For a guy trip with a little adrenaline and other worldly experience, try an underwater poker tournament. Divester reported about a tournament to raise money for a military family, but there are tons of other good causes as well.
Here's how to organize your getaway with friends while raising money for a good cause:
- Decide how many guys can make this commitment. Note: They must either be scuba certified or willing to be trained how to dive.
- Arrange practice group dives before the big tournament.
- Arrange practice poker matches just for fun.
- Decide where to go diving and make any necessary hotel, transportation, etc. arrangements.
- Set the date of the tournament, the cause for which you'll donate money, and the target amount to raise. Alert the non-profit organization, church, family, or other benefit group.
- Raise funds. Make calls. Go door to door. Do email blasts. Ask co-workers. Post announcements on MySpace. And so forth.
- Create a trip on TripHub to invite any who want to join the tournament and go as spectators or participants.
- Discuss trip details using TripHub's trip discussion blog, organize and post everyone's info and trip details on the event schedule.
- Then go on the poker tournament, win big, and feel great about donating to a worthy cause while bonding with your pals in a unique way.
The New York Times ran a story on a new trend for millionaire vacations: why travel alone when you can afford to take your friends and family and pay for them? Group travel doesn't discriminate against cash in pocket, banks, investments, etc. Everyone travels for the same reason when planning a group trip: to stay connected to close friends and family.
This new luxury travel trend - dubbed as a result of the rich in America getting richer and not being shy to foot the bill to spend quality time with people - presents interesting opportunities for group travel, along with dilemmas.
- Opportunities: Free time at no to little cost to enjoy a vacation, opportunity to see a new place or try out a new style of living potentially out of bounds otherwise, take the attitude of "carpe diem" and just go for it.
- Dilemmas: The guilt of feeling obligated to somehow return the enormous favor, the feelings of inequity among friends, not feeling "right" about accepting such a gift. And the giftor must decide who's in and who's not invited, which can get uncomfortable with those uninvited. Ugh.
On my boating trip this summer (split the costs evenly), one of our stops was Roche Harbor, San Juan Island. We happened to arrive during a mega yacht meet-up and our 33-foot wooden boat was dwarfed by many pristine, fiberglass ships. For the size of little quaint Roche Harbor (at least that's how I remember it from my childhood) it seemed ridiculous. But after reading this NYT article (which is intriguing, and a must read) now I wonder how many people on yachts were on gift vacations.
If you have the means to plan a luxury trip with friends and family (whether you gift it or not), you can use TripHub to coordinate and share trip details.
OK, let's keep this civilized. No snickering. It's a serious question. With all the whoopla about "mancations" and guys traveling together for fun (groups of buddies/pals/friends/comrades have traveled together for getaway/bachelor/etc. trips for a while, but the travel industry just clued in) I decided to investigate.
When childhood pals, college friends, frat boys, ski club members, or just friends from life decide to get together to reconnect or bond, how do they pass the time? Whether road tripping or flying somewhere, bachelor parties, casual reunions, and sporting (golf, ski) get togethers are all part of the rituals of reconnecting.
Guy getaways can include anything from golfing, skiing, boating, fishing, hunting, club-hopping, lady-gawking, cigar-smoking, beer-chugging, gambling, or even metro activities such as meeting up in a city of choice and relaxing together at clubs.
Outside magazine recently emphasized how important the buddy system is (traveling with at least one other for safety) and listed great articles on various ways men bond, using famous figures such as Eddie Vedder, Jack Handey, and others for how to play on vacation. Plus, a few lessons for athletes who get too competitive.
Gadling's Neil Woodburn blogged about his 24-hour experience in Las Vegas to see The Pogues which got me thinking. Not only was I jealous of his having gone to see one of Ireland's best, modern, and eclectic bands (in my humble opinion), but there are so many other bands worthy of traveling (road trips included) to a destination to see them with a good group of friends.
This is my quick hit list:
- Grateful Dead (oh wait, not an option anymore)
- Bob Dylan
- Pearl Jam
- Rusted Root
- Sheryl Crow
- Simon & Garfunkel revival concert
- The Shins
- Belle & Sebastian
- Pink Martini
- Kelly Joe Phelps
What bands or musicians would inspire you to travel with friends for a concert?
TripAdvisor issued a list of its favorite "vineyard vacations" - which are, of course, ideal for groups such as extended families (sans kids), girls getaways, bachelor parties, birthday parties, wedding events, or just getaways with friends.
This top 10 list includes all the usual suspects, and a few notable newbies. So raise a glass of chardonney or merlot and bring back new bottles of wine to dazzle your friends (or yourself) when you return from vacation.
- Napa Valley, Calif.
- Tuscany, Italy
- Bordeaux, France
- Santiago, Chile
- Sonoma, Calif.
- Burgundy, France
- La Rioja, Spain
- Hunter Valley, Australia
- Champagne-Ardenne, France
- Constantia, South Africa
Tailgate parties conjure up images of football fans gathering near stadiums, camped out for the pre-game hours and sometimes well-into the game to celebrate their alma mater or favorite team. The tailgate party may be as American as applie pie, bringing college friends together for weekend reunions or regular reconnections.
While there are many great tailgating spots, here are five of the top places for college tailgating, known for their festive atmosphere, passionate fans, and great food:
1. University of Mississippi ("Ole Miss") - Oxford, Mississippi
The Grove, a 10-acre green space in the center of the Ole Miss campus, is one of the most famous tailgating spots in the country. Fans arrive days in advance to set up their tents and prepare for the game. The atmosphere is festive and welcoming, with fans dressed in their best outfits and enjoying Southern hospitality at its finest.
The New York Times describes the Grove as the social event in Oxford, Mississippi, not just for the students or alumni, but for the whole town:
"Ole Miss's stadium accommodates 60,580 people, and devotees of the Grove argue that the Grove accommodates more. It is every kind of party you can describe, at once: cocktail party, dinner party, tailgate picnic party, fraternity and sorority rush, family reunion, political handgrab, gala and networking party-hearty — what might have inspired Willie Morris, one of Mississippi's favorite sons, to declare Mississippi not a state, but a club... The party is technically a picnic. Originally an informal tailgating get-together when most serious pregame socializing took place at Ole Miss's fraternity and sorority houses, by the 50’s the Grove started to become its own pregame tradition.
2. Louisiana State University (LSU) - Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Tailgating at LSU is a unique experience, with fans setting up grills and cooking delicious Cajun and Creole dishes like gumbo, jambalaya, and crawfish boils. The air is filled with the sounds of live music and the smell of delicious food, creating a festive atmosphere that is unmatched.
3. University of Wisconsin - Madison, Wisconsin
Tailgating at the University of Wisconsin is a great experience, with fans gathering on State Street and Regent Street to celebrate before the game. The atmosphere is fun and lively, with fans enjoying brats, cheese curds, and other Wisconsin favorites.
4. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor, Michigan
The Big House, as the University of Michigan stadium is known, is one of the largest stadiums in the country and provides an amazing backdrop for tailgating. Fans gather in the parking lots and green spaces around the stadium to enjoy barbecue, play games, and celebrate their team.
5. University of South Carolina - Columbia, South Carolina
Tailgating at the University of South Carolina is a true Southern tradition, with fans gathering at the State Fairgrounds and other locations around the stadium to enjoy barbecue, play cornhole, and celebrate with friends and family. The atmosphere is friendly and welcoming, with fans from both teams often mingling and enjoying the festivities together.
I recently wrote about culinary tours and just read a CNN article about the trend in culinary tours and cooking classes, shedding light on why we travel for food. Here are some excerpts about the growing popular movement to experience culinary delights up close and personal while on vacation.
"I think that the foodie market is related more or less to the baby boomer demographic," said Dr. Rich Harrill, director of the International Tourism Research Institute at the University of South Carolina. "You have people who are retiring, people with lots of discretionary time and income, some level of sophistication. They're educated, they're interested in wine, they're interested in food."
The article goes on to suggest that while countries like Italy, France, and Spain are "hot spots for culinary tourism," you don't have to travel too far off the beaten path or make a major time commitment to participate.
One culinary class pupil reminisces fondly, "When you travel through the world exploring food, you get this interesting window about the culture and the environment because food is the bridge between the land and the culture."
Courses are limited to Arizona, Las Vegas, Hawaii, California, Carolinas, Florida, and Mexico but those are golf hot spots anyway. The descriptions, photos, par stats, player ratings all come in handy. But the fact that you can actually book a tee time is highly convenient. Now all you need to do is practice your putt.
Mancations? You heard it right. Gadling reported on a trend CNN recently wrote about, and one TripHub has known about for a while - guys getaways, apparently now also referred to as mancations. (Men, are you cool with this term? Sounds a little goofy to me, but then again girls getaway probably sounds equally as goofy.)
Groups of guys with old friends from high school and college (or just life) traveling together is a growing trend indeed, if nothing else, evident from hotels and resorts catering to men only groups with such testosterone-infused packages including things like:
- poker parties
- hand-rolled cigars
- buckets of beer
- sports tickets
- race car driving
- "man-friendly" spa treatments
Keeping in touch is important and doing so while traveling (away from the girls) is a way to bond in ways you can't do as a couple. I can vouch that my girls getaways (goofy as that trendy little name sounds for a vacation) are a God-send when it comes to staying connected to friends. Especially when you're increasingly busy post-college with work and life.
P.s., clearly, other bloggers think the term mancation is as ridiculous as I do. However, the concept is sound. Guys do travel together, label or no label.
Food and wine touring is one of the best methods of travel, and a growing trend. You meet locals, often take the road less traveled, taste exquisite regional cuisine, sample rare wines, and try a culture on for size. These scrumptious tours come in all flavors and cater to groups.
Cooking classes abroad
My mom and I participated in a group cooking class while in Florence for a destination wedding. 20 guests from the wedding bonded, made new friends, and spread the spirit of the wedding through the days leading up to the ceremony. With the chef supervising, ingredients prepped, and kitchen utensils at hand, we broke into smaller groups and worked on our respective culinary assignments. Mom and I were with the tort table following a simple recipe for a lemon tort while others prepared a beef entrée, appetizers, and salads. After baking and cooking, we all feasted on our homemade Italian food and drank vino at a big banquet table. Bonus: We all got to take home the recipes and aprons. To this day, it's still one of my most memorable meals. Thanks to Apicius, the Culinary Institute of Florence.
The same destination wedding trip to Italy also gave me the opportunity to take a small group wine-tasting tour. We visited quaint, lesser-known wineries and stopped for lunch at a local restaurant in a rural village just outside of Florence. Chianti's 300 acres between Florence and Siena are filled with hills and various wine-growing conditions, producing a range of bouquets. We sampled soft wines, dry wines, and robust wines not marketed in the U.S. Apparently, the American market demands certain grapes and types of wine, but often the local vintners shake their heads in wonder because they know the superior bottles don't sell well on the mass market. Reason alone to do a wine-tasting tour: rare finds. These tours are a great way to meld with the rural areas, sample the fruits of its earth, and pass the time with a little culture.
Pick and choose your favorite culinary tour. Your body, mind, and gut will thank you for it, and it's ideal for group trips. A few suggestions to whet your appetite:
Bordeaux wine tours
Napa Valley wineries
South Australia wine-tasting tours
Guinness tours in Dublin
Anheuser-Busch Brewery tours
Redhook Brewery tours in Washington state (near Seattle) or New Hampshire
Samuel Adams Brewery tours in Boston
Food & culinary tours and classes
Cooking classes in France, Spain, and Italy
Food & music tours (eat 'til you ache, dance 'til you drop)
Chateau St. Michelle Winery concerts in Woodinville (near Seattle)
Celtic music and food tours in Ireland and Scotland
Taking a culinary or wine tour with family or friends is a priceless experience, great for girls getaways, bachelorette parties, wedding guest activities, and so on.
Are you a last-minute traveler? Spontaneous to the core? If so, you're probably too busy enjoying summer to think about early fall. But you may to keep a few festivals on your radar. September is a golden time of year for cooler weather, for warm, gentle breezes, for parents who get to usher their kids onto school buses or into schools, for the buzz of summer to wind down, and for people to plan those last days of summer vacations.
There are several September festivals for all spectrums of life: families, music lovers, art adorers, food fanatics, and more. Here's a snippet of what's on the horizon for late summer, early fall.
Sausalito Art Festival, Labor Day Weekend (early September)
The Mediterranean-style seaside town of Sausalito, just north of the Golden Gate Bridge, has hosted the world-famous art festival annually since 1952. "The best local, American, and International Artists bring their combined perspectives, virtuoso skills, and more than 20,000 original works of art — including paintings, sculpture, ceramics, jewelry, fiber art, fine glass, woodwork, mixed media, and photography."
Telluride Blues & Brews Festival, September
"...three days of world-renowned musicians performing live on the famous Telluride Town Park stage, late night jams in the local juke joints, 50 choice microbreweries serving up their handcrafted "cream of the barrel" during Saturday's Grand Tasting, the Rainbow Kids area, free Acoustic Artist Series, Blues For Breakfast, and the Telluride Acoustic Blues Camp."
La Tamale Festival, in Los Angeles, September
This red hot event is in its second year, drawing 60,000 visitors. You can enjoy a kids pavilion, world record-eating contests, tamale-making classes, and as much spicy Latin sauce as you can dish up.
Russian Mosaic Festival in Philadelphia, September
This free festival will be a day packed with music, dance, and entertainment. This year's seven-hour concert program is set to showcase the Russian community's original folk, classical, and ballroom dancing performers.
Plano Balloon Festival in Plano/Dallas/Fort Worth, late September
A "something-for-everyone" event, this festival is filled with plenty of hot air. Cow-shaped balloons awe the crowds from above, hot air balloons offer rides, a team of expert sky divers do stunts out of planes. All this with entertainment, food, and plenty to keep the kiddies occupies.
Visit Festivals.com to find a wide range of other arts, cultural, music, and family festivals in the U.S. and around world.
We all get by with a little help from our friends. Traveling is no exception. Vacations are more enjoyable with buddies from college, girlfriends from home, friends from life (soccer or baseball teams), and any other groups.
Reconnect with old friends, reminisce about the good old days, and make new memories that make you laugh 'til you cry with these getaway tips.
Ladies, start your engines. The games, the energy, the synergy, and the drinks are about to begin. Take a wild or relaxing vacation with your gal pals on a spa getaway, wine-tasting soiree, birthday celebration, or anything goes. Can't go far? Try a mini girls getaway?
Hit the beach year-round (and more heavily in the summer) at your favorite beach. Try a nude beach, join your friends at your most memorable beach, or find a new beach while on a weekend away. Here are TripAdvisor's top 10 U.S. beaches.
Road trip planning guide
Zoom, zoom. Friends, families, and other vacationers are hitting the highways and dusty roads for campgrounds, national parks, family reunions, and zero obligations. Along with sunblock, prepare for a stress-free road trip with these tips. 10 gas and money-saving tips should help as well.
Swing and putt your way down the fairways, slugging beer and making bets against your comrades the whole time. Golf is a great way to relax and visit with friends while working on your game. Also, here are quick tips for planning a group golf getaway.
Bachelor and bachelorette parties
Are you the best man with no clue how to honor your pal with a party? If the only thing that comes to mind is a stripper, see these bachelor party tips first. Ladies, looking to make the bride smile and proud to call you her friends? Here are helpful hints for bachelorette party planning.
Just say ahhhh. Spa vactions are on the rise and spas are increasingly catering to groups (girls getaways in particular). Before you go, brush up on some basic group etiquette (so the spa invites you back!). Try vinotherapy at a wine spa, chocolate massages, or any other spa treatments for you and the gang.
More Tips for Group Getaways with Friends
Family life is full of major and minor crises -- the ups and downs of health, success and failure in career, marriage, and divorce -- and all kinds of characters. It is tied to places and events and histories. With all of these felt details, life etches itself into memory and personality. It's difficult to imagine anything more nourishing to the soul.--Thomas Moore
Even sad events such as illness or funerals can bring families closer together. I was recently reminded of this while attending a relative's funeral and visiting with extended family this past weekend. It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. Truly.
Once we all got the news, one family passed around itinerary info in one big email string so they all knew flight arrival info for coordination. My family used about 5 phone calls to coordinate. ("Are you going? Which flight? How much did it cost?") Who knows how many other families and friends did the same thing. I got to thinking that TripHub's group travel coordination tools would save time for families gathering under these circumstances. Maybe next time. Wait. I hope there isn't a next time... sigh.
Losing a loved one or going through any rough patch together makes us acutely aware of what's important in life and strengthens relationships.
Over the last several days, I carefully observed how extended family and friends kicked into high gear to help those most in need, ordering food, grocery shopping, playing waiter(ess), coordinating transportation, organizing church services, catering, telling story after story and listening intently as others shared theirs. Laughter and tears blended to reveal kindred spirits and compassion.
New bonds were created among old family connections. Cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, moms, dads, grandparents. Despite the circumstances, we were able to catch up, play a few games, distract people who needed distracting, hug those who needed more hugs than usual, and in general express what we forget to so often. I came away feeling uplifted.
I think the late French philosopher Pierre Teilhard de Chardin summed it up best when he said (or wrote): We are not humans having a spiritual experience. We are spirits, having a human experience.
By guest blogger Andrea Turk
It's official, you're old. You just received an email from a former classmate that it is time to start planning your next high school reunion. Once the shock wears off, the next question settles in. Where do we begin? Fortunately, I have assembled a to-do list that will help you organize a successful reunion (sorry, I can't do anything about your age).
Don't panic. Planning a high school reunion is a lot of work, but if you follow these simple steps, the process can be a lot of fun and virtually painless.
- Plan early for your reunion. Begin at least 9 months or more in advance. (Trust me, you will wish you had started a year ago!) Planning a reunion is a big production; make sure that you have ample time to complete all the important tasks.
- Enlist classmates to help. The more help you have, the less stressed you will be. Make sure that the committee is a diverse group from your class. You don't want the reunion to be focused on one group of people with one set of interests. Delegate, delegate, delegate.
- Budget wisely. When setting your ticket price include all the costs of the reunion, not just the meal. This includes the cost of entertainment, venue rental, tax, gratuity, postage, printing, decorations, Web site hosting, long-distance phone calls, etc. Be conservative when estimating attendance. You don't want to be stuck footing the bill because an item was omitted from your budget or fewer classmates attended than expected. Set up a bank account to deposit payments and pay bills.
- Pick a location and date early. Weekends fill up quickly with weddings and social events, so availability can be hard to find if you wait to book the event. Make sure to ask about deposits, caterers' food and beverage minimums and extra costs. Pick a menu with variety.
- Assemble and manage the guest list. Put a complete list of your classmates together using your commencement program, senior annual and information from previous reunions. This list should be in a database or spreadsheet that is easy to update and manage throughout the process. Include a method to track RSVPs, orders, payments, meal choice, etc.
- Start locating your classmates now. I cannot stress this enough. This is a huge, time-consuming process. You may have to call parents, siblings, old roommates, etc. to track them down. Use the Internet. Online phone books, alumni Web sites, and community Web sites are all beneficial.
- Create a fun, simple, and easy-to-read invitation. Make sure to list all the essential information (date/time, location, ticket price and attire). Also, include contact information of the committee member in charge of answering questions and responding to complaints. Don't forget to let your classmates know where to return the reservations and make their checks payable to. Include payment deadlines to encourage early registration.
- Get the word out early. People are busy during the summer months, so make sure your event is number one on their calendar and get the invitation out at least 4-6 months in advance.
- Make time for the "extras." The memorabilia displays, event program, name tags, memory books and table decorations are the things that people will remember years down the road. This will help make your reunion special, giving it character or charm (depending on theme, setting, decorations).
- Collect personal information on your classmates. You can compile it into a memory book for each alum to take home as a memento of the reunion.
- Remember, this is your reunion. Don't get so caught up in the details that you lose sight of what is really important. Reunions are about reconnecting with old friends, reminiscing about the good ol' days and looking forward to the future.
If all this prep work isn't up your alley, consider the alternative of hiring a professional reunion planner. Many companies provide reunion management services, handling all the behind-the-scenes details such as coordinating with vendors, locating your classmates and managing the database, paying bills, covering liability insurance for the event, staffing the event, and more. You can find a professional reunion planner at the National Association of Reunion Managers. Happy reunion planning!
Andrea Turk works with Reunions with Class, Inc., has been in reunion planning since 2001, and has helped more than 400 reunion committees organize successful reunions.
This weekend I volunteered at Seattle's Wooden Boat Festival on Lake Union. While there are countless festivities taking place across the country to celebrate America's birthday, the goal is the same: take time to play with family and/or friends. One big party from sea to shining sea.
Seattle's Wooden Boat Festival is unique to this city, but the energy, sentiment, food booths, kids activities, and arts and crafts show nature could be found in any other city or small town.
Celebrating 30 years, the Center for Wooden Boats has been involved in preserving maritime history and a maritime lifestyle with sailing lessons, rentals, an outdoor museum where you can walk the docks to view the boats, and an annual festival that culminates on the 4th of July. Classic wooden boats from around the Pacific Northwest anchor into about 10 to 12 different docks with shiny varnish, impeccable interiors (well, most of the boats, at least), and designs as varied as the owners.
After cruising on the 1922 Virginia V steamboat (one of two remaining steamboats of its kind in the U.S.) and going from upper tier deck to middle deck to lower deck (about 5 times each) I finally stood still, leaned against the railing, and took it all in. 30-ish feet above the water I peered down at houseboats and across the lake at the skyline, Space Needle and all. Complete peace.
Gliding into the dock, the hubub of a festival full of families, friends, boat-lovers, water-lovers all greeted us as we stepped off the boat back onto shore.
Holidays are great. We need more in this country. Until then, I'll be back at the festival tomorrow enjoying recess as long as I can.
With Las Vegas dubbed the Entertainment Capital of the World, it's no wonder that our research at TripHub shows more groups planning trips to Las Vegas than any other destination.
Surprised? Don't be. Las Vegas has long been popular for bachelor parties, bachelorette parties, weekend gambling getaways (and gawking) for guys, easy-bake wedding ceremonies or full-blown weddings, and a launch pad for visiting the Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam and other area attractions. And when conventioneers converge there, attendees often extend their stay and invite family or friends to join them.
Vegas continues to evolve, offering world-class shows (think Cirque du Soleil's Mystere, O, Zumanity, plus a bevy of Broadway, magic, and variety shows that thrill 'til dawn), concerts by renowned music artists, and more high-rolling resort casinos than anywhere else on Earth.
Even the anti-glitz travelers (ahem, like myself) who prefer tamer, more au naturale vacations, often admit that Las Vegas is good for entertaining and best enjoyed with a group of friends when you can double dare them to keep betting on the roulette table or give them a dollar bill to tip the dancer (that would be for the guys). The sweeping view from the top of Mandalay Bay is worth seeing, the Bellagio waterworks display dazzling, a massage at any of the luxury hotel spas relaxing, and other activities can fill your every waking moment. Sleep when you return home.
Planning a trip to Las Vegas with family or friends? Here are ideas to get you started:
Plan a weekend getaway with friends, bachelor(ette) party, family vacation, or wedding using TripHub by setting up a home page for your group, inviting guests, discussing hotels, sharing itinerary information, and more
Photos provided by Las Vegas News Bureau
Ah, cities with water. Whether its lakefront, oceanfront, bayfront, or riverfront, living in or visiting a city with water access can be bliss in the sultry summer months.
Dangling my toes from the bow, I went on a boat ride this past weekend with a few others. A potpourri group of friends and family. This activity is highly group-oriented, especially in a city known for having the highest number of boats per capita. Seattle waterways were jam-packed on Sunday with kayakers, power boaters, wooden boaters, canoers, rowers, floaters, pedalers, sailors, wake-boarders, water skiers, and the list goes on.
Watching other boats pass our boat, I noticed that regardless of age, gender, socioeconomic status (believe me, you can tell a lot by someone's boat), everyone had a perma-grin. Water can be the great equalizer. People on boats of all shapes and sizes (passengers to match) waved and smiled as they floated by each other.
With so many people crowding the waterways, I felt privileged to help the skipper navigate by yelling, "Canoers on the port side!" and other super official-sounding lingo. I was luckiest girl in the world, for the day. Warm breeze, water splashing, scrumptious food and drinks, all in good company.
I highly recommend some form of a boating this summer, kicking your feet up, and letting the wake be your guide. Even within city limits, you can be miles away.
Here are some fun and accessible ways to enjoy time on the water without requiring any prior boating skills:
Chicago, Illinois: Chicago offers diverse water trails, from Lake Michigan to the Chicago River, making it a haven for paddlers. Kayak Chicago is a notable outfitter providing tours on both the lake and river, including a unique fireworks paddle to view the light show at Navy Pier.
Miami, Florida: Surrounded largely by water, Miami is a hotspot for various water sports, including kayaking. Paddlers can explore places like Biscayne Bay, the Oleta River within a state park, or the Coral Gables Waterway. Outfitters like South Beach Kayak are known for their excellent services, especially for beginners.
Portland, Oregon: Yacht Tubs rents 6-person hot tub boats. These boats are also powered by a quiet electric motor and controlled with an easy joystick, requiring no previous boating experience or license. The service, starting from around $360 to $399 for two hours, launches from Riverplace Marina, providing a splendid opportunity to explore the Willamette River and enjoy the city skyline.
Seattle, Washington: Hot Tub Boats offers a unique and leisurely boating experience. Their boats are also equipped with easy-to-use joystick navigation and can accommodate up to 6 people. Rental prices range from approximately $350 to $450 for a two-hour slot, and the service is available year round. Enjoy Seattle's scenic views from the comfort of a hot tub!
Updated November 2023.
I'm not sure if it's the thrill of traveling, alcohol shared among friends, a romantic new setting, or the free feeling of being away from home and responsibilities. My guess is it's a combination of all that can convert travelers to accidental romantics, leading to travel trysts and even some long-lasting relationships.
But be careful. Traveling can also raise toxic levels of flirtation. Enough to make any travel companion gag.
How can group trips increase your chances of meeting that Mr. or Ms. Right Now (or, better yet, that special someone for longer)?
- Meeting up for drinks or activities with other like-minded travelers is a great benefit of traveling when you're still single. When traveling solo (especially as a woman), it's not necessarily as easy to meet someone (or safe). However, when with a group of family or friends, you can meet other travelers, knowing you're in the safe comfort of traveling with those you trust.
- Destination weddings are naturally themed with romance. Attending a destination wedding as a singleton is a sure fire way to meet at least one eligible bachelor or bachelorette. Be proactive or non-chalant. Ask your friends to introduce you to anyone "special" they know who's attending. Or casually scan the ceremony for singles, and then find yourself next to them in the buffet line at the reception.
True story: A bride groom and groomsman at a destination wedding of a friend of mine met at the wedding and struck up a long-distance relationship for over a year. They also toured around the destination immediately after the wedding day with other wedding guests. Last I'd heard, after taking a 6-month break, they are back together and may try to live in the same city.
3. Vacationing with friends opens doors to meeting someone. Whether camping, skiing, road tripping, gambling in Las Vegas, or just doing a weekend getaway, friends of friends usually come well-recommended or at least well-researched.
True story: A good friend met a woman who was equally as crazy about skiing as he was. Shortly after they met through friends, a big group of them planned a European ski trip in January, where they got closer and have been dating seriously ever since.
4. Friends serve as "wing men." If you're single and traveling with a group of friends and you meet someone intriguing, chances are your friends will be encouraging. And they'll have your back in case things go awry. This makes it all the more fun to flirt and get to know someone at a bar in a different destination than when at home, you may be more likely to play it safe and stay in your comfort zone of just visiting with friends. If nothing else, you can come home and brag about the best kiss you've ever had while on the London Eye with a saucy Brit you and your friends met while on vacation.
True story: Being as vague as I possibly can be to protect a friend of mine, let's just say I've heard the Italian Riviera is a great aphrodisiac. Limoncello helps.
5. Travel where singles travel. Club Med caters to groups such as golf pals, sewing cirlce (many singles, too). Hedonism resorts in the Caribbean have singles activities and welcome groups. And we all know that what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. Beaches around the world are also laden with possibilities. Plus, ski resorts and towns during the winter months are group gathering meccas and ideal for warming up with a cozy kiss.
In general, when traveling with friends or families, have fun, be yourself, and get into the groove of the trip. Play it safe. And be cool. In no time, the natural relaxation of the destination and comfortable group could lead to a romance of a lifetime.
Any other ways group trips can add a little romantic spice to a trip?
By guest blogger Jacquelin Carnegie
Before You Go
Before you book a cruise, plan to spend some time talking with your travel agent about the likes and dislikes of the group. Don't be afraid to ask a lot of questions. Some things to consider:
- How much time can the group spend away from the office and from home?
- Where would we like to go? What cruises and destinations best match our interests?
- How does the cost of a cruise compare to other options?
- What is there to do on board and at the ports you'll be visiting?
- If you take the kids, which cruise lines offer the most appropriate activities for your children's ages?
For more information, contact: Cruise Lines International Association.
- How long is a cruise? You can go on a voyage for three months or three days. Most people take a cruise for a week or 10 to 14-days.
- Where to go? Some of the most popular cruise destinations are the Caribbean, Alaska, Mexico, the Panama Canal, Canada/New England, Europe and the Mediterranean. But, with over 1,800 ports-of-call around the world, there are plenty of choices.
- Themes to consider: The cruise industry has cruise lines, individual cruises and more with specialty cruises to suit nearly every interest: photography, gay/lesbian cruises, nude cruises, family cruises (think Disney Cruise Line), and more.
- What to wear? Pack as you would for any resort. Cruise vacations are casual by day, whether you're on the ship or ashore. In the evening, attire is a bit dressier. But, it's really up to you. At the "Captain's Gala," you'll probably want to wear something formal; for other occasions "suit" yourself. As you cruise from port to port, you won't have to worry about packing and unpacking. The hassles of an ordinary vacation are practically eliminated.
- Staying in touch: Today, most cruise ships are equipped with telephones with long distance capability, fax machines, e mail access, computers, in-cabin data lines for laptops, even laptop rentals.
Jacquelin Carnegie is a contributing travel editor to Accent magazine. For the past 15 years, she has covered international travel destinations for both consumer and business publications.
World Cup mania has taken over the global airwaves. Like the Olympics, it's a time when the world can unite (and compete) via celebration, triumph, and hope. It's a time when national news covers spirited international sports figures, reminding us there is a world outside our offices and home towns.
Whoever you're rooting for, whatever country you call home, chances are you or someone you know is tuned into the World Cup. A good friend of mine from Microsoft has Tivo, cable, direct TV, and multiple televisions in his super tech home all ready to maximize his soccer/football pleasure.
Even if you didn't get to travel to Germany this time, you can gather in groups to watch World Cup games for the next month, and raise a glass of frothy beer to cheer for your team.
Want to plan a last-minute get together with friends for the final days?
Need your space when traveling en masse? Socialites and introverts alike all need a little solo time to recharge. Here are easy ways to politely find your own space while still enjoying the group parties, meals, events, activities, and hoopla.
A family reunion, bachelor party, or weekend getaway group agenda doesn't always have to be your agenda. One thing rings true on group trips, especially family reunions. There can be a lot of hanging out time or slower pace in doing things to accommodate for the slowest group member and herding the troops. After a couple of days, finding ways to get some personal space is just fine. Good friends or family should understand. Many will likely copycat your actions (or have already scheduled solo time for themselves). It's quite natural.
So, take that leap. Get the most out of any group vacation by returning relaxed (not revved) using these tips, ideas, and resources.
- iPod independence: Bring iPod, put earpieces in ears, close your eyes and tune out others and into yourself. Shuffle or create a travel play list ahead of time. Play list ideas:
i. songs that inspire you
ii. songs that fit the mood of the destination you're visiting
iii. work-out songs for running along that Caribbean beach
iv. comedy acts downloaded
v. walking tours downloaded (see podcast tours below)
- Podcast tours are a growing trend in travel sightseeing, a great way for individuals to absorb the rich history, culture, and get insider tips for exploring.
- Journal. Who wouldn't respect your request for a little alone time to jot down memories, thoughts, rants, raves of the trip?
- Arts and crafts: Draw, paint, knit or whittle. So much scenery, so little time. So many crafts to make, as well.
- Comforts of home: Bring at least one comfort of home along on your trip… animal slippers, aromatherapy candle, your favorite bubble bath, nail polish for painting your toes or nails (men, feel free to do the same if that’s your bent)
- Books: Most people bring books for plane rides, down time between transfers, and down time in general. A basic for down time which can double as nap time if you read with sunglasses (no one will be the wiser if you position your book and head on a pillow just so). How about books with Sudoko, crossword puzzles, and other mind games? Or are you the trashy romance novel type? John Grisham or Michael Crichton fanatic? See also Gadling's recommendation of classic books available in audio format for iPods.
- Dog therapy: When retreating temporarily at any group event, nothing's better than throwing a stick for a dog or taking pouch for a walk. Your companion doesn't require conversation and will be loyal all day.
- Yoga or jogging: Yes, two polar opposites on the yin yang spectrum of energy, but both can give you the same thing – time to yourself while staying fit.
- Just say NO. While the main objective of any group trip is to be together, taking time for yourself shouldn't catapult feelings of guilt into your conscience. Learn the delicate art of politely declining for certain activities.
- Space out. Walk the city, beach, destination and let your thoughts and imagination be your guide. One of the most relaxing elements of travel can be finding quiet time to ponder your current situation (career, lifestyle, health, relationships) or simply letting go of it all and fully immersing yourself in the now to contemplate lapping waves, patterns in the sand, or the origins of Pina Coladas. Our uber tuned-in lives taking over every waking moment (even podcast tours can be invasive if your vacation goal is to fully relax without much stimulus).
- Contact home base. Step away from the group to stay in touch with kids, family, others at home. Lifehacker comments on a USA Today article that highlights how easy it is becoming to call home from abroad. Even if you’re traveling in the U.S. with easy access to a phone, you may be able to use "an urgent phone call" as an excuse to duck out of a group event. The group can head off for hiking that day while you meet up with them after a tall, cool beer and the paper.
Any other ways to step aside from group gatherings to recharge with solo time?
Will wonders ever cease? I discovered a caretakers organization that prides itself on being the "number one" property caretaking source around. Caretaking in this context doesn't mean changing baby's diapers or live-in help for aging seniors; that's caregiving. Think travel, think vacation, think free. Can this be an actual industry?
If you've ever dreamed of playing host(ess) at a quaint inn, housesitting at a beachfront home, watching the condo and cat for someone who lives in a swanky loft with a cityscape vista, or being innkeeper for a small retreat center, take note.
Caretaker.org connects people willing to donate their time and sometimes skill or service with people in need of them. Families, couples, and individuals are all caretakers who travel for various lengths of time to plant themselves in a new locale and temporarily try on a new lifestyle. Free accommodations to boot. Of course, you'd have to figure out how to afford it. But if you apply for one of the caretaking "jobs" and time it with a family reunion in the same destination, in between jobs, or in an area where friends can easily visit for a weekend getaway, you just might have found nomadic nirvana.
If I find a European castle in need an innkeeper for a month, I might reconsider my current situation and start packing. Alternative travel. Gotta love it.
Or does this sound like pure hell? Anyone ever done a trip like this? Would you recommend it to others? Are there other sites or resources to find this type of opportunity?
Whoever said you can't take it with you is NOT hip to the 21st century. It turns out you CAN take it with you - your pet, that is. Taking dogs along on vacation has turned into a "thing." I've recently read more articles on hotels that accept pets, leaving that play and movie You Can't Take It With You in the dust of yester-century.
Journey, a AAA membership magazine, had a cover story recently titled "Dogs on the Go: 4 Fun Destinations for Pet-Loving Travelers." And I've seen other stories elsewhere.
I'm a bit surprised at this phenomenon. Perhaps that's because of my No Pets Allowed lifestyle and homestead. I adore visiting my mom's dog (shown proudly in the photo after a day chasing balls and seagulls at the beach) and treat her as if she's my own kin, but not sure I'd be up for a hotel full of pets. Sounds too much like a Gary Larsen cartoon in living, panting, barking color.
What about bringing pets to family reunions? Or a trip with friends? How common is the pet travel wave?
I ran across Sunset magazine's top camping spots in the western U.S. and couldn't help but drool over the cover photo and idea of escaping the city for s'mores, campfire-cooked grub, and snuggling up in a sleeping bag. Ah, summer. Close enough to smell in the air and start making plans for camping trips.
Sunset's favorites read like the greatest hits of America's western frontier, so I couldn't help but point them out as ideas for group camping trips. Highlights:
Washington: Olympic National Park1,442 square miles offer a constellation of landscapes no other national park can match
California: Yosemite National ParkGet up close and personal with Yosemite's grandeur at one of 13 park campgrounds
Wyoming: Yellowstone National ParkDiscover a world's worth of attractions: geysers, the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, and some of the best wildlife-watching anywhere
Arizona: Grand Canyon National ParkAbsorb the park's immense beauty by spending a night there, beneath the stars
The West's other National Parks
Find great intimacy with the outdoors at Grand Teton, Rocky Mountain, and Zion
Where's your favorite place to camp with friends and family? This is a hit list of the best in the west. But what about the east coast or midwest? I've camped in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley and along the beaches of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. Any tips for great campgrounds for outdoor escapes?
Nothing is worse than going on a group trip and discovering an incompatibility with your roomie. Traveling can become a bit of a petrie dish for issues, psychology, life - you never really know someone until you've traveled with them (or shared a room on a trip).
How do you survive an escorted group tour or trip with close traveling companions without throttling each other? For starters, it goes both ways. You may be a perfect travel companion in your own mind, but not in someone else's. Your passion for shopping might be bore or exhaust others. Their passion for fragrant perfume may give your gag reflexes a work-out. What to do?
- Communication is key.
- Honesty imperative.
- Listening skills are a must.
- Compromise when you can.
A quick way to ruin an otherwise fabulous trip is to find resentment building as you throw pillows, socks, apples at a roomie who snores, or roll your eyes each time your travel "buddy" wants to settle in late... showering and/or loudly fumbling through luggage and bags to find some long lost earring at 2 a.m. while you are jet-lagged as hell trying to nap.
Here are some helpful hints for common problems faced when sharing rooms and space. While Women's Travel Club wrote these for women travel, they also apply to any group travel scenario (co-ed and all). I've replaced most of the "she" pronouns to "they" and so forth.
Solution: Ask if this is an issue. Caveat: if your friend lives alone he/she might not know or agree on what to do if either of you snores. Consider ear plugs, window ajar for street buzz, a scarf around your ears, or take a new room. Proper etiquette is for the person who wants to change to pay for their new room.
Solution: Strong cologne or perfumes can be intrusive to others; best left at home. Go through routine personal products to make sure you are both happy with the steam wafting from the shower or the acetone from the nails.
Sharing with a smoker means a smoking room, a smoking floor and smoking tables at meals. Smokers will also be handicapped even isolated on tours as buses do not allow smoking.
Solution: Take separate rooms and talk about the consequences; there is no other way out.
Solution: Compare walking, step climbing, ability to carry luggage, deal with lack of sleep or dietary changes. Compare how long you like to linger over meals, need to get organized each day etc. Toleration works to a point, but if you are a marathon walker and she is taxi-er, this trip will not end in friendship. Spend a long day together to see where you differ and work out compromises. Example: if only one of you is taxi dependent, she should pay that expense. Same with porterage, excess baggage on tour, etc.
Solution: Be honest about the budget. Do you use porters? Always tip? Expect to take taxis instead of public transportation? Order expensive drinks? Each choose 2 splurges that add up to the same money and time. And compromise on those. Put all your joint expense money in a zip lock bag and pay from the bag. When the bag is empty, refill it together. Do not keep a ledger and settle up later on complicated overseas trips, either both use frequent flyer tickets or neither use them; if a flight is changed, you will at least be in the same situation.
Seeing vs. shopping
Solution: Every one hopes for different things from a trip. What you expect should be agreed on before you book. "Walk" through the trip, decide how you will use the free time. You each get to choose two options. If shopping annoys either of you, make a specific time to reconnect and part ways for a bit. Do not ask your room share to help you with your additional cumbersome packages. You bought it, you carry it.
Scared or feared
Solution: Make a list of your fears and absolutely 'will not do's'. You really don't want to find out your friend will not use elevators when you arrive at a high rise hotel!
ShmucksPeople who don't pay their fair share, who drink most of the wine, order the most and pay half.
Solution: Share expenses in a zip lock as above and speak up the very first time it happens.
I read a poem on Guy Kawasaki's blog today that caught my attention. The theme was our dispensible nature in life. Sad, but often true, when it comes to the functions/roles we play in a companies, organizations, and the like.
But it got me thinking. Thank God for friends and family. Without them, would we all be dispensible? True, for every job there is likely at least one other person who could do it as well if not better. True, the world will still spin without us. Life does go on.
However, with friends and family, we are an indispensible part of their lives, and vice versa. While the poem was meant to stymie swelled egos and praise humility (a good lesson), there is no better way (in my humble opinion) to foster a healthy ego, build a balanced sense of self, and have fun while at it, than by spending quality time with family or friends.
Today, while walking to lunch, I saw a TV crew interviewing folks and filming their "life lessons" on camera. I didn't stop to give mine; but if I did, I'd likely say something about stopping to smell the proverbial roses and hugging those you love more often.
Whatever does this have to do with group travel? Family. Friends. Spending quality time with each other. You connect the dots.
I worked at a national park one summer during college. It was the only travel-related "offline" job I've ever held, but gave me insights into the types of people visiting national parks and why these American treasures are still ranked high for so many summer vacations.
National parks are ideal for group travel.
- Open space and natural resource bounty create a wide range of activities such as hiking, biking, kayaking, rock climbing, river rafting, swimming (often all in the same park).
- Families flock to parks and the parks welcome them with family-friendly passes that offer discounts.
- Inexpensive or free entry fees are helpful for budgeting the family, girls mountain retreat, guys rugged adventure, or other group trip.
- National parks offer a way for people to connect with nature and loved (or liked) ones all at once. Getting away from the noise of everyday or city living to the quiet beauty of a natural park is a real way to reconnect with others.
- Plus, there are a range of accommodation options nearby or within the national parks: hotels, lodges, bed and breakfasts, resorts, campgrounds, and RV lots.
Whether it's a family reunion, wedding, classmate or friend reunion that brings you together, national parks are some of the most popular places to share vacation experiences.
When growing up, I can remember driving through a national park with my family and (at a very young age) asking my parents, "Why are there so many trees? Where are all the buildings?" Silly me. As an adult, I find myself increasingly posing the opposite question, "Why are so many trees being replaced with buildings?" At least national parks are protected (for now) and still offer respite from the urban jungles and sprawling suburbs that many of us live in.
Summer's approaching and thousands of families will go on road trips or fly to visit national parks. Groups of friends will do adventure weekends filled with hiking and backcountry camping to rejuvenate and breathe in raw earthly beauty.
Here's a sampling of national parks to whet your appetite for summer exploring:
Acadia National Park, Maine
A rugged, rocky island replete with wildlife and stunning views all around and plenty to keep the kids (or the kid in you) busy.
Arches National Park, Utah
Here, over two thousand sandstone rock formations stand proudly, boasting the world record for greatest density of natural land arches... great for planning a group hiking vacation.
Badlands National Park, South Dakota
Badlands is really a misnomer for "bad-ass lands." With 244,000 acres of sharply eroded buttes, pinnacles and spires set against a backdrop of the largest, protected mixed grass prairie in the U.S., this is prime terrain for family or friend road trips (or motorcycling).
Biscayne National Park, Florida
The family or group of college pals can explore this Florida Keys underwater gem of ship wrecks (some listed as National Historic Sites) and wiggly, colorful marine life.
Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
This park has wide open desert-esque spaces with stunning geological formations; ideal for hiking, backpacking, and contemplating life. Perfect for an adventure group trip.
Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
Featuring North America's highest mountain, 20,320-foot tall Mount McKinley (reason enough to go), this park is chock-full of glaciers, wildlife, and mountaineers.
Everglades National Park, Florida
Alligators and crocodiles and flamingoes - all reasons for families to travel to Florida, take a side trip at a family reunion or others to visit the area. While much of this park suffered damage during hurricanes Katrina and Wilma, repair efforts are underway and most of the park is open.
Glacier National Park, Montana
Big sky yields big smiles with mountain peaks and ranges, glistening rivers and lakes and miles of forests. Glacier preserves over 1,000,000 acres of forests, alpine meadows, and lakes - clearly great for group hikes.
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii
On the Big Island of Hawaii, this park offers numerous hiking trails and campsites in its wilderness and a rare chance to get up close to some of the world's most mysterious and active volcanoes. Great day trip for destination wedding guests or spring or summer breaks.
Clearly, this is the front end of the national park ABCs, but the remaining parks are equally as enticing. Explore for yourself and find the national park that best matches your group's need or desire for activities, adventure, sights, places to stay, and budget considerations.
p.s., An alert reader pointed out the search by activity feature of the National Park Service site. This is a great way to quickly find national parks that suit your get-away plans for things like camping, boating and wildlife watching.
A good friend of mine called to ask if I had ideas or advice for a bachelor party he is organizing for a mutual friend of ours from high school. As we talked, several ideas emerged that seemed fit to share.
1. Sports theme
Does the groom like a particular sport? If so, you can center the bachelor party around a game/sport (baseball, football, basketball, hockey) or incorporate it into a day, weekend or evening event. Plan to buy the tickets at least a month ahead of time; you may be able to get group rates depending on the group size.
2. Outdoor enthusiast
Although it depends on the location of the party and season, an outdoor activity is an instant way for guys to bond while enjoying the elements. This is especially true if the groomsmen and other friends of his don't know each other well. Nothing brings people together like a ski day, kayaking adventure, golf outing or sailing.
Nothing screams bachelor party louder than a group of guys parading from bar to bar getting progressively drunker. It's a classic that can be folded into a medley of activities or the focus of the evening. Consider hiring a limo with designated driver. The benefits far outweigh the costs and everyone should be able to pitch in.
4. Activity + spa day
Don't laugh. Some of you aren't laughing, but for those who are or who don't know, an increasing number of spas are catering to male clientele. Why? Because men are going to spas more and more. Sports massages are a common form of massage and combining a day of golfing, fishing or white water rafting with sports massages for the crew could be a fun way to go.
Where else but in Las Vegas (a.k.a. Sin City) is adult entertainment so readily available. Shows, concerts, alcohol anytime, gambling 'til your heart's content, and yes, strippers. The city seems built for bachelor parties. Since this trip is likely to be a weekend getaway, you can also spend a day sightseeing, swimming, etc.
There are plenty of other gambling areas around the country: Atlantic City, Reno, etc. Or you could spend a day at the horse races betting on thoroughbreds.
6. Stripper quandary
A friend of mine quipped, "the only difference between a classy bachelor party and trashy one is the classy one has a stripper and other activities." I couldn't tell if he was joking.
Some men want a stripper involved in their bachelor party, no question. Others may be up for a stripper, but not going to a strip club for hours on end. And still others might find it a bit too crass or cliché. Or they might be engaged to a woman who forbids it. Ask the bachelor how he really feels about it before planning an event that could put him in an uncomfortable position. If he says, "My fiancé would kill me," he either means it (translation: don't mess with his marriage) or he's using it as an excuse to avoid a stripper altogether (translation: move on and plan another activity for his party).
7. Multiple events in one day
Often the groom's father, father-in-law, and others may want to join for part of the day. In this case, it makes sense to incorporate a dinner or other all-ages into the party. I've heard of a bachelor party that involved paint ball during the day with the groomsmen and dads, a fancy dinner in the evening, then groomsmen only hitting the town for the pre-nuptial bar-hopping ritual.
8. Budgets vary
Because there will be a range of salaries among the attendees, you might consider coming up with 3 good bachelor party options and putting it to a vote. Take into consideration what the groom wants, what the others vote for, then choose the option that best suits the greatest number of people. Likely the groom helped hand-select the invitation list and the more who can attend, the better for him and everyone else.
9. Season and location considerations
Above all, if you're planning a bachelor party, ideas of your own should flow from the season and location of where the groom lives and where the wedding events will be held. Then you'll know if the event is during snow season, in the green hills, along a lake, at a beach, in a city with easy access to nightlife activities, during opening day of baseball season, around basketball play-offs. I'd advise to pick the date and location first, then plan the bachelor party around that.
Other ideas? Feel free to post a comment.
If you're planning a bachelor party, consider TripHub's planning tools. They can simplify the coordination and planning process through money-tracking, hotel/air/activity booking, and a home page "hub" as communication central for everyone invited to the event.
Ladies, how about a weekend getaway filled with massages and wine-tasting with your girlfriends? And guys, ever dreamed of playing unlimited golf with your college buddies, guilt-free, on vacation?
Even in a committed relationship, finding some space for yourself, to do your own thing, can be important. But how comfortable are you with the idea of vacationing without your significant other? And what types of vacations are best suited for friends versus with your partner?
Traveling with friends offers a number of benefits, including the chance to strengthen those relationships. Friends often bring different perspectives and can challenge you to try new things that you might not consider with your partner, leading to personal growth and self-discovery. Traveling with friends can also be safer than traveling alone. Additionally, it can provide a level of independence and personal space that is harder to find when traveling with your partner.
“What a lot of people expect from their partner is perfection. But that’s not possible. Your partner can be your best friend and your companion, but it’s unfair to then suggest they have to like everything you like and to do everything you do,” says relationship experts Dr. Patrick Wanis.
Similarly, Hannah Guy, a licensed clinical social worker, shares “there is a misconception that once you are in a relationship, you need to do all the big things with them, but I would actually argue the importance of doing some of the big things on your own or with people outside of your relationship. Our relationships are at their best when we as individuals are at our best.”
Of course, spending time away from a significant other, can be stressful too. It's essential that trust and a sense of security are well-established. Ensuring that both parties are at ease is important, particularly if the journey involves destinations where cell coverage and Wi-Fi are scarce.
Finally, if you do decide to travel with friends without your mate, we hope you return home feeling refreshed and eager to share your experiences with your partner. Afterall, as they say, absence makes the heart grow fonder.
Here are a couple of the great comments we’ve received:
Erik S. wrote, “Travel with groups is great, but make sure that they are people who don't mind if you decide to do your own thing here and there. Being attached at the hip can get old. Oh, and if you have a feeling that something is not right with the group, work it out beforehand. It's your trip.”
John G. wrote, ”I'm heading off to the World Cup next month, and I'm leaving my gal behind. Frankly, she doesn't know the obsessive, soccer fanatic side of me, and I'm just as happy she's not going to witness 30 days of it! Instead, I'm going with one of my soccer buddies, and meeting another old friend in Geneva where she lives. Yup, she. The trip isn't so much gender-specific as it is activity specific. But so often in this culture the method we choose to relax varies by gender.”
Article updated November 2023.
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