Is there anything better than a vacay with your BFFs? Answer: no, especially when it includes drinks. And gorgeous scenery. And all that bonding time. Also: group pictures. Still, let’s be real—stuff is going to go down. It always does. But making sure your friends don’t kill each other might be easier than it seems.
1. Have a solution-oriented perspective
When you throw together long flights, different time zones, and weird sleeping arrangements, it’s hardly surprising that your crew can go from tight to fight. “Confront drama early—just not in front of everyone else,” says Kelly Lewis, Founder of Go! Girl Guides. Bring your most-annoyed pal to the side and ask her what’s up. Is she whining because she really wants to go snorkelling but everyone else is dealing with the aftermath of last night’s party? Play counsellor and build a few hours of free time into your schedule every day. That way, she can have an actual adventure while the sleepy crew sleeps. But if one gal really just isn’t a good traveller—fun!—don’t be mean about it. Ask what she needs to feel more comfortable.
2. The hotel catfished you
That adorable motel covered in fairy lights on Insta? IRL, it’s more like a horror house. If you legit don’t feel safe sleeping there, don’t, says Kelly. Search online for last-minute situations. If you already shelled out for the whole trip and the place lied to you but isn’t dangerous, suck it up (sorry, it’s true!). But def spend time at the front desk asking for extras like a few drinks on the house, says travel influencer Alyssa Ramos (@MyLifesATravelMovie).
3. Your luggage is g-o-n-e
Nobody wants to show up in paradise without their #OOTDs, so tell your squad to stuff basics into their carry-ons: “A change of clothes, some toiletries,” suggests Julie Falconer, who blogs about travel at aladyinlondon.com. If your suitcase goes MIA, don’t throw a tantrum in baggage claim. Instead, do a little local shopping, says Alyssa. “You should have some budget set aside for souvenirs and emergency funds, and technically, this qualifies.”
4. The forecast calls for rain
You thought you’d be on the beach taking selfies. Instead, you’re at the resto with everyone else and their moms. Guys, it’s gonna be okay: Google ‘rainy day activities + [location]’ and look for URLs that take you to niche travel blogs, like ones run by influencers or locals. (They actually know what’s up.) “I’ve found indoor flea markets, underground libraries, and local grape tastings to make up for being rained out,” says Alyssa.
5. Your budgets are all out of whack
To avoid on-vacay drama, pose this to the group a few weeks beforehand: ‘Setting my vacay budget and would love to get a sense of what we want to do! Is putting X amount aside for the boat ride realistic?’ If some people want to bail out, that’s fine. Just say you’ll probably skip the more extra activities. Chances are, someone else will pick the free walking tour over the expensive boat ride, too.
6. All the most ’grammable restos are full
Don’t let a two-hour wait stop you. “Try bypassing the reservation list by eating at the bar,” says Alyssa, “or get a drink to see inside, then eat your mains and desserts somewhere else.” Still starving with no options? “Post an Insta Story asking your followers for ideas,” says Julie. “A lot of people know hidden gems.”