Survival Tips How To Get Along With Your Travel Companions
Lay down the ground rules before you leave. Don't wait to test out your relationship while on the trip. The key to surviving a girlfriend getaway is pre-planning, according to Karen Schaler, author of Travel Therapy: Where Do You Need to Go? What's the cardinal rule on bringing men back into the room? What about hitting the snooze button? Will you be OK spending the entire day at the pool? "You want to do the compromising upfront so the ride will be smoother down the road," Schaler says.
Pick the right mate. Pair up according to similar personalities and sleep patterns -- early risers with early risers, night owls with night owls. If roommates aren't clicking, switch mid-stay. Not an option? "Remind yourself that it's temporary, and that you're not spending exorbitant amounts of time in the room," says Jolie Goldring, a travel consultant with Ovation Travel.
Set up daily meetings. "You want to have a mechanism in place to allow opportunity for communication and consensus," says Dr. Levine, author of Best Friends Forever: Surviving a Breakup with Your Best Friend. "You might want to meet in the morning or the evening -- at least once a day -- to touch base about the schedule." Will you be breaking off into groups and meeting up for lunch? If that plan doesn't work for you, what would?
Talk openly and respectfully. Cut problems off at the root; communicate before a situation explodes. Dr. Levine suggests that each woman should make a vow to speak her mind: "I want you to promise me that if something bothers you, you'll tell me, and I'll do the same." At the end of the day, group trips rarely go off without a little back and forth, but "negotiating problems builds stronger relationships," adds Dr. Levine. "If resolved well and there aren't too many of them, you can become better friends."
Take breaks. "The more you time you spend with your travel partners, the more likely problems can compound," says Schaler. "If tension and angst escalate, don't be afraid to take a time out and do your own thing."
Encourage any mothers in the group to relax. It's natural that moms will worry about their kids while away. But it defeats the purpose of a getaway. "Leave detailed instructions for the caregiver -- the kids' wake-up and bedtime, school drop-off and pick-up hours, medication dosages," recommends Casey Wohl, author of the Girls Getaway Guides. "You'll have a greater peace of mind, and you'll get fewer calls asking about what the kids need or where they need to be."