In the past, I’ve heard it said that travelling with friends is a bad idea. That a girls holiday will definitely end up with you falling out and hating each other and pouring a cheap margarita down your pal’s new ASOS holiday outfit. That people you’ve known for years suddenly make you want to throw them off a balcony with their previously undiscovered habits. Yep, you’ll definitely end up not speaking for weeks afterwards.
I say balls to that. Travelling with friends is awesome. Here’s why…
You’ve always got someone to take (good) photos of you
Giving a stranger your camera to snap a picture of you in front of *insert landmark here* usually doesn’t result in the best shots. Cue concerned face that they’ll run off with your beloved camera, out of focus shots and definitely not your best angle. And let’s not even go into the awkwardness of self timers and tripods…
When I headed out to Bucharest a few weeks ago with six bloggers, who happen to also be some of my absolute favourite people in the world, I definitely didn’t have that problem. ‘Hey, can you take 20 pictures of me at slightly different angles in front of this pretty wall’? No problem. ‘I NEED A STRIDE BY’. We’re already walking.
And even if your friends aren’t photography-inclined, they’re much more likely to put up with your excessive requests to get the perfect shot for your Instagram feed than your average street stranger. Or, y’know, they’ll just take photos of you with statues of naked men holding dogs…
Photo by Katy
The laughs just keep coming
See above, for a start.
Travelling solo is a really empowering experience and I’ll continue to do so, but I’m definitely a social person. I like to share experiences, laugh out loud and talk about everything I’m seeing and doing. Which is where my travel tribe comes in.
Walking through the streets of Bucharest, running jokes became a thing pretty quickly. Dodging the uneven pavements with shouts of ‘HOLE!’, the fact that none of us can do a head count properly. I mean, it’s definitely all ‘you had to be there’, but I’m very glad I can say that, because the people who were there? The best.
A night in suddenly becomes way more fun
Sure, experiencing the nightlife is part of the travel experience. But if you’ve woken up for a flight before the sign language part of night time TV has even finished; had a three hour flight then explored your socks off all afternoon, sometimes you just want to sit down and chill. With prosecco.
When I found myself doing it alone on my first night in Miami, I felt guilty. Like, I should be out there EXPERIENCING IT ALL. With friends, it’s not a quiet night in – it’s a party. With prosecco. And games of Heads Up, where you declare R Kelly to be the greatest musical artist of the 90s.
Our Budapest apartment was the perfect setting for a girly night in. Exploring adventurously in the day, and getting cosy in our PJs while we drink and gossip in the evening is the perfect combo, making me feel surprisingly well-rested for the amount we’d done that day.
Photo by Erica
These guys? They deal with your shit.
In fact, they not only deal with your shit, but they still love you after you’ve had a tantrum. When you’re at your absolute worst, mid life-breakdown crying your eyes out during Sum 41 at a music festival in the middle of Belgium, they’ll take you back to the campsite for hugs and fruity beer.
Sometimes, travelling can be stressful. Delayed flights, restaurant problems, language barriers. When it all gets a bit headache-y, you’ve always got someone there to bring you back around to happy holiday vibes again. Plus, if you’re going somewhere for the first time, or haven’t done much travelling, you’ve got backup when you walk into a dodgy area, or something happens that makes you feel a bit uneasy, they’re your safety blanket.
You can still see everything you want
Halfway through our second day in Bucharest, the group split up for a couple of hours to do our own things. Charley and Charlie headed off shopping, Erica went for some quality Erica time, and myself, Katy, Leanne and AJ headed off for a walking tour. Which we then bailed on, because SO BUSY. Later on, we met up as a whole group, and had an amazing dinner in one Bucharest’s oldest restaurant.
It’s the same with festivals – if some of you want to see a band and others don’t, there’ll usually be someone else up for going along.
And if no one’s interested in doing the same thing, you can head off alone for a bit, safe in the knowledge you’ve got people you trust to find you when you’re ready to head back.
Photo by Katy
These are the people you love spending time with. And travel is awesome. So logically, putting the two together makes perfect sense. Solo adventures will always pull me in, and meeting new people on the road that become amazing friends is always going to be a major part of my travels. As is going away with my boyfriend (all of the above actually applies to him anyway because I do actually quite like his company, I guess).
But heading off on weekend adventures, travelling with your best friends? It’s something I can totally recommend. And I’m hoping I get to travel more with the very best of people, very soon…