Girlfriend’s Guide to Carefree Group Travel

Find inner peace when traveling with friends.

Traveling alone can be stressful – from expenses, to transportation, and the dread of packing. We can all agree that adding a group of people to this situation can make or break the experience.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned within the first few weeks of my study abroad experience, it’s that traveling with friends brings about some of the most unforgettable moments – good and bad. In order to get the most out of travels, it’s essential to take the right steps to make sure that everyone is on the same page.

Plan ahead of time

Planning ahead is a great way to save money and time – something that everyone in the group will be happy with. Doing this also gave me the opportunity to have a heads up on the preferences of group members (like if they prefer to travel earlier or later in the day.)

Understand each other’s expectations

Having some prior insight of what group members want to get out of this trip saved me from conflict of interest once I was there. For example, when I travel I like to plan a mix of scheduled and unscheduled days so I have some room to explore once I’m there. Some people are go-getters and prefer to plan a jam-packed itinerary (and some just want to relax.) Understanding these expectations and not letting differences get the best of me were essential for a smooth trip.

Find group members that have the same expectations

One thing I found when traveling every weekend was, just because I traveled in a group didn’t mean we had to do every little thing together. Sometimes splitting up to do different activities can help the group dynamic, especially if there is a difference of opinion.

Be Flexible

People are going to want to pop into shops, restaurants will be closed, and plans throughout travels will change. Going into a trip with a “go with the flow” mentality made it a lot easier to adjust to changes when they happened.

Find that happy place

Privacy is rare on a group trip, and as an introvert, I sometimes need time to myself to recharge – it helps to take some time before traveling travels to do this. Find a way to get to a happy place; for me it’s a few deep breaths or reminding myself what an amazing experience it is.

Plans will change, people will have differences in opinion, but ultimately my attitude and outlook on how I wanted my experience to go is allowing me live my best life while studying abroad.

Safe Travels, Katherine Shepard

Falling in love with Barcelona