Nothing ruins a good travel budget like a friend. Obviously traveling with friends has its perks, monetary and otherwise. Splitting the cost of accommodations or car rentals can save lots of money. Plus you have someone to share your amazing experience with and to reminisce for years to come. A friend can be that proverbial pinch that reminds you that yes, you are really standing in front of the Taj Mahal. This is not just a dream (anymore).
But…you need to get one thing straight from the start: your budget. “Budget’s out of whack? Just turn back.” I just made that up right now.
If you are on a ramen budget and your friend has booked a table at Noma, there will be no joyful reminiscing post-trip. The trip will self-destruct.
It’s fun to plan out all of the great things you will see and do on your trip, to focus on those exciting details. And it feels déclassé to ask your friend how much they have in the bank, but it is an absolute must. You need to make sure that your visions of the trip and how much it will cost are in line. You also need to set your expectations of the comforts that that budget will afford. It doesn’t help anyone to go in clueless. So talk it over.
This conversation often leads to the most dreaded of all realizations…my friend has no budget at all. Well, that’s not good. If you love them, set them free. Don’t force them to go into debt to fulfill your dream.
You can still go it alone. On your own budget, on your own timeline.