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Traveling with friends? Here are some pros, cons and tips to get you through

By Gail Marsh
It seemed like a good idea at the time … after all, we’d been friends for a long time. After an extended trip together, we all agreed that we’d learned a lot. Here are some of the pros and cons we discovered as we traveled with friends.

Pros

  • Friends can help with planning.
  • There is safety in numbers. You may feel safer having traveling companions. If something unforeseen happens, there will be someone else to help and encourage you.
  • Travel time to your destination becomes a part of the fun!
  • Friends challenge you to try new things.
  • Traveling with friends may help deepen your relationships.
  • Friends in a separate car can drive ahead and “scout” for road hazards, etc.
  • You probably have many things in common and can enjoy sharing experiences together.
  • If you plan to cook and eat together you can save money on groceries.
  • You can rely on each other’s strengths to find greater enjoyment.
  • Shared memories will be made and remembered.

Cons of traveling with friends

  • Traveling together can be difficult. You may feel comfortable driving longer/slower than your friends. Discuss this before you go.
  • All the “togetherness” may get to be too much of a good thing, and you may wear on each others’ nerves.
  • You may disagree on which sights to see and what to skip. If you have separate vehicles, it’s OK to “do your own thing.” But talk about this before the trip begins.
  • If you spend all your time together you may miss out on making new friendships.
  • You may not spend as much time with your spouse or significant other. It’s important to talk about your expectations before the trip.
  • Budgets, health limitations, varied interests, and other things may be different from your traveling friends. Be ready to advocate for yourself and be honest. Also, extend grace to your traveling companions when their ideas differ from yours.

Have you traveled with friends or family? What are some pros and cons you’ve experienced? Please share them with us in the comments below!

Related:

“RV” the movie with Robin Williams, from Amazon

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Gail Marsh
Gail Marsh
Gail Marsh is an avid RVer and occasional work camper. Retired from 30+ years in the field of education as an author and educator, she now enjoys sharing tips and tricks that make RVing easier and more enjoyable.


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Mike (@guest_202968)
1 year ago

What I can tell you if you are not compatible… is like house boating with a group, that boat will shrink one foot, per person, per day. Take it for what it’s worth!!!

Lisa Adcox (@guest_202966)
1 year ago

We traveled to Orlando with friends and had a wonderful time. We laughed the whole trip. They are such a fun couple so we went with the flow. We still laugh about all the fun things when we see each other.

KellyR (@guest_171802)
1 year ago

Tried it once. Didn’t work out, but still friends. Could not stand Florida heat and sand fleas. Flew home to Colorado two weeks early.

Richard (@guest_171742)
1 year ago

First time we traveled with another couple we’d met at a rally. Didn’t know them long enough before our trip. All the agreements were for naught. From our perspective one of them was a horrible, selfish person. Don’t know, or care what they thought of us. At about 1/3 through the trip they announced they had misrepresented their plans and took off. We were shocked, but relieved.
Next trip with friends, we had known them for 5 + yrs.

Mary (@guest_171711)
1 year ago

Having traveled, camped and cruised with family and friends we all agreed early on that everyone would be free to do or not do whatever they wished without pressure to participate in every adventure or activity. Our “perfect” travel companions are ones that are laid back and flexible with plans.

Deborah Mason (@guest_130309)
2 years ago

Just spent 16 days traveling to Grand Canyon from Montana with husband, his sister and our 2 large dogs. A couple years ago, same group, plus her small dog, a week to Custer reenactment and some Montana State Parks. Good thing we all get along and like the same foods.

Retired Firefighter Tom (@guest_129590)
2 years ago

Talked with friends about visiting Alaska. Spent almost three months on the trip -about 11 weeks together. I listed things to see and do along the way [“Milepost” book was great]. Some days we each did our own thing. Most of the time we did sightseeing together. Always got back together for dinner. Had a great time.

Mark Kaye (@guest_128737)
2 years ago

6 years ago our friends in BC asked if we wanted to travel to Alaska with them in their 37′ class A – we had never been in an RV or been to Alaska, we are back-country canoe campers
these are friends who used to live in Ontario and left back in 83
we see them every few years
we had a great time – 7 weeks and we were still talking to each other
we now own a class C!

Cheryl (@guest_128302)
2 years ago

We did only one time and it work out great. We took an entirely different route than usual. All but one of the campground were beautiful except for one. We were the same age with the same mentality on how many. Hours on the road. We traded off dinner every night. All in all a great trip. I think we were lucky and surprised.

Tommy Molnar (@guest_128248)
2 years ago

I like camping with friends, but not traveling with friends. Nobody drives at the same speed, likes to stop and see stuff, stop to eat at the same time, or just stop for the sake of stopping. Just agree where the day ends and meet up there.

pursuits712 (@guest_128588)
2 years ago
Reply to  Tommy Molnar

Good point! Brings to mind the old sayings: “Familiarity breeds contempt” and “Absence makes the heart grow fonder.”

Tommy Molnar (@guest_128590)
2 years ago
Reply to  pursuits712

I like it!

Bob p (@guest_202986)
1 year ago
Reply to  Tommy Molnar

We have attempted to travel with our daughter and SIL, he drives between 70&80 mph, we drive around 63 as that’s the trucks most efficient speed pulling our trailer. They get there 20-30 minutes earlier than us and ask what took us so long. He stopped 3 times for gas we stopped twice. They are exhausted we are relaxed, they are naturally a generation behind us, I wonder when they are octogenarians if they will learn to relax, or continue on in their fast paced life style. Lol

Tommy Molnar (@guest_203284)
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob p

We tried to travel with two other couples once. One couple (our best friends) drives like we do. 55-60 mph. The other couple (friends of OUR friends) drove like it was an Indy race! Once we took off we never saw the race couple again until we reached our destination. We’re all pretty much the same age (all retired). That’s the way it went for the entire trip. I don’t get it. We’re not doing that again.

Last edited 1 year ago by Tommy Molnar
Leslie Schofield (@guest_128228)
2 years ago

We don’t ‘travel’ with friends but do camp with friends. Our main rule is: everyone gets to do what they want and no one is offended. One couple may want to spend the day alone, if so great, have a good time. We talk about food menus before we go with the caveat of flexibility if we find something (such as fruit) along the way and want to make something. We talk about activities in the area that might be interesting. We have camped together long enough now that we can spend a quiet afternoon ‘together’ doing our own thing such as reading, knitting or even napping. We check in with one another; for example if we are taking a morning walk we will check with the others and many times they will say no. Great! It seems to work for us. Think the most important thing is to respect one another and never be hurt by the other’s choices.

Sue (@guest_149953)
2 years ago

This is just how we travel and camp with my sister and brother-in-law several times a year. Sometimes we will eat dinner together, but other meals are separate. We almost always have a campfire together every night. We do find as we have gotten older, that when one of us says we’re tired the rest of us are usually ready to call it a night.

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