It’s peak travel season for me and the level of brain space it takes to pack for five trips in five weeks… I promise you it all looked good on paper but.
Group trips can be a bit easier to manage. What helps in traveling with your squad is assigning everyone a responsibility in the planning. There are several people you want on your travel team. Not just for the cute T-shirt’s and shorts Instagram photos, but rather for making sure everyone enjoys themselves, remains safe and returns to their loved ones in one peace. With no bail money spent. So think about your crew and figure out if it’s worth traveling miles away just to incur massive migraines or in my case, memorable moments. Here’s who can make your trip go from bust to banging.
This person is a type A personality who lacks trust in others. They are the control freak of the group and has strengths in the area of research, creating itineraries and actually reading the fine print. You want them on the front leg of the trip planning. If you opt out of having a planner, you’ll be staying at a roach infested Air BnB because no one took the time to read the reviews and ask a gazillion questions. They call the trip meetings, download the event apps, and sends texts every morning with reminders for what outfits need to be packed.
The Holder of the Purse
In the past, this person has scored your crew Lauryn Hill tickets at fraction of the price so you’ll only be disappointed at only a fraction of the cost. She’s always scouting for the tour deals and has multiple tabs active on her smartphone. No deal is final without her haggling. When you get there, she’s still on some app trying to get meals at a cheaper price depending on what position the sun is in, or however she seems to get those deals. Let her take the wheel when it comes to bargain shopping on your travels. And don’t ask any questions when she’s gotten the price down to a third of the cost.
The Free Spirit
Now this person is only let loose once you land at your destination. You keep her caged and muzzled because you can’t account for whatever rash decisions that can potentially ruin your trip before you get there. Tape her hands to keep her from posting on social media all your business to the house burglars. She’s spontaneous and not afraid of taking risks. Whether it’s convincing the group to sky dive or leading you to perdition in one fell swoop, she is the LITeral life of the party and she will make it her mission to have you step out of your comfort zone at least once during trip. Her motto: you only live once.
She’s the one with the fancy camera or the high end smartphone. With a smartphone in her hands, the Insta-Stories will be epic. With a camera, she will take the best photos for your Travel photo books. She is functioning as the keeper of these wondrous memories. She’s taking meal photos, outfit photos, weird people photos, room photos–you name it. She considers it her purpose in life to document your friendship so when you’re in the nursing home many moons from now, you will have the photo books to share with the nurses. After all, diaper changes will be something they look forward to with you. There is however one caveat to this role. Your group’s archivist must know what discretion means in spirit and in truth. No one wants to explain to the pastor of First Church of the Sanctified and Formerly Ratchet Saints why their twerking videos went live on Snapchat. The saints are always watching!
The UN Peacekeeper
Your travel buddies may dance on your nerves a few times while away. You forgot how long they took showers. You didn’t realize their hair weaves shed like a whole pet! When personalities collide for a moment in time, fireworks may pop off. Side note: traveling with problematic people should be seriously REconsidered. If you can’t deal with them on any other day, you may opt to forgo traveling with them any other time. The peacekeeper isn’t here for war time measures. She’s here for the mini flare ups because she knows her friends well enough to run interference. She’s usually the one taking you for a walk or texting you some silly meme to make you laugh. Her job is to make everyone holla and bring us back to the purpose of your time together–making memories.
Whether it’s a crew of two or twenty, try and be sure you’ve at least identified one person to fit these roles. The memories mean more when you’ve arrived at your destination safely, you had a fantabulous time and you can honestly say you would do it again in a heartbeat.
Lord knows I hate packing for trips, yet knowing the caliber of friends I travel with, I cannot wait to share this finite time with them. Here’s to catching flights this summer season with your friends!