This blog post was updated on October 30, 2018.
Summer travel is filled with joint vacations among friends and family. It might sound like a great idea to get together and go somewhere out of town until ultimately you experience travel style friction. No two people travel in the same fashion, causing a few to give up traveling with others altogether and go solo. However, if you have to travel with others by choice or not, you must know how to deal with different travel styles to avoid a vacation meltdown. Here are a few words of wisdom to help you deal when travel styles clash.
Make Time For Yourself: Whether it is getting away for 5 minutes or an hour, group travel calls for alone time in order to survive the trip. When travel styles clash, you need time to clear your mind away from the others. On a semester abroad in Florence, I decided to go to Venice with a new friend. We both wanted to get out of town and yet we didn’t know how very differently we would travel. In order to not go mad in Venice, I made time for myself, getting lost in the city for hours alone and seeing it how I want to rather than how someone without my travel style would. Especially in the case of traveling with those you don’t know, you have to make time for yourself and see a place how you want to, even if it is just for an hour or two.
Adapt to Time Schedules: In all of the group travel settings that I have been in, one of the worst cases of travel styles clashing comes in the morning routine. Some take a long to get ready on the road. Others require a 5minute shower. Travel is all about adapting to different situations that you might not have expected. The same must occur when you travel with others. Travel styles will explode if there isn’t some give on both side of the time schedule spectrum. If you tend to take a long time in the morning, try to cut back your routine to work better with your traveling companions. If you are used to getting up and going in the morning, try to be patient if others aren’t ready exactly when you are. The same can be said for touring. You might like to spend hours in a museum while another doesn’t. Find a good middle ground and try to adapt to the changes in just how much time your spend doing this or that.
Challenge Yourself and Challenge Others: In group travel settings, there is bound to be a person that takes the reigns, the one that grabs the map and guides. Then there is the person who just lets the others plan out where they are going and when. Frequently on group travels, I have found this cast of characters, some who lead, others who follow, some who are open to trying new things and others who are more straight-laced. While you might always be the one to let someone else take the reigns, challenge yourself by grabbing that map and figuring out where you are too. If you don’t think you can go on that hike or you merely don’t want to, challenge yourself to step outside your normal box. At the same time, if there are people in your group who might not travel as you do, encourage them step outside their comfort zones. As travel is all about learning and growing, you just might find group travel is best for challenging yourself and others at the same time.
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