Should you invite your friends on vacation?

Wish You Were Here?

In the previous section, we brought up some financial issues involved with co-vacationing. What are other questions you should consider before forming a vacation gang?

  • What kind of vacation is it? Will it be an adventurous one? A relaxing one? A drunken one? This will help determine the type of friends you invite, if any. If you're looking to have a week you'll never remember and your friend's a teetotaler, you might want to reconsider.
  • Do you play well with others? Can you make concessions, or will you be tempted to play the "You're on my vacation!" trump card if a group decision isn't going your way? Do you tend to dominate decision making? This might be a good thing if your friend is a go-with-the-flow type of person. On the flip side, are you a relaxed, easy-going person who's considering inviting your hard-charging, type-A friend?
  • Do you keep similar schedules? Is one an early riser, and the other a late-nighter?
  • If you have kids, do they/could they get along? If not, can you both laugh it off while breaking up the fight?

The most important aspect is simply making sure you and your friends are on the same page about the vacation -- its costs, its activities, and its expectations Decide beforehand what kind of expenditures are reasonable to expect, and how payment will proceed. One person can find the lodging (with the other's approval or help), but both parties should book separate rooms if possible. Build some "alone" time in, days when all parties can go their separate ways and do their own thing. Make plans for one nice "going out" meal or special activity, and discuss the possibility of going in together on common meal items for breakfasts and lunches -- bread, cereal, milk.

Accept that even though it's "your" vacation, once your friends agree to go, it's going to be just as much their vacation.

As long as you have clear communication about your wants, needs, schemes and peeves, taking your friends on vacation can be a great way to enhance both your vacation and your friendships.

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