travel blog part 2: travelling with friends (or a friend)

13 Jan
I can’t imagine going to Europe all by myself for my first time. I don’t like being alone and prefer to have people around me even if I’m not interacting with them.  I think it’s more of a safety thing cause I’m a bit paranoid about everything.

Anyways… I am really glad I was able to go with a friend who I’ve known for a long time and have travelled and lived with before. We were friends in high school and shared a room together in first year residence and lived next door in second year.

That being said, before you travel with someone for a fairly lengthy period of time, I highly recommend you ask someone who you’ve travelled and/or lived with before. You know what they’re like and how they like to travel and plan. If you happen to be going with someone that you’ve never travelled with before, I suggest getting together and discussing the trip in detail and discuss the little things (and big things like when you both want to leave for the trip). Sleeping-in ok? Waking up at extremely early to start with the day? Going out at night 3 times a week or staying in? Whirlwind tour or length stays in places? Hostels or hotels? Budgets? And so on.

When you’re travelling with someone else, your trip will be cheaper. You can share bottles of water at restaurants. Get different things at lunch so you can try each other’s without having to buy your own. The greatest savings are to be found in accommodations. If you’re planning on getting hotels, you can split the cost of one room if you don’t mind sharing a bed. It might be a double so prepare to be nice and cozy, haha.  For the price of a hostel in Paris per person, we could get a room in a decent hotel with private bathroom (yesssss) for the same price.

Planning and research can be easier as well. We split up the cities and did research on our assigned cities. This reduced the amount of books and articles each of us had to read. It also allowed for each person to be (or pretend to be) the travel expert for a different city or region. It’s nice to not have to think where to go sometimes.

To facilitate our planning and cost sharing, we created a Google Doc and Google Spreadsheet shared between the two of us. The doc contained itineraries, hotel information and packing lists while the spreadsheet contained anything that had to do with money whether it was booking shuttles, hotels, or flights. This is very useful to keep track of who is paying for what and equalizing it all at the end.

Oh yeah. If you got with a friend, you’ll always have someone to take a photo of you and you will be comfortable asking them to take it again or perhaps put your face in focus next time.
Summary
  • Travelling with a friend is great when you’re on the same page with similar interests and budgets. Try to go with someone who you’ve been on small trips or lived with before. They won’t judge you in case you need to go to the bathroom frequently thanks to French tap water…
  • Split up planning for cities so each has an opportunity to be the designated travel guide for different cities.
  • Consider hotels if hostels seem pricey per person (~$40 CDN per person). You might be able to find a hotel room for the same price if you don’t mind sharing a bed!
  • Create Google Docs and Spreadsheets to manage information and expenses efficiently.
  • Photo taker available at all times.

In case you missed it, visit this post for the introduction to this series and this post for information to get you started on your planning.

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7 Responses to “travel blog part 2: travelling with friends (or a friend)”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. introducing…a travel blog series! « 1 : 24 - January 18, 2012

    […] Part 2: Travelling with a Friend […]

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    […] and experience from our trip to Europe this summer. Blogs discussing research and planning, travelling with friends, booking flights, booking hotels/hostels, and packing lists have been posted already and future […]

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