How to politely reject a travel invitation from a friend

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You’ve been invited by a friend to come along on their next vacation.

You’re excited about the prospect of spending some time off work, but you’re not sure if that’s the friend or group you would like to hang out with.

The decision of whether or not to travel with a friend can be a tricky one. If you’re on the fence, here are a few ways to politely reject a travel invitation from a friend.

Suggesting alternatives

Here’s a template that works like magic:

“I don’t think I’ll be able to make it this time. How about we meet for a meal before you fly?”

Honesty is the best policy

You don’t want to lead them on or make them think you’re considering their offer. The easiest way to reject a travel invitation is to be direct and say “no” in a polite way.

Keep your response short and sweet, and avoid getting into any unnecessary detail. This will help sidestep any hurtful feelings. If your friend persists, be honest and let them know that you’re not interested or you have other plans.

Ways to politely reject an invitation
chatting in the cold

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First, start by expressing gratitude for the invitation.

Let them know that you appreciate them thinking of you. And if the person is a close friend, feel free to tell them a few reasons why and how much their invitation means to you. Then move into saying why you won’t be able to join them on their trip.

When it comes to the actual refusal, don’t beat around the bush by using phrases like “maybe” or “it depends.” It’s always good to be polite but firm in your response. You can even add a little bit of humor just to lighten the mood a little.

Managing your friend’s disappointment

Let them know that even though you have no intention of going with them, you value the friendship and are thankful they thought of you.

In addition, try to avoid feeling guilty or bad about declining the invite. Remember that your friend asked because they thought it sounded like fun and wanted some company—it wasn’t a life-or-death request. So if the idea of traveling together doesn’t appeal to you, there’s no need to feel guilty about saying no!

The next time you’re invited on a trip by a friend you love but hate traveling together, remember that it’s okay to say no. You don’t have to explain yourself in detail if you don’t want to, and you don’t have to feel bad. But if you can, be honest, and be grateful for the offer.

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