National Best Friends Day: How to decide where to go with your mates post-lockdown
In a world where ‘friendship’ is currently more synonymous with Zoom than it is shared memories, let this Best Friends Day (June 8) be the reason you schedule your next video chat with your mates.
Start dreaming of spending some quality time together post-Covid-19.
Travelling with the right friends is better than travelling alone, says South African-born Craig Thomas, who now lives in New York. “The joy of travel is about being able to share experiences. Having good friends with you makes travel less stressful, more enjoyable and builds shared memories that will last a lifetime. Travelling with friends can test, challenge and reaffirm friendships – you learn so much about your friends and yourself," he said.
Expect a different dynamic than travelling with family or as a couple. There will always be someone in the group who wants to do what you want to do, whether that’s relaxing or tackling an activity. You sit around a table and share your meals with your favourite people in the whole world, which is something that won’t be taken for granted anytime soon.
Sue Garrett, GM of Marketing and Product at The Flight Centre Travel Group, group travel often allows you to budget effectively. “When taking a road trip locally, for example, sharing costs like fuel, toll road fees, shared accommodation and food, etc can make holiday budgets go further.”
Here are some tips on how to decide where to go:
Price is, of course, a big factor because you’ll want to go on a holiday that everyone can afford. Consider starting a Whatsapp group or a shared Pinterest board. Start dreaming and planning from as early as nine months to a year in advance to give everyone enough time to save and block-out leave.
Get the group consensus
All members need to decide where is the best place to visit. Thomas suggested a group vote. "We choose our destinations based on a vote. My best experience was travelling with my best friend in Ecuador. None of us knew anyone who had been to Ecuador, so it was an easy decision. What made this the best trip was that we were open to enjoying new experiences. Spontaneity was key, and I have a photo album from this trip that I treasure, which reminds me of my friendships," he said.
Get expert advice
Garrett said friend groups should consider consulting with a travel expert so that they can explain what the destination, hotel or holiday package offers and find the best rates. “You can start by coming together as a group, throwing a few destinations into a hat and then choosing the best option based on the needs of the group. Then, ask an expert for a few options. A final quotation helps push the decision-making process," she said.
For friends who want to travel together, setting up a stokvel is an excellent way to start contributing to your joint holiday.