As some of you may know, I traveled to Indonesia with seven friends in September 2016. We spent most of our time in Bali and it was one of the most amazing experiences ever! I’ve traveled abroad with friends before, but this experience was kind of like any other because most of us were together for the entirety of the trip. I took a ton of iPhone videos while I was there and finally got around to mediocrely (I don’t think that’s a word) editing them together on my phone, so I figured this post would be an awesome supplement to the trip vid. If you’re thinking about traveling abroad with friends … read on! (and watch this video :))
See them in a new light
We can hangout with our friends at home all we want, but getting to travel with them is a whole new world! You get to see your friends in their element – or maybe not their element. Traveling, for me, is enlightening and exciting and really exhausting … I’m sure some of you would say the same. I know my friends don’t always get to be with me in all states of emotion, but they do when they travel with me! At times, this can be really difficult, but guaranteed to be rewarding and something to talk about for the rest of your life. I love that when I travel with friends, we get each other with no reservations – it’s a take it or leave it kind of thing and I’m all for taking it!
When you travel with friends, you get the awesome opportunity of sharing travel responsibilities! While travelling alone is something I HIGHLY recommend, sharing responsibilities with your friends is definitely comforting (you don’t have to figure it all out!). When I travel with friends (especially Jeff) I don’t have to pack everything for myself which is a serious weight off my shoulders – literally. Sharing Toiletries, food, electronics and other misc. items can cut down your baggage weight and free up space for bringing extra goodies back home!
Not only can you share in the packing load, but you and your friends can choose point people for different activities during the trip. I love planning trips, but I don’t love doing it all (like figuring out which train to take when/where) so I like off loading that on someone who is way better at it. Sharing in these type of responsibilities seriously cuts down on stress and confusion and can free up time for you to figure out other activities you otherwise would have never thought of doing!
The nice thing about travelling abroad is you’re usually on pretty large planes. When I’m travelling with friends, we usually try to get rows filled with just us. While it’s fun to meet new people on planes, I do love sitting next to my people and not have to worry about bothering others. When Jeff and I traveled to Indonesia, we got a two-seat row to ourselves, which was nice because we could kick back without worrying about getting all up in someone else space. On the way home, we had a four seat row to ourselves – I was sick, and was able to lay down across the whole row! Nothing’s better than having plane partners to watch movies with, talk to, and help you make your connections.
Share one of a kind experiences
There’s no doubt that you can get one of a kind experiences travelling alone or even just hanging out with your friends at home. There’s something magical, though, about sharing abroad experiences with your friends. You are never, ever, going to forget the memorable things that happened on your trip. You’ll have stories to talk about for the rest of your life – and even to your family/children! I recommend a healthy balance of picture taking during these experiences, take enough to bring home and show people the awesome time you had, but don’t take too many that you’re taking away from being in the moment with people you really love!
Navigate the unfamiliar
Sometimes navigating unfamiliar places can be a bit nerve wracking, especially if you don’t speak the language. Getting to do this with your friends can often feel more comforting because you’re in it together! It doesn’t hurt when you also have someone that knows the language – our good friend Berty (him and his wife, Emily, have a blog) is from Indonesia, so he was super helpful in getting us around and translating when necessary. I personally think that navigating the unfamiliar with your dear friends creates a super unforgettable bond.
If you know me from other posts on L&L, you know that I REALLY love to save money. So, splitting expenses is often necessary for me. When you travel with friends, you get to split lodging, food and experiences expenses that you otherwise would have to pay for yourself. This can drastically increase your trip budget for other things that you otherwise wouldn’t have been able to do!
Have you ever traveled abroad with friends? What did you love most about it? Comment below, I’d love to hear!