So the summer season is almost upon us, and for some it is the time to start booking last minute holidays. For those of us who are single and far too old to be going on holiday with our parents, holidaying with our friends seems like a perfect solution.
While the idea of soaking up some sun with our fellow girls sounds fun, and indeed can be, there can also be disastrous consequences. Even the strongest of friendships can be tested and pushed to the limit, and what starts as a stress free break can soon leaving you counting down the days until you fly back home. I have experienced holidays that I never want to forget and those that I wish I could. So with this in mind here are some tips that will hopefully save you money, time and ultimately your friendships.
Go for a test run:
This may sound silly but it wouldn’t hurt to have a practice holiday before you book the actual one. You may get on with your friends really well when you meet up for shopping trips or nights out, but unless you live together you don’t have any idea what they are like in a domestic situation. For example, I am an early riser and the three girls I went on holiday with liked to sleep in until midday. Not that I wouldn’t love to have long lie-ins back home, however, when I pay a lot of money to go on holiday I really don’t see the point in staying in bed and wasting half the day. Needless to say that this caused a few issues and put a dampener on the whole experience. They would bite my head off if I attempted to wake them before half past eleven, yet it was not safe for a young British girl to wander around by herself in the town we were staying in. All of this meant that until my lazy companions decided to drag themselves out of bed I was limited to lounging by the pool, by myself.
Going for a test run can also tell you a great deal about your friend’s cooking and cleaning abilities. It’s good to know in advance if you are travelling with any extremely fussy eaters or if anyone shirks their washing up duties.
Spending a week or more in each other’s company is enough to put a strain on any friendship, so simply becoming acquainted with each other’s annoying habits will ensure that there will be no nasty shocks once you arrive and settle into your hotel. Try spending a whole weekend together at somebody’s house; see what it is like waking up with them, eating breakfast together, cooking together, etc.
Make sure you have an ally:
If there is a large group of you going on a holiday together then it is very rare that you will all want to do the same thing. As long as you have at least one other person who wants to get the same out of the holiday as you do then you should be okay. A friend of mine told me about a disastrous trip to Barcelona whereby she was the only one who wanted to check out the museums and art galleries; the girls she went with were only interested in shopping and drinking. She was forced to go to the galleries by herself and felt alienated for the rest of the trip.
Making sure that you are not the only singleton on a holiday either, or the only one in a relationship for that matter. Some girls that are in committed relationships might not feel comfortable going to clubs whilst their single friends flirt with guys, on the other hand if you are single it can feel as if your friends are preventing you from having a good time. I went on a holiday where two of us were single and the other two were very much in relationships. This worked out quite well because while they were on the phone to their boyfriends telling them how much they were missing them, we could hit the bar and enjoy our single status.
As much as I hate to admit it money is a very important factor, especially as people have very different attitudes towards it. In an ideal world all of your friends would have the exact same holiday budget as you which would make the booking of a holiday a piece of cake; however, we do not live in an ideal world and when it comes to money it is quite scary how people can change. In every group there is the one who is flush with cash and eager to spend it, they will enjoy having money and as a result will want to stay in an amazing hotel and have a holiday that consists of shopping and other expensive excursions. For every friend that is rolling in it there is one who barely has enough to pay for flights and a hotel. If you have saved up for a long time just to go on a foreign holiday then you are not going to want pay for things that are not essential or compromise on where you want to go or what you want to do. It is essential that you all sit down and work out a budget that is manageable for EVERYBODY, this makes it a lot easier when deciding when to go, what restaurants to eat at and how long to go for. Most importantly you must not resent each other because of a difference in financial situation, money is such a trivial thing to fall out over.
How are we getting to the airport? How much should we put aside for food? What days shall we just lounge by the pool? What excursions shall we book?
These are all questions that you need to ask each other prior to going on holiday. The best holiday I ever went on had been one that we were all very organized about. We all took charge for different aspects of the holiday and sorted out everything in advance. Therefore, when it came to arriving at our destination we could simply relax and enjoy ourselves.