If you saw our most recent vacation announcement, then you will have seen that we are going on vacation with our friends, Matt and Ashley.
If they seem familiar on the blog, that is because we went to Germany with them two years ago.
But the focus of today is how to plan a cruise vacation with friends.
The first key is to decide to go on vacation together. That part sounds easy, but it doesn’t take too long of adulting to realize locking down friends for any sort of commitment is not easy. Finding friends that you can travel with is even more rare, But without this first step, you aren’t going to get anywhere.
Second, establish the big parameters. Those should be what type of vacation, when, and some general budget paraments. In this case, my husband and I talked about what would be best for us, ensuring we were on the same page (less than 5k, no more than 1 week, preferable European) and I communicated these to Ashley, who was having similar conversations. Mutually, we decided that a cruise would be the most affordable and convenient choice for us.
After this, have everyone do some research with a set timeline. Get together at the preset date and share what everyone has found, which makes it easier for everyone to feel like they are making an informed decision. Ashley and I sat down one night, with our boys in easy cell phone reach, poured some wine, and spent hours comparing cruise lines and itineraries.
This might sound like a lot, but since we had already established when we wanted to go and how much we wanted to spend, it was a fun night because all the hard stuff was established.
Each step of vacation planning was like this – establishing what needed to be done, setting a timeframe to research, and then everyone sat down to talk about it or text about it. This was done for scheduling flights, planning excursions, discussing packing lists, etc.
The hardest part of being honest in your communication. These are your friends, you don’t have to keep up with the Jones. If you are honest and kind, planning a vacation with friends is a lot of fun.
The next hard part is communicating. Make sure that everyone is on the same page. Create a text group or Facebook chat group that you only use for vacation planning, which makes referencing back much easier. When you book something, make sure your communicating that. Text a screenshot of the flight booking, not just “booked my flight!!!”
I do recommend keeping money separate if possible, just to relieve that tension. But just be a decent person and make sure you pay what you owe. Finally, remember even if you are on vacation together, you don’t have to do everything together.