Traveling with a companion (romantic or not) can make the trip a lot more fun, but after spending a lot of time together, sometimes your friend’s little quirks can cause your patience can wear a little thin (and vice versa of course but let’s not go there). How on earth can anyone take so long to get ready? Why does he have to chat with every stranger we happen across?
How do you spend so much time together without getting on each others’ nerves?
We put together top travel tips for sharing the road with a friend, so you remain friends after the trip is over (or at least not end the trip early).
1. Make plans together after you’ve made plans for yourself
Although your enthusiasm for going to see the celebrity statues at Madame Tussauds is understandable, not everyone wants to look at a wax statue of Britney Spears. But this is your vacation, and you should get to do what you want! Before the trip begins, make a general list of things you want to do, and share your ideas with each other to see which activities would be good for both of you. Then each day you can find time to go your own way, and then come back and tell each other about your adventures over dinner and drinks.
2. Perform aggressive personal maintenance
Clip your fingernails and toenails before you go on a trip in which you have to share a bathroom. Pluck any errant nose hairs before you go on a trip and have to share a bathroom. Manscape well before you have to share a bathroom. And above all else, pluck any hairs off the soap after you shower, because no one wants to encounter errant strands when sharing a bathroom. Fun fact: Aloft hotels have liquid soap and shampoo dispensers in the showers. No more scary bar soap.
3. Employ technology smartly
Hotel rooms can become really small really fast, so use technology at your disposal. Certain Aloft hotels, for instance, have Apple TV boxes in the rooms, so when you need to have some down time, find a movie to watch and relax your brains for a while. Or just like when you are at home, you will turn on a movie and immediately fall asleep. By the end, you’ll be relaxed and refreshed and ready to go out and find your next adventure.
4. Share and share alike
Pick a buddy your size, and you’ll double wardrobe and cut way back on luggage. This is the secret to many happy friendships among gay men: shopping in each other’s closets. One of you will always pack more shorts and tank tops, and the other will always pack more long-sleeved shirts and sweaters. One of you will end up having packed too many pants, and one of you will have forgotten to pack travel sized toothpaste, but together you will have everything.
5. Pack ear plugs
You snore. At some point, everyone does. And waking up grouchy and resentful after being kept awake by someone’s snoring all night is never a good way to start the day. Practice sleeping with ear plugs before your trip so you become accustomed to the sensation. Once you get used to them, you may never sleep without them again. And P.S.: If you are a big snorer, get some Breathe Right nose strips. They are not sexy, but they work!
6. Pay your own way
Everybody has that friend who goes out to dinner with you, orders three top-shelf cocktails and the most expensive steak, and then shrugs when the check his the table and says “You want to just split it?” Is that friend you? Let’s hope not. Travelers on a budget choose what to order based on price, and it is embarrassing to be expected to drop an extra $20 for dinner because someone is too lazy to figure out how much they owe. To protect yourself from this, always carry cash, and then you can plunk down your share. And if you can’t figure out the tax and tip, use the calculator on your phone. It may come off as rude the first time you do it, but just do it fast, and move on to having fun elsewhere.
7. Discuss room temperatures in great detail
Does your friend sleep just in underwear with one leg out of the covers? And do you sleep under the weight of two blankets while spooning with a pillow to keep warm? You traveling compatibility is questionable. Pick sleeping arrangements based on who wants to be near or away from whatever climate controlling device in use at the time. If it is summer, and you don’t like too much air conditioning, you do not get the bed by the air conditioner.
8. Everybody poops
If you know your buddy drops the kids off at the pool in the morning, be a friend and decide each morning is the time you want to go on a walk. Some people like to relax and have self time when they are performing biological functions. And then you can go downstairs and poop in the lobby bathroom and be done with it.
9. Cleanliness is relative
If you are a neat-freak, do not travel with friends who keep more clothes on the floor than they do in their drawers. And if you are sloppy, don’t travel with someone whose home looks ripped from the meticulous pages of a Pottery Barn catalog. You both have lifestyles, and expecting each other to adapt to your habits is unfair and unrealistic. Your friend will not change any easier than you will change. It is a great lesson in life: accept people for who the are.
10. Don’t complain
You both decided to take a bus from Cancun to the pyramids of Tulum, but the bus broke down and you are stuck in the middle of nowhere? Your buddy is there with you, on the side of the road, his precious vacation time being wasted just like yours. Complaining isn’t telling him anything he doesn’t already know. If things aren’t going the way you want, offer a suggestion for making it better. Or better yet, calm down. Everyone likes being around happy people, so find adventure in everything that happens and be happy you are doing it together.
11. Just Get Away
Feeling cooped up despite all this planning? Head down to the bar. Aloft Hotels have vibrant bar scenes with seasonal cocktails. Also, check out the live, complementary, concert series. Artists have included The Lumineers, Ed Sheeran, Green River Ordinance, and Better Than Ezra.
For a complete and up-to-date list of all performances, visit LiveAtAloftHotels.com and join the conversation @AloftHotels using#AloftLive. When booking your next hotel stay to discover 100+ Aloft Hotels around the world.
Book now at alofthotels.com…