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Travelling With Friends - Are You Travel Compatible?

Jun 13, 2008
Going away with friends or your partner can be stressful at the best of times, but you could be heading for trouble if you're not travel compatible.

Ten million British holiday-makers have lost a good friendship because of not testing their holiday compatibility before setting off on a week or two week break together, according to a new report published by hotel chain Travelodge.

The poll of 3,400 adults reveals that 55 per cent of Brits holidaying with friends have two serious arguments during their stay and an unlucky seven per cent have even returned home within the first few days.

The most common causes of conflict are personality clashes, differing likes and dislikes concerning food and activities, annoying personal habits, money and holiday romances or jealousy.

Anjula Mutanda, Psychologist and Life Coach says:

"It's a very common issue - friendships breaking up on holiday. The idea of going away with someone you know and trust sounds good in theory but it's so easy for it to go wrong. Never underestimate just because you're good friends, going away together for a one or two weeks break will be easy. It's a big risk holidaying with someone for the first time; this is when you will discover what they are really like.

I would suggest, before committing to a friend's holiday, first go for a trial run such as a weekend break to access your compatibility. This will be beneficial for both parties and will not just save you money and heartache but most importantly your friendship."

Once you've tested the water with a weekend away it's a good idea to discuss the following travel considerations before booking a longer break, and then you'll have done all you can to ensure you're a good match.

What is your budget? Do you both (or all) have the same amount of cash? What will be your priorities on spending? Would you like to contribute to a kitty or be responsible for all your own spends?

Do you prefer organised tours or would you rather wander round absorbing the atmosphere and discovering places for yourself? Maybe you just want to sunbathe or drink heavily instead.

Do you have any special needs, dietary requirements or personal preferences that will affect your travel companions?

If planning a trip with friends, are you currently in a relationship or having personal problems? What impact could this have on your behaviour and mood during your stay? Are you planning on a lot of bedroom action? If you're travelling with your partner, is it a particularly stressful time or do you have any disputes that are likely to flare up while away?

How many of you are planning to travel together? Be aware of the jealousies, annoyances and conflicts that are often present in a small group of friends.

It is a good idea to agree on a strategy if things don't go smoothly. If you're travelling around the world, would you be happy to split and continue on your own?

When planning a longer trip with friends it's helpful to agree that you will let each other know if something is bugging you. Conversely, you should agree to show some consideration to your travel mates and try to approach things with humour and flexibility. You can probably put up with some dodgy music but not an ever-growing pile of dirty underwear on the floor.

Paul Anstey, Travelodge Operations Director remarks:

"Around 60 per cent of our customers stay for leisure. A large proportion of these consumers are friends who are travelling or holidaying together. Our findings illustrate you can know someone for many years but it's only when you share a room together for the first time, that you really get to know that person. This experience can be true test of a friendship."

When you're travelling, whether it's for two weeks or ten months, at some point you will experience tiredness, boredom and unfamiliar situations. You will need to speak to strangers, deal with new currencies and make quick decisions. Sometimes all you'll want is your own sofa and a nice cup of tea.

At these times you'll need to feel comfortable enough with your travel companion to have a moan, sit in silence or go for a walk on your own without it causing an argument. If you've checked that you're travel compatible then you'll hopefully have a happy holiday and you should be able to cope with whatever the world throws at you.
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