Traveling with a new friend can be a great experience, but it can also be daunting.
How do you avoid conflicts from arising? How do you make sure that you both have a good time?
Below are some tips to help make your next trip with a new friend a success.
You’re both there to enjoy yourselves, what’s the point if you’re constantly butting heads?
Resolving conflicts is all about remaining calm on the issue at hand. Take a step back, and try to figure out why the conflict is happening in the first place. Is one person trying to take over? Are you not agreeing on what to do or where to go?
Once you’ve identified the source of the conflict, it’s time to compromise. Maybe it means one person gets to decide on dinner and the other picks the movie. Or maybe you take turns choosing activities each day. The possibilities are endless, but the goal is always the same: to consider the needs of both.
Respecting personal space
Everyone travels differently and has different comfort levels.
While you may be excited to explore every inch of the city, your new friend might prefer to take things a little slower.
Respect their comfort levels and don’t try to push them outside of their comfort zone. If they’re not interested in going out to a club, don’t get mad—just find something else to do.
Pay attention to their expressions and body language. If they’re not keen on talking, give them some space. If they’re looking uncomfortable, back off. Be considerate of each other’s feelings. If someone is tired or doesn’t feel well, be understanding and allow them to rest.
Keeping the conversation going
Before your trip, agree on boundaries. What are your expectations? How much downtime do you want? What are your triggers?
This way, there are no surprises once you’re on the road. And, if a conflict does arise, you would have already talked about it and be able to think before you speak.
Remember: long-haul travel is already tiresome enough—you don’t need added tension from a fight with your travel buddy.
Dividing planning tasks for the trip
Divvy up the tasks so that everyone has a chance to contribute and feel like they’re a part of the planning process.
If you’re the one who’s been tasked with finding accommodation, for example, you can look for hotels or Airbnbs that are centrally located and close to public transportation.
If your travel buddy is in charge of finding activities, they can look for things that would be of interest to both of you and make sure there’s the right mix of activities planned for each day.
And if you’re both struggling to agree on what to do, there are always compromise options like using a travel app that allows you to plan out your days together step-by-step.
By doing this, you can each add in the activities that are most important to you and make sure everyone is happy with the final itinerary.
Communicating priorities and expectations
Lastly, reduce the chances of conflict by communicating your expectations and priorities before you even start packing your bags.
If you like to be on the go from sunrise to sunset, but your travel buddy prefers a more relaxed pace, it’s better to know that upfront.
The same goes for other essential details like how much you’re comfortable spending on activities or where you like to stay (budget hotel or five-star resort?).
It’s also important to respect each other’s communication styles. Some people are perfectly happy planning every minute of the trip, while others prefer to go with the flow.
If you’re a planner and your friend is more laid-back, try to find a middle ground that works for both of you. Maybe you can plot the big-picture stuff and leave room for spontaneity when it comes to the day-to-day details.
When traveling with a new friend, the best way to avoid any potential conflict is to communicate openly and honestly. Let your new friend know what your travel plans and expectations are, and be willing to compromise when necessary. By establishing some ground rules and communicating effectively, you can avoid any potential problems and have a smooth and enjoyable trip to come.