Hello people of the Universe !
As you may know, I just came back from a 4 day trip to Stockholm (day 1, 2, 3, 4) with a friend and well, I noticed that there are many things you need to know, do and get prepared before a such experience. Here are some of my tips to spend a wonderful, less stressful trip with one of your friends.
❀ Trust your friend
Don’t leave with someone you don’t trust. It may sound weird or logical but it is a real thing to think about before organizing your trip. When I proposed to my friend to travel with me, I knew she would accept and I knew where I was going — I am not only speaking about the country but also about how we were going to organize it. She is an enthusiastic person, always very involved in events she is in, and I knew our trip wouldn’t be like “what do you want to do today?” “I don’t know.” “Me neither.” I knew I could count on her.
Let me speak about another trip I should have done in August. One of my friends asked me and our group to go to Barcelona for a week. She asked us in February for August. Yes, February for August. Don’t forget that I live in the South West of France so we are not too far from Barcelona and we don’t need to get everything done that early. Anyway, we started to plan some activities but honestly, I wasn’t really appealed by them so I decided not to go. And I did well in fact, because two weeks before they leave, the friend who suggested the idea dropped everybody. This is exactly what you want to avoid when you travel and it is totally what I meant about trusting someone. Isn’t it less stressful to leave with someone who is — at least a little — predictable? Reliable? You really don’t want your friend to change their mind at the last minute.
Being confident, feeling good and safe with that person is the best way to enjoy every second of what you live. Being able to say what you think, to ask for help or to just be silly… you only fully do that when you are with someone you trust. It also means that you hang out with someone who will keep an eye on you, so do you. Being at peace in a place you don’t know is, to me, one of the most important feeling when I travel.
❀ You won’t have the same expectations
This is true for everybody, either you are with a friend, a family member, or an acquaintance. And it is fine, more than fine. You just need to be aware so that it won’t be an obstacle but a miracle. Why? Because traveling with someone who thinks differently, who doesn’t have the same interests, who dares what you fear… This makes you go farther, outside of your comfort zone, and you discover new facets of your personality, new skills, new hobbies. It can appear in a very simple moment like when you want to go left but your friend wants to go right and you come upon a total different landscape; it also can happen when you are very tired and your friend pushes you to go out at night and you experiment a typical new way of living. You may need to make compromises but this is how you travel happy with a friend.
❀ You will (need to) laugh a lot
I don’t know if you need to get prepared to that, but do it anyway. Don’t leave if you don’t want to. You will spend a bad time, be morose or irritated, and your friend will suffer from your behavior. So get prepared to laugh more than a lot and not take everything too seriously. You may face complicated moments like we did — my friend couldn’t use her credit card for example — but you will always figure them out. One of the solutions is to laugh at what happens to you, to take your mind off things. You are on holidays! Take advantage of what surrounds you and think twice before running to a bank and insult everyone. I can’t explain much more why you need to keep your sense of humour. I know you and your friend are the most hilarious people on earth so I am sure you will laugh if you fall in streets, if you get lost, if someone mocks your accent, if you realize how much you represent the stereotypes of your country. I promise, it is a good remedy.
❀ Don’t look too much at your wallet
This is very tough for me. I am always trying not to spend too much money but it is just very frustrating and I saw in my friend’s eyes that I was exasperating. Maybe I wouldn’t have acted like that if we used cash instead of our credit cards. You know, banks always take a commission on the price you pay and it is very annoying because you never know how much you gave at the end. During my trip, I tended to use my money very carefully, first because it is my parents’, then because I have other projects in mind for later — like sending presents all over the world for Christmas or planning other trips. But guess what? At the end of the trip, I felt so frustrated to see my friend spending money on simple things like a tea that I decided to go on a shopping spree on the last day haha. Well, I often act like everything or nothing. So that’s what I would advise: foresee a budget but don’t keep an eye on every price.
❀ You will be 24/7 together
You will have so much fun with your friend, that’s true, but if you are a solitary kind of person like me, it can be very complicated to spend 4 days with the same person with very few moments for your own self. This is also why you should leave with someone you know. I also advice you to create some space for yourself. It could be a walk in the morning if you are an early bird, an hour reading in your bed or writing before going to sleep. It is really great to travel with a friend, I enjoyed my trip so much because I was leaving with someone I knew would enjoy to spend time with me in a foreign country. But sometimes, you just need to be alone and it is fine. With my friend, we did it very naturally before going to sleep, we said good night and read or listened to music on our own. I admit I needed much more time for myself as I tend to enjoy silence even among friends, so when we were walking through the city I was quite quiet and I was looking to every corner of streets and every colorful frontage of buildings. It was fine because my friend is able to speak all. the. time. without me answering to all her musings, haha. This is how our duo works. I hope you, too, will find a beautiful partner to globetrot with.
Have you ever traveled with a friend? How was your trip? Let me know and make me travel!