So you want to know our secret and how you can travel with friends?
“We are Four Friends One World. We believe life is about creating experiences and the pursuit of adventure. Richness is derived from embracing adventure and growing together from the shared experiences. Why walk the world in another person’s shoes when you can walk alongside them and see the world through their eyes.” Four Friends One World
The idea of traveling with friends can be very appealing. Obviously you like your friends, otherwise, you would not classify them as such.
However, you must remember the benefits of traveling with friends go hand in hand with the risks. To put it another way, just because you enjoy hanging out or connecting regularly with your friends, does not mean you will maintain that positive relationship on an extended 24/7 basis.
Most vacations will see you spending every hour of every day for 1 or more week/s together. So what tips do the four friends have to help you keep things harmonious and fun?
We know that some people simply cannot travel in groups, whether it’s because of an unwillingness to let go of total control, or not wanting to upset others by speaking up about what they want to do. Fortunately, for our Four Friends traveling together is effortless and enjoyable. So we are constantly asked how do we make it work? The answer is quite simple really – communication and compromise is the key.
It would be fair to say that we are like minded and have been friends for a very long time. We are easy going and aligned with our interests, we generally want to see and do similar things and most importantly we trust one another. One key component is we are motivated to experience our travels to the fullest. We aren’t people who sleep in or spend weeks lounging by the pool, and thus we are happy to optimize time and be highly active on our trips. This might not appeal to your style of travel and it is important that you find friends who share your methods.
Our holidays so far have all included 2 or more cities (or countries) to keep things fair and fun, each couple will take it in turns to plan sightseeing. It might be a Day by Day plan, or a destination by destination plan. This allows each couple to take the lead while the other couple can sit back and relax. It also gives us the opportunity to let go of control and let the other couple lead us to new and exciting experiences, which we might hot have experienced without them.
As the years have rolled by, we have, oh dear, gotten older (maybe wiser?). The things we want to do have changed. When we first started traveling we wanted big nights out whereas now, we prefer a quiet dinner, great wine and conversation. Often calling it a night well before 1am. We are lucky that we both grew out of our party phase at the same time. It can cause a lot of conflicts if a group is not aligned on their “hours of operation.” Keep that in mind when you are evaluating if you can travel with a friend or group of friends.
We do like different activities and experiences. We take two strategies when our interests and desires diverge. Firstly we agree to try something different for the sake of a great group experience. This does force those who are on the surface not interested or event fearful to take a leap and try something new. It has almost always paid off for everyone, we support each other through the challenges and encourage each other to grow by pushing our boundaries and comfort levels. However, if we decide the divide is to wide to compromise on and we separate for the day to experience different activities. While the second situation is very rare, it should not be viewed as a failure. We love to push each other to experience new things. But true friends understand that everyone has limits and there should be no judgment or animosity when we separate.
We feel extremely blessed that we have friends who we can share the adventure with. There has never ever been one fight, one argument or not even a raised voice. We haven’t even complained behind one another’s back, you might call it lucky – we call it friendship, respect, and love.
More Four Friends One World Travel Tips
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It’s good that you grew out of the party phase together. Hopefully, the kids phase doesn’t rock the quartet in a bad way. We are getting ready to take our second big group travel trip in as many years. Honestly, we do enough planning that it’s kind of cool to let our friends take the lead on this one. The love the planning and do a great job of it. The social aspects of group travel just makes things more fun sometimes.
I can count on 1 hand the friends I travel with these days and they’re awesome. You guys are fortunate to have each other.
Then I must say you guys are lucky. Having such friends is really blessings. Sharing each other thoughts, fun and also traveling together. Great!!
this was an interesting read for me because I am actually traveling solo and occasionally get a little lonely. I wish I had friends with me but I have to remember this is my first time doing extended travel so it’s probably better to do it alone. I find the things you said here to be true even in every day relationships or with roommates and such. there’s a broader lesson here than just traveling with friends. thanks for the write-up. i dig it.
Traveling with friends is always fun. But, you have to find friends that are willing to travel and have the funds for it.
Travelling with friends can get both ways.. good and not so good. Happy that you have been able to find a rhythm among you all. Loved your expression “Why walk the world in another person’s shoes when you can walk alongside them and see the world through their eyes.”
I love the title of this post. I am one such person who loves to travel with friends. I have a group of 4 girlfriends who travel most of the time together and its so much fun. And so rightly you have put up that communication and compromise is the key to having a great trip with friends. I am happy for you and hope you have many such trips together.
Most of our traveling these days is with family — either our immediate family or extended family. I think it’s important so sometimes let others take the lead. And yes we often push each other to try new things. Our son is overcoming his fear if heights and our daughter is more willing to try new foods. Happy continued journeys.
I’ve had both good and not-so-good experiences with travel companions. A lot comes down to respect and communication as you say. I had an unexpected opportunity about a year back to do a 10-day road trip with a long lost relative I hadn’t spent more than an hour with in the last decade! It was a little daunting how it would go off, as we had no idea what each other’s habits and quirks were. But we approached each other respectfully, discussed what we wanted to do/see along the way and had an AMAZING trip along the California Coast!
This is one of the most accurate articles I have ever read honestly! The tips are fabulous. I have been on travels with friends that were highly successful and also on one that was somewhat a disaster. You are right in that just because you are friends doesn’t mean you will travel well together. You have to establish guidelines ahead of time and even then it sometimes doesn’t resonate. Good that all of you grew out of the party phase together. That is HUGE when traveling. Establishing whether or not you are an on-the-go explorer or a do-nothing traveler is also a definite. Great tips!!
To travel together as a group of four and still be best friends is amazing! For me, travelling with friends always end up feeling too good or too bad. I have also never felt comfortable travelling in a group.
Traveling with friends can definitely be a challenging experience. It was good to hear that you guys are on a similar wavelength with exploring and not wasting time. Nice to point out the pros and cons
I travel with my best friend all the time, and have for 20+ years … my wife. 😉 The biggest takeaway is one that so many couples and friends forget to consider when they travel — be sure you are of like mind and expectations. I would also add that as friends, you need to also be comfortable with the other saying “you know, today I feel like sitting in a cafe quietly with a book, but you go” and go you do. By yourself now, but still happy.
It’s definitely important to have aligned interests. I think you can be a really close group of people but if you have different interests then it can all go wrong! I spent 3 months travelling with my best friend and we drove each other crazy. When we’re at home you can’t separate us but on the road it’s a whole different story!
I think that it is great that you travel as a group of 4 and that you guys are having so much fun. It is rare to hear about especially when most people do solo posts or couples posts. I completely understand what your saying that communication and compromise is the key but I think that is with any good friendship in general 🙂
I’m totally with you, I prefer nights in with great wine and conversation too! I love all of my friends but there are only a select few I could travel with, ha! Mostly because they don’t travel well in groups, like you mentioned.