Let me start with a quick story. A few years ago, I went to a friend’s bachelorette party in Las Vegas. Cash was tight, but since I was a bridesmaid, I figured it was worth it. Fast forward to eating brunch at the Bellagio, dinners at the Venetian, clubbing as XS, and renting a cabana at a pool party for $2,500. The maid-of-honor footed every bill for entire weekend and then sent us Venmo requests on the last day for almost $1,000 each. I nearly vomited… and not because of the Jell-o shots. Yes, it could have been much worse, but I also should have set limits for myself.
To avoid this and other similarly stressful moments, consider the following tips before your next group trip. If you’re open and communicative with your friends, you’ll be able to sit back and watch your anxiety melt away like a frozen margarita on the beach.
1. Talk about money before you go
If you have a strict budget, tell everyone what you expect to spend on the trip and see if you’re all on the same page. If your friends have more money to spend than you do, just let them know you’ll cook dinner in lieu of going out to a fancy restaurant one night or that you’re not going to drink on the trip. DO. NOT. BE. EMBARRASSED. I know so many girls who get weirded out talking about money just because we were taught as kids to keep quiet about such matters. But this is 2018 and these are your friends- if you trust them enough to share a room over night, you should feel comfortable talking about finances. And if they roll their eyes or laugh at you…um…why would you want to go on a trip with them anyway?
2. Download Splitwise
This *free* app will make sure nobody ends up footing more money than necessary. If you pay for dinners, activities, etc. all together, Splitwise keeps track of everyone’s spending and will tell each member of the group exactly how much and to whom money is owed.
3. The larger your group, the larger your wardrobe!
Need I say more? Text each other what you’re bringing so you can plan your outfits accordingly. If you’re not the same clothing size, you can still share accessories.
4. Everyone contributes to the playlist/podcast queue
Being stuck on a road trip and not knowing a single song coming out of the speakers is no fun. To avoid boring car rides or dull prep time as you get ready for a night out, make sure everyone contributes a few songs to the playlist or make sure everyone agrees on the podcast.
5. Be prepared to spend an extra hour (or more) getting anywhere
This is inevitable. Accept it. Embrace it. The larger your group, the longer it takes to get ready, to cook, to eat, etc. but that’s part of why traveling with your friends is so fun!
6. Bring some fabric-safe soap
If you’re staying in a cramped place for an extended period of time, bring a travel-size Dr. Bronners (peppermint is my fav) to wash your socks/underwear so you don’t stink up the place. It’s just the polite thing to do.
7. It’s okay to do your own thing!
Want to go for a morning run by yourself? Do it. Want to stay in and read while everyone else goes to lunch (or you’re not really that hungry or it doesn’t fit into your budget)? Go for it. Taking a trip with your besties doesn’t mean you have to be glued to them the entire trip. As long as you’re participating in the big events or the majority of the trip, it’s perfectly reasonable to sit a few things out.