Caribbean, Cruising, Disney, Family Travel, General Travel, Universal Orlando, US Destinations

Do You Want to Invite Friends and Family on Your Vacation?

Seems like a loaded question, doesn’t it?
You’re planning a vacation and you excitedly tell a friend who says, “Wow, that sounds great!  I’d like to do that too.”  Should you invite?

Believe it or not, MANY people travel together.  We personally travel with friends all the time.  It’s fun and exciting to travel with friends and family.  Today, even honeymoon couples have friends travel with them on their honeymoon – obviously not in the same room, but going to the same resort or cruise ship which is why most resorts, hotels, and cruise lines have a groups department.

BEFORE Memory Maker

Before you blast out that invite on social media… here are a few things to consider when inviting others on the same vacation as you.

Do you get along well with others?

It may seem silly to even ask this, but just because you like to go to the movies with these friends doesn’t mean you’re going to enjoy a week long vacation with them.  People are who they are and sometimes that means making concessions for the short term in order to enjoy the company for the long term.

  • Are you willing to make concessions?  
  • Can you be amiable if the other person becomes ill and it throws your plans off track?  
  • If someone has a seafood allergy and you can’t dine at your favorite restaurant are you going to be grumpy about it the entire trip?
  • Are you going to be okay if someone is a type A personality and you’re a type chill? Are you okay to let them take the lead?

Decide on the plans before departing

Well, yea, of course, right? You may surprised to learn that some times the details are not discussed but are rather assumed, which can lead to issues on the vacation.

Each party needs to be clear of what their goals and level of enjoyment are for the vacation. 

Once we traveled to Walt Disney World with friends who are morning people.  They love to be out the door early and at the rope drop!  Our family are the slow rollers outta bed kind of folks.  We agreed to meet them at the park later in the morning.  No one’s feelings were injured and this made the day the most enjoyable for each family.  Discuss your “must dos” and “don’ts” with your traveling companions to avoid conflict or hurt feelings.

Be clear about dining preferences

With an all inclusive resort or cruise line this isn’t such a priority other than deciding which restaurant and what time, but with a destination like Disney you need to be clear if you are doing counter service or table service and WHEN you are going to eat. 

We were with another family at Disney World (it’s a favorite) and we were h-u-n-g-r-y by the time we reached the World Showcase at Epcot. We had already been all over future world and it was lunch time.  We wanted to eat immediately, while they wanted to walk the entire World Showcase before choosing where to eat.  This didn’t work out well for either family because when we met up much later (about half way around the World Showcase) their kiddos were starving and we were ready to hit the attractions.  So, discuss your plans and be honest and open with each other. 

Be Flexible

Just because you travel with friends doesn’t mean you have to spend every moment with them.  Here’s the key – you can go do what you like and come back together at different times.  Maybe you only want to meet for dinner?  Perhaps there is a wine tasting, or music trivia that you want to do together.  Consider excursions – choose some to do together and some to do that you really love with just your family.  Be clear with your travel companions about how you like to experience a vacation.  It’s great to do a lot of things together, but give each other some space as well.

One time at Disney World we did the Behind the Seeds tour while our friends explored Epcot.   Another time our family went to Mass at Basilica of St. Mark while our friends explored other areas of Venice.

Epcot Behind the Seeds

Are you on similar spending levels as your friends?

Why would this matter?  Well, it eases the social interactions to have like minded friends with like minded spending levels. 
I recall once being at an amusement park and having my friend poking fun at me and calling me a “spend thrift” because I bought my children the drink with the souvenir cup.  If we were on like minded spending levels then her comment probably wouldn’t have bothered me so much.  It made me feel as though I needed to “hide” my spending habits when we were with them.  I didn’t feel comfortable. You want to be comfortable enjoying what ever you wish to purchase or on where you decide to spend your money – without having to explain it to anyone.

Another way to alleviate this is to express to your friend up front that you intend to splurge (or save) on this vacation. 

I recommend to my Disney Clients  provide them with a Disney Gift card or put the funds on their magic band for them to use while visiting Disney World.  This gets rid of the “gimmies” and gives the child a bit of power to decide.  It also teaches them discernment because if they use all their funds on day one of the vacation then they have nothing left for the rest of the vacation, and they just may see something better later on.

You can even have your kids do chores to earn extra allowance for their trip – giving them more authority over the money. It’s harder to spend what we earn rather than what we are given.

Do you have enough funds for that item?

Decide who is paying for what

There is nothing worse then holding resentment for your traveling companions because they expect you to pay for the meal, the groceries, the drinks or the taxi.  Decide up front who is paying for what portion of the trip.  If everything is ala carte then make it clear from the beginning.  This is where an all inclusive resort, or a cruise, would be the best option.  At an all inclusive it doesn’t matter because your meals and drinks are covered – there is NO check!

Do the kids get along?

This is two fold.  If kids get along then it makes the trip all the more fun.  However, don’t be discouraged if your kids are so/so with each other.  Why?  Because all year long kids must get along with other students in school, family members, people in the community. 

Therefore, being in close quarters with others is more good training on socializing and not always having their own way.  With all the activities and events to do on vacations then each kid can do their own thing and still be amiable when you come back together.  Plus, you never know when spending time doing something in common will break the ice and bring kids together. 

Traveling with friends and family can be fabulous! It can be a wonderful bonding time for extended family and deepen your friendship levels. It can even help to build a newly fond friendship. Don’t be afraid to ask friends and family to vacation with you; just keep these tips in mind for who you ask to travel with you. And, family is family – they tend to make you the craziest… nothing you can do about that but love it.  
Until next time,

Are you interested in experiencing a cruise or land vacation for yourself? Then consider booking your next vacation with Sail & Sand Travel. We are here to assist you by taking care of all the details – removing the grief while you keep the fun.

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