Friends travel together at different times throughout their lives. When reaching milestones like graduating, celebrating big occasions, birthdays, or perhaps just when spare time becomes available!
There are many benefits to travelling with a friend. So when better to do so than in the lead-up to World Friendship day on the 30th July?
Do you have a friend or couple in mind that you wish to travel with? If you’re looking for a travel buddy – or you and your spouse want to enhance a holiday by taking some travel friends – we’ve highlighted all the benefits of travelling with friends. Plus, some friends’ travel advice.
Read on to see how a ‘friendcation’ can be the best way to travel…
The benefits of travel with friends
Those who travel with friends experience new things
As a solo traveller it’s very easy to stick to certain travel habits. A travel companion can take you outside your comfort zone and encourage you to try, do and see new things.
For instance, you may be a frequent flyer. However, if your travel buddy prefers train travel, you may decide to try reaching your destination by rail. This will give you the opportunity to travel through a country (or countries) and see things from a new viewpoint.
Some of the best experiences may only be possible with someone there for moral support. Boarding a hot air balloon or hiking through mountains could be one of those things we’d rather not do alone.
Book in a pair – or a group – and some things can become more affordable. As a result, many experiences can be brought into your price range within a group of friends.
Travel with friends is more affordable
When it comes to picking accommodation, book what’s most comfortable for everyone, such as an apartment, villa holiday, or chalet. You’ll then be able to split the costs with your travel friends. If you’re comfortable sharing a room with someone else, you can avoid paying a single supplement for accommodation. An added bonus is you’ll have more travel money to enjoy other things.
If you’re renting a house, make sure you work out sleeping arrangements beforehand. Decide who’ll have the master bedroom and who’s happy to bunk up in a children’s room if necessary.
Before you arrive, talk about what activities you’d like to do together, so you all understand what everyone wants. Some may wish to relax more than others. Having a loose itinerary is a good idea for variety – but you don’t have to do everything together. Make sure you are all compatible too. If the night owls want to party into the small hours, they may not mix well with any early-risers.
If you book some activities in groups, you might be able to get a discount and your holiday money will go further. Also, consider the cost of hiring a car (and petrol prices). Car hire has gone up in recent years. So, it’s a no-brainer to share and split the costs of using a car throughout your stay.
You can share other things when travelling with friends too…
You can share packing space
Ever weighed your bag at the airport, only to realise an extra sum is due to take home souvenirs? When you travel with a friend you can share packing space. So, your collective belongings can get home without any unexpected costs.
There are many opportunities to pool resources. You can always share sunscreen, phone chargers, and even swap clothes, shoes and sunglasses. This can make your bags lighter too. If you have a friend who travels light (but you always take your hair dryer), you could pack your bags together. That way, you’ll both know you have everything required, wherever your adventures will take you.
Travel with friends provides you with someone to talk to
Adventures are around every corner when travelling. From new sights, sounds, and tastes, to adapting to new cultures and climates. You may even make new travel friends. For instance, when at a restaurant you may be seated next to another group of British travellers and get chatting. If you were travelling alone, you may have focused on watching the world go by instead.
When travelling to or from a destination, having a travel friend to keep you company (instead of your own), can make long journeys more enjoyable – especially if you’re facing flight cancellations. There will be plenty of time to discuss places you’d like to visit at your destination or discuss others you’d like to visit next.
Travel with friends for safety
Although solo travel provides a sense of freedom, some destinations are best visited in a group. These include those with a high crime rate such as Brazil, Mexico, and The USA. When you explore a country with a high crime rate, being visible with others can be a deterrent to criminals.
If you’re visiting a safe country you can still never be too careful. In the company of friends, you can watch each other’s bags when needed. Either way, always refer to the Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office (FCDO) website to review how safe a country is and what to look out for before you book a break.
Whatever happens on holiday, when you travel with good friends you will all have the support needed if a problem arises.
You’ll forge stronger friendships through shared memories
When you visit a destination with travelling companions, you’ll share the same unique experiences. Ones you can reflect upon and talk about for years to come. They may even remind you of funny things that you had forgotten.
If something unexpected occurs and you resolve the situation together you’ll be closer friends than before. It may even spur you to go travelling with them more often.
Free Spirit Travel Insurance for travelling companions
Have you decided which friend/s you’re travelling with on holiday? Whoever you take and wherever you go remember that Free Spirit travel insurance provides cover for the whole party on the same policy. If they have existing disabilities, medical conditions – or not- have a great time!