Another glorious summer long weekend has passed, perhaps you were lucky enough to jet someplace fabulous, or pile into the car for a road trip. There is nothing quite like travelling to cement a relationship. The gloves come off, so to speak. When cramped quarters, jet lag or language barriers are factored in, true colours are unabashedly revealed.
Most travel let-downs can be quelled by discussing how you see things shaking out…
Arrange a pre-departure coffee or cocktail with your travel mates to chat about the big picture stuff. Will you share a room? Is the plan to travel together the entire time, or are you hoping to break off for a few days by yourself? Now is the time, well before the trip, to discuss these particulars.
Try to really, really relax. Hours cramped into a car or on a plane, lack of sleep, and the other less sexy elements of travelling take their toll on the most positive people. Take it easy on your companions, be the first to help them out and they’ll do the same for you.
Resist the urge to over-plan a trip and keep a few things in mind that you can do alone. Throwing your running shoes into your bag can offer up a short reprieve and some time for yourself, which might be desperately needed. Inevitably, not everyone shares the same interests, and everyone relaxes in their own way.
Respect communal space. By all means settle into holiday mode, but be mindful of the spaces you share with your travel companions. The vanity isn’t your own personal primping area. Your iPod isn’t necessarily the soundtrack for the group. The teeny tiny closet isn’t just for your belongings.
Lastly, avoid quibbling over cash. Don’t fret over petty spending. A meal here, or a taxi ride there, isn’t worth fretting over and will only put a damper on your trip. In fact, you might want to establish a convivial vibe from the start by picking up the first round of celebratory drinks.
(First published on The Huffington Post Canada, July 2012)