Traveling with friends…it can go one of two ways. Complete and utter disaster or a total success. We’ve been traveling with our besties for the past few summers and we really have it down pat. It’s a beautiful thing — the adults get along, the kids love to hang out with each other, and they are around the same age. We always have the best time and make awesome memories with our friends. Here are some tips for a drama-free get away with friends this summer.
We have worked our way up to a week-long getaway with our friends. Sharing living space with another family for a week is no joke. There are lots of things to work out, like room arrangements, cooking and cleaning, and the itinerary. We initially started out with a weekend trip where each family had their own hotel room. We ended up spending most of our downtime hanging out in each other’s hotel rooms with a couple of wild and crazy toddlers so we thought we should consider renting something bigger if we decided to do it again. It worked out so well and all had so much fun, we decided to rent a cottage for a week the next summer.
Travel With Friends on the Same Parenting Wavelength
I think this is the most important tip I have. Make sure the family you are traveling parents similar to you. We aren’t real sticklers about bedtime, so traveling with a family that enforces a bedtime would be difficult. It wouldn’t be really fair to the other kids if we let our kids rage into all hours of the night, and the other family made their kiddos go to bed early.
We also are pretty relaxed about what the kids eat, on vacation especially. If they want to have ice cream as a snack, go for it! We are on vacation. If they want two popsicles, sure why not? YOLO!! We are on vacation — I’m not following my diet either! But if your travel partners monitor their childrens’ diets and don’t allow them to have certain foods, it might lead to problems and some whining from the kids. Our travel besties have a very similar parenting philosophy to us when it comes to vacationing and that makes it easy for all the kids to follow the same loose structure when it comes to eating, bedtimes, and rules.
When doing a big trip like this, we try to split it as evenly as we can when it comes to food and drinks. Before the trip, we talk about what we want to bring from home for the cottage (some necessities like coffee, paper plates, and plastic silverware because who wants to wash dishes all week?). We also put money into a “pot” and buy our groceries and other essentials (beers, White Claws, and juice boxes) until it runs out. Each family contributes a certain amount of money at the beginning of the week and we use that for things like grocery shopping or pizza nights. That way it’s fair and no family is paying more than the other.
Teamwork Makes the Dream Work
We are super lucky when it comes to our vacation buddies. We are able to split the household chores pretty evenly so no one is stuck doing everything. I enjoy cooking, so I did a lot of the meals and some of the other adults cleaned up. We took turns taking out the trash, loading and unloading the dishwasher, and shopping for supplies. And, of course, we all took turns looking after the kids and trying to entertain them. With four kids under four, it was all hands on deck.
Every year that we have gone on a trip with our friends, it has been a fun experience that gets a little easier as the kids grow. We have beautiful memories, lots of laughs, and more fun each time. I hope that this is a tradition we can continue for years to come.