Advantages and Disadvantages of Travelling With Friends
Last Updated on May 5, 2022
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Are you thinking about travelling with friends? Travelling with friends can be an amazing experience, and can really solidify a friendship.
But it can also break a friendship if you don’t figure out how to communicate and compromise on the road.
You should definitely travel with friends at least once in your life. But there are many advantages and disadvantages of going on holiday with friends to consider first.
So let’s weigh up the pros and cons of travelling alone vs with friends before you commit to a holiday together!
Advantages of Travelling with Friends
1. Share beautiful moments with your besties
I mean, could you ask for more? When you consider the advantages and disadvantages of travelling with friends, this is definitely one of the biggest pros.
Travelling with friends is something so special that you can look back on when you’re old and crusty.
And if you’re lucky enough to still be friends then it will be all that much more special.
2. Peace of mind
If you’re travelling with friends, you’re not travelling alone, which might help put all your families’ minds at ease.
And knowing you are with someone you will be a bit more confident and you will feel a bit safer, as well.
Plus if anyone hurts you, you know your friend will kick their arse!
Travelling with friends might be especially beneficial if this is your first time travelling.
3. Common Interests
One of the biggest advantages of traveling with a group of friends is that you are all likely to share a few similar interests.
This means you should be able to pick things to do that you will all like, rather than bicker at each other constantly about which monument you want to see.
When considering the advantages and disadvantages of travelling with friends, money is bound to come up.
But the good news is that it’s often cheaper travelling with friends!
For example, it is usually cheaper (or the same price) to stay at a hostel in your own double room rather than paying for 2 single beds in a dorm.
You can also cut your costs by sharing essential travel services like a portable Wi-FI device or a VPN for Hot Spot users.
If you are trying to save money with food, it will be cheaper to go to the supermarket and get the ingredients to cook your own food.
Splitting that in half will make it cheap as chips!
You can collaborate and share your skills with each other. For example, one of you might have saved up a bunch of miles by using a travel rewards credit card.
The best travel credit cards offer rewards like free flights for every dollar spent on everyday purchases.
Or, one person might be really good at directions and the other might be good at picking restaurants.
If you combine your skills you’re more like to have a hassle-free trip!
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6. Good support bubble
One of the disadvantages of travelling alone is that, out on the road, it can get lonely, especially if you’re travelling for a longer period of time.
So one easy benefit of travelling with friends is that there’s always someone there to keep you company.
Sharing meals and private jokes, witnessing beautiful moments together, that’s what going on holiday with friends is all about!
One of the other advantages of travelling with friends along similar lines is that you’ve also got a support group with you.
No matter if you’re at work doing the daily grind, or out travelling with a friend, life is going to happen.
If something happens to you, or to someone you care about, your travelling buddies will be on hand to help you through in any way they can. If they’re true friends that is!
7. Someone to take photos
Ever been in a situation where you’ve wanted to get the perfect shot but all you can manage is an arm-wrenching selfie? Or set up your camera on a timer only to have it fall over at the crucial moment?
Well, this is why travelling with friends is better! Now you can be perfectly placed without having to put distance between you and your camera, or struggle with a selfie stick.
Admittedly you might have to return the favour for your travelling friend, but you’ll both get great-looking memories out of it!
8. Take turns doing activities for security
If you’re in a cafe or a restaurant, and you want to have a bathroom break, one thing you don’t want to do is have to bring your day bag or backpack with you.
This is where going on a trip with friends can really pay off. While one of you leaves the table, the other can keep an eye on your things, so you don’t have to do any unnecessary juggling.
This also applies to leaving your towels on the beach, keeping your table saved while one of you orders food/drinks at a bar, and so on.
Leaving a place that you’ve saved to go get something, only to come back and find someone else has taken it – or that the bag you left to hold it is missing – is one of the worst things ever.
But no one asks themselves “why travel with friends?” when they help you manage to keep hold of a prime spot of holiday real estate!
Disadvantages of Travelling with Friends
1. Increased tensions
Being together all the time could cause tension which may lead to arguments and might just sour the holiday if you let it fester.
Luckily, because you’re friends already you’ll hopefully talk it through and get over it in a day or two, so don’t let that put you off travelling with friends.
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2. Different interests
Just because you’re friends doesn’t mean you share ALL of the same interests or have similar travel styles.
One of the biggest disadvantages of going on holiday with friends is that at some point you will likely disagree on what exactly you want to do.
You might want to see different attractions, do different activities, or even travel at different speeds.
You may isolate yourself with your best friend which means you miss out on meeting some awesome people.
Having conversations with the locals and other random people is something that everyone should do while travelling.
But by having another person with you, you may find yourself just talking to your friend and not making an effort to talk to anyone else.
4. Different travel styles
Your plans might change and you just want to travel to a different part of the country while your friend might want to stay. This is not necessarily a bad thing.
You can always meet up in a week or so and part your separate ways, so you can both explore where you want.
It’s okay to compromise because you do not want to regret not seeing or doing something because of someone else’s view and unique travel style
5. Third wheel syndrome
If you’re travelling with multiple friends – especially an odd number – there’s also the potential someone will wind up feeling left out.
Unless you’re a contrarian, no one wants to be the odd one out. But that can happen when a group of travelling friends has different interests, styles or tastes.
It’s an introvert’s nightmare to find themselves on a group holiday where everyone wants to go out dancing and drinking all night.
And plenty of teenagers have experienced the disadvantages of travelling with family when the younger siblings drag them and the parents to something unbearably childish.
Whatever group you’re in, there’s always a chance that the others will all want to do something that you have no desire to do yourself. Bring a book or some headphones just in case, maybe?
6. Might not be enough space in some places
More people means more beds or rooms needed, more seats on buses, planes and trains, and more available tickets at the activities you all want to do.
It’s one of the unavoidable logistical disadvantages of travelling in a group.
If it’s just you, there’s either enough space for you, or there isn’t. When you’re in a pair or a group and you find yourself one space short, things can get awkward.
It might mean that you all have to look for something else to do or somewhere else to stay. It might mean someone gets left out, or forced to stay in a different hostel. Even worse, that might be you!
7. Differing dietary requirements
You might have a friend that you do everything with, and who is on exactly the same wavelength as you, but who has different dietary requirements to you. This can lead to problems on the road.
In fact, certain dietary requirements might alter where you can eat and even where you can travel to at all.
Say one of you is vegetarian, and one of you is lactose intolerant. Either one of those dietary requirements might close off a part of the world to you, due to the culinary norms of some countries.
It’s almost impossible to avoid meat or fish in some rural areas of the world, and it’s hard to avoid both meat AND dairy in some countries such as Albania, for example.
If you and those you’re travelling with have more than one set of dietary needs, then you might find that your options for where to go on holiday with friends are more limited.
Luckily, more and more dietary options are becoming available around the world, especially in major cities.
But if even one member of your party has specific dietary requirements, it might take some extra planning ahead of time, and may even mean you miss out on trying all the local cuisine.
8. Different expectations & wealth levels
Sometimes having rich friends is great. Sometimes it can cause a lot of tension in a group.
This can happen if your holiday gang ends up visiting expensive sites, dining at high-end restaurants, or staying in five-star hotels.
Not everyone can afford to throw as much money around, and sometimes not everyone can speak up against it with a cheaper alternative. It’s hard when it feels like you might “spoil the fun.”
This one won’t apply to everyone, but if there is a significant wealth gap amongst any of your travel companions, it is worth remembering.
Tips for travelling with friends:
1. Practice local languages together
When visiting a country that speaks a different language, it is always useful to have some key words and phrases in that language available to you.
From being able to ask where the airport is, to a simple “hello,” “please” and “thank you,” knowing some local lingo can prove very valuable.
One of the benefits of travelling with friends is that you can practice these phrases amongst yourselves without having to try them out on a local for the first time.
It can be embarrassing to trip up linguistically, especially if you need their help! Practicing new languages while travelling with friends will help you get by better.
2. Discuss & set out personal boundaries
Right from the outset, especially if you’re travelling with friends for the first time, it can be a good idea to set some personal boundaries. Sometimes, it can actually be essential.
It’s a lot harder to break a habit that’s already being formed than to set it straight before it starts.
If you’re travelling together, a lot of the time you’re sort-of living together. Plenty of people who move in with friends find out that they have habits or practices that are wildly different from them.
So setting up some guidelines or rules beforehand can save everyone from potential future arguments or embarrassment.
Even working out a “safe word” or phrase that implies that you feel unsafe or that you need some space – but without having to say it out loud – can sometimes be a good idea.
3. Make some set plans ahead of time
Even when you’re travelling on your own, it pays to plan ahead. This is even more true if you’re travelling with friends or family.
Making sure there’s something on the itinerary for everyone is a good step towards making sure everyone has a good time. But of course, not everyone’s idea of a good time is the same.
Sometimes one of the disadvantages of travelling with friends is that there’s so many of you that you all want to do different things.
By making sure there’s time set aside for everyone to do their own thing, you can take some of the pressure off of the group.
It may well be that most or all of you end up doing the same thing in your separate time – I guess it depends on how well you’re all getting on!
4. Share emergency contact info with each other
When thinking about the pros and cons of group travel, you can’t ignore the possibility of an unexpected emergency.
Should an accident happen, it’s important that your group be able to get in contact with whoever you need to in an emergency, especially if the person in trouble can’t give you the information.
For example, what happens if you’re on a hike and your friend falls and hits their head? If you don’t know who to call, they’re not in a position to tell you!
By sharing emergency contact information – which may include different embassy or foreign government contacts if you’re on holiday with an international group – you can avoid being caught out in a tight spot.
5. Play to each other’s strengths
I find that when you’re travelling with friends, there’s sometimes a tendency for everyone to want to do everything.
Everyone wants to be the navigator, everyone wants to drive, everyone wants to lead the group. If you know that someone is better qualified, let them take that role if they want it!
It can be infuriating to find yourselves being led into the unknown by an enthusiastic amateur when you happen to be travelling with a trained hiker/tracker, for example.
If someone has the skills, let them pay the bills as it were. Your talents will come into play at some point on your journey, don’t worry!
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Frequently Asked Questions
I personally prefer going on holiday with friends. With friends, you often have similar interests and more say in what you want to do.
If you travel with friends you will have a built-in support system, which can be especially beneficial if you are shy or this is your first time travelling. But travelling with friends is also a wonderful bonding experience!
It can be difficult to travel with people – even good friends – and spend all of your time together. The longer the trip and the more disparate your travel styles, the more likely you are to have disagreements.
Are there any advantages and disadvantages of group travel that I missed? Make sure you tell me below which travel you prefer. Do you love travelling with friends or do you prefer to go solo?
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- How to Make Friends in a Hostel
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- The Best Destinations for a Holiday with Friends