share their travels online. Have a conversation about social media before your trip to make sure everyone is on the same page, including taking photographs. You don’t want one person in the group to become the designated photographer and end up with no travel photos of their own. 

Not everyone likes to share their travels online. Have a conversation about social media before your trip to make sure everyone is on the same page, including taking photographs.
Photo: Carlo Prearo / Shutterstock.com

One of the most common reasons friends fight on trips is because of social media, from scrolling on your phone at dinner to not taking photos of the rest of your group.

Get everyone’s opinion and ask if they’re comfortable having photos put online or being tagged in your social media posts.

Your group might decide to have a “digital detox” on vacation or choose to post your photos after your trip. Everyone has different preferences, and not posting your trip in real-time is a top safety tip while traveling. Privacy and safety are just as important when you’re traveling as it is day-to-day. 

Get your finances sorted

Don’t let money become the source of fighting between your friends. Think ahead and decide how you’re going to pay for this, especially if you’re sticking to a smaller budget. Keep track of expenses, including if anyone pays on behalf of the group. 

While you might decide to split the cost of meals, not every restaurant can facilitate this. Make sure you have finance apps on your phone to quickly send money to your friends in real time. 

Don’t let money become the source of fighting between your friends. Think ahead and decide how you’re going to pay for this, especially if you’re sticking to a smaller budget.
Photo: PeopleImages.com – Yuri A/ Shutterstock.com

Book your group vacation with ZenHotels

Find your zen when planning your group vacation with access to the best rates on accommodation in over 220 countries. We offer all sorts of accommodation, whether you’re searching for a villa in France, a campsite in Germany, or a hotel in Las Vegas.


Get your dream vacation out of the group chat and make it a reality in 2024. Start getting ideas for your Friendcation by exploring our top destinations on ZenHotels today.

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