Guest post by Carrie Newhouse.
Flying the friendly skies with your oldest and bestest friends always sounds like THE BEST VACATION EVER. I have a friend who accidentally invited her pals on her would-be honeymoon because she thought it would be so much fun. This offer was quickly revoked after her spouse reminded her of the definition of a honeymoon.
But seriously, we love each other at home, why wouldn’t we love each other abroad? And you can still love your friends abroad IF you think carefully about those you invite. Most importantly, make sure you include these top five travel mates in your crew:
1. The Researcher
Not one for flipping through travel magazines or scouring the internets for great deals, good food and super fun outings? You need this friend, also known as the Spreadsheet Geek, on your team. They will plan the best course for your pizza tour through New York or find multiple restaurant options near a great museum. This is the friend that will absolutely help maximize your dollar and time. My Researcher requires a planning session before every trip. This planning session always makes the trip run more smoothly in the end. And as a bonus everyone gets a copy of the spreadsheet for their scrapbooks! Shameless plug: once Trip30 launches the Researcher will be psyched to trade in their spreadsheets and use Trip30 instead.
2. The Directionally Inclined
Are you like me? Can you get lost in your own house? This pal has an internal compass in any locale. They can find their way from the wrong side of the mountain back to your cabin on foot, in a car or by helicopter. Following their lead, you’ll spend less time staring at Google Maps and more time taking in the scenery. They are also great at working with the Researcher on deciding if walking, public transportation or an Uber is the best way to get from here to there. The Researcher knows if there’s anything worth seeing en route to a destination and the Directionally Inclined knows the fastest way to get to that destination. Again, time and money are maximized!
3. The Rallier
Who wants to leave a town feeling like they missed out on something because they just couldn’t get off the sofa bed? One of our Ralliers planned The Great Cronut Run of 2014 on our last group trip. We ran (and I maybe walked a smidge) across the Brooklyn Bridge and ended up at Dominique Ansel Bakery for the famous Cronut. In my hands, this idea would have sounded brilliant at the planning session and ended right there. The Rallier follows through! They get everyone excited about running MILES AND MILES for a super fancy donut! This burst of energy is always needed on a jam-packed trip.
4. The Chiller
Who wants to leave a town feeling like they needed a little more vacation in their vacation? The Chiller is a great balance to the Rallier. This friend will make sure some of your meals are leisurely and you aren’t leaving at the crack of dawn every single morning of your trip. They are also important to help you say no; on group trips, everyone should not feel obligated have to go everywhere together. The chiller will be the one to go their own way for an afternoon and because of that everyone else automatically has permission to say no.
5. The Natural Mom (or Dad, but probably Mom)
Need a pain reliever or band-aid for your exhausted feet? The group Mom will have these things in her Mary Poppins-like bag. She’ll have a bottle of water to prevent dehydration and will make sure everyone is fed before the hangriness sets in. The Designated Mom is also great at mediating between different personality types. Flexibility is key in setting up and executing a great group trip and Mom can help facilitate the negotiations between different interests and temperaments.
Keep group trips alive…unless the trip is actually supposed to be a honeymoon. With these five friends on board, you will have fabulous group vacations. More importantly, you’ll still be friends when you return home!
Now that we’ve established which of your travel buddies will be the best to take on your next trip, let us remind you of the five types of people you’ll meet on an airplane. A very different collection than the one in this blog.
Which friends do you like to travel with? And which travel buddy are you? Share with us on Facebook!