Traveling with your friends overseas can be an amazing adventure. On the other hand, it can turn into a train wreck – each person wants to do something different, someone left something important at home, nobody can decide what to do next and the list goes on. The more preparation you do for the trip, the less frazzled everyone will be when spending time overseas. Here’s what you should do to prepare for an overseas vacation with your friends.
Packing list and important documents
At the risk of being the group micromanager, send everyone a nifty list of packing essentials. Some items will vary depending on where you’re going – you probably won’t need to pack winter clothes if you’re traveling to Mexico – but there are some items you’ll need for any trip.
· Passport and other important documents
· Electronics (camera, phone, tablet, headphones) and chargers (with adaptors, if necessary)
· Umbrella or rain jacket
· Toiletries and medications
· Sleeping clothes, casual clothes, dress clothes, activewear
· Contacts, contacts case, glasses
Be considerate when it comes to cost
While some in the group might be able to afford a fancy 5-star hotel on the bank of the Seine, others might not. When in doubt about friends’ budgets, simply ask. If for some reason you can’t find the group’s budget information, play it safe and try to keep hotel and travel accommodations at relatively low prices. There are a few ways you can do this, including planning your trip after peak seasons, avoiding holiday travels, checking hotels and airlines for group travel deals, researching restaurant specials in the area and checking sites like Groupon and Living Social for travel discounts.
Discuss plans with the group
Everyone has something they’ll want to do while you’re there, so it’s best to talk it out before you leave. Gather the group together and ask what everyone most wants to do or see in the area. This way, you’ll already have a plan mapped out when you arrive, and nobody will be disappointed that they didn’t get to do what they wanted. It also doesn’t hurt to coordinate sleeping, eating and shower schedules before arrival as well.
A fun trip can easily turn into a disaster if something bad happens to your group overseas. Everyone should be equipped with what’s needed to stay safe. A fanny pack or necklace pouch should be used to carry money so it’s more difficult for thieves to sneak any unwatched cash out of purses or bags. Exchange emergency phone numbers with everyone in the group before you leave, and find out the phone number and address for the American embassy in the country where you’re staying. Suggest that everyone obtain an international health insurance policy in case of an emergency situation.
It takes more preparation for a group trip than packing your bags and meeting your friends at the airport. An ill-planned group vacation can lead to some rocky friendships once the trip is over. Avoid the drama and do plenty of preparations for a smooth trip with your friends.