Tips for Travelling with Friends


Taking a bit of a travel recap break to post some quick snaps I took the other day of Elle! And of course our conversations would involve photography, food and travel. The last time I travelled with this girl was back in the early 2000s? We've done a few family trips together, including Singapore and a two week roadtrip to Alberta. But the trip we're dreaming up right now is Iceland! Or.. any trip with El Camino wouldn't hurt either.

We were chatting about our experiences with travelling with friends (and family members). Now we've all heard the old adage.. "You don't really know a person until you've lived together." In my case, it's travelling together. I've had my fair share of travelling with both friends and family, and while I've cemented great relationships and memories with some.. unfortunately, there are also others I have not. Thought I'd share some of my travel tips from past experiences!

Understanding what you both want from the trip - Setting Expectations

What is your travel style? Whether it's more of a chill-take-it-easy-by-the-beach sorta trip, an adventure-gogogo-see-as-many-things-as-possible.. or a little bit of both, it's important to communicate this with your potential travel partner. If there's something you definitely want to see, but your friend isn't quite as interested - compromise and meet in the middle. You may just enjoy it after all!

Me Time

If there's one thing I've learned from travelling with friends.. is that sometimes it's okay to split up and do your own thing too. I've realized there were times I needed to be alone to recharge. Most of the time that happens at the end of the day for me, where I'll catch up on editing photos and have some quiet time. There will be times where one of you may need a breather.. so spend an afternoon or so apart. When you do meet up later, you'll have stories to share and enjoy each other's company much more!


While I love a great deal, I'm also willing to splurge on certain things. Whether it's a treat yo self meal on the last day, or saving on transportation costs, it's good to establish these preferences before any planning begins. You might not have the exact budget, but it helps to be travelling with someone who comes close.  I've been lucky enough to travel with people who are on the same page when it comes to the budgeting. It definitely plays a part in the dynamics of the trip. For my last trip, my friend Shaina and I were more willing to splurge on experiences such as the Sahara Desert Trek, while we would save on certain meals by heading to the local grocers and making our own breakfast.

Sleeping Schedules

Some people are early birds, while others are night owls. Again, embrace compromising. I'm a bit of both - so there are some days where I'm completely exhausted and just want to sleep in, and there's also days I don't mind waking up early for. I'd usually plan with my travel partner the night before, so we're ready to go for the next day. (and one of us doesn't have to bug the other to wake up haha!) Be considerate too. If you know you take a long time to get ready in the mornings, perhaps you might want to wake up a little earlier to use the bathroom before your friend does. It's all about being a little flexible with your time. Not everything will go according to schedule. Especially when you're travelling!

Dealing with unexpected circumstances or situations 

How well do you both handle stress? While in Paris earlier this year - my friend Shaina and I had to deal with losing our luggages. Now we spent a day figuring this whole thing out, making calls on our own, and speaking to various people before we managed to locate it. (Major stress! CDG airport was no help whatsoever.) Even then, it was a nightmare to get them back. I'm so thankful she was calm about the whole situation because I definitely wasn't at the time. It helps to have at least one person with a clear head ready to assess the situation.

During another trip, a few of us fell ill the day before our next flight due to some street food we ate, and the only one that didn't (Hi Pablo!) stepped up to take care of us, getting us proper food and medication. It's important to know that if situations like these arise, you can rely on/trust your travel partner.

Sometimes you just got to roll with the punches. Like misreading the menu and ordering steak tartare as your first meal off the plane. Raw beef patty anyone? Major fail, but we laughed it off and it made for a great story.

Open Communication 

There will be certainly be moments where you're annoyed and frustrated with each other. Be honest about it. It's good to keep the lines of communication open, but at the same time, take the time to listen and respect each other's opinion.

Last but not least, have fun! Immerse in the culture, enjoy the food and experience what another part of the world has to offer. Don't sweat the small stuff!

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Pablo said...

All about compromise. If you want to do something and the other doesn't, then you have to be comfortable with doing that yourself, and the other has to be comfortable with letting you do your thing. You can get together after to swap stories anyways!

rachel ong said...

This is so helpful Tessa! :) Really relatable!


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