Follow these tips to make sure that after traveling with your girlfriend, sister or best buddy, you come home friends. Even the closest people can have different travel rhythms and goals. Just because you love, like or live with someone, doesn’t mean you can travel with them.
I learned this the hard way when renting a villa with my sisters and our children. The property came with a cook. All we had to do was purchase groceries for the meals we wanted. Simple? Not really.
In creating a shopping list, the group discovered that my kids and I wanted the cook to prepare lobster and a few of her specialties and we wanted to eat dinners out at least three of the seven nights. Sister number 1 wanted to keep it cheap with pasta dishes in-house and only one or two dinners at inexpensive restaurants. Sister number 2 told us that she expected me and sister number one to pay all her expenses because she was “sad.” Needless to say, we had lots of old-fashioned “sisterly” shouting matches that week, along with some good moments.
So however uncomfortable, before you send in the booking payments, insist on a sit-down. BY considering the following, you have a good chance of not ruining the trip and the friendship.
Money and expectations.
Discuss all money details from groceries to restaurant bills as well as payments for cabs, rental cars and tips. Find out if your best buddy wants to indulge in steak dinners and sample the Asian fusion cuisine at the local hot spot, but you’re thinking of a budget getaway. If so, figure out a way to make it work.
In Maine even on a counting pennies college camping trip, I saved enough for a lobster dinner (my favorite) but my friend couldn’t afford that meal. She dined with me, but ordered a soup and salad and I paid for her dessert.
I want to see as much of an area as I can—visit the museums, browse the shops, hike the hills, etc. A good friend of mine likes to do some of that, but also come back to the resort to relax with a good book. We made a deal. She goes with me to whatever interests her and the rest of the attractions I see on my own. No hurt feelings.
Sharing a room
Although you’ve got this one worked out with your husband/wife/partner. It’s not so easy with a friend or a sister. In Venice, I found out that when my sister can’t sleep, a somewhat frequent occurrence, she turns on the light in the middle of the night to read. Not much shut eye for me. After that, I realized that to travel together, we need separate rooms.
If you plan to share a room, make sure you can cope with the other person’s little habits, things like leaving towels on the floor, taking a bath first and never cleaning the tub or awakening at 6:00 a.m. and noisily clattering cups while using the in-room coffee maker.