Planning a vacation can either be one of the most exciting or stressful experiences of your life. Somehow it seems to be one of the other and never falls anywhere between. In the course of planning, people’s personalities start to show a little more clearly as the process progresses. If you have a lazy friend, then they will probably be lazy in the planning process. Trust me, planning a vacation is the last place you would want to have a lazy friend because far too much communication goes into it. You probably have one person in your travel tribe who falls in these distinct categories. If you cannot find a friend who fits one of these categories, then the person is probably you.
The Type A Planner
The type A planner is the friend you want to travel with, but spoiler alert, they will eventually start to get on your nerves. Planning a vacation can become very stressful and the more people on the trip, the more stressful it can become. The type A planner will handle everything from the idea phase of planning to the tedious parts like booking activities. They will have flight times coordinated, lodging booked, and excursions paid for. This friend will go as far as to do all the research on how to say some phrases in the native language and look up some spots only locals know about. This is all good until this friend decides to start emailing you at 2 am about a very small detail or wanted to start a text group, which they are the only one who bombards it with text messages. Be sure to reel them in or every second of your vacation will be planned and it will no longer feel like a vacation.
When you go on vacation you will spend money, there is just no way around that. Now how much money you decide to spend is up to you but you will end up spending money. This is where you budgeter friend comes into play. The budgeter friend will take every moment to save a few dollars, you suggest a hotel and they will suggest a motel. You suggest a nice restaurant and they will want to have street food like the last few days of the vacation. The budgeter friend will be great in saving you a few dollars along the way, but they may end up not suggesting the vacation you want.
The Big Spender
Oblivious and slightly annoying. They are the complete opposite of the budgeter but in a more annoying way and far less helpful. If you suggest staying in a motel, they will suggest staying in a hotel even though they know this is a budget-friendly trip. You can tell this friend 100 times that the group is budgeting for this trip, and they will still try and spend as much money as possible. As the planning process progresses, everything they suggest is without regard to anyone else’s budget but only with their budget in mind. The big spender will often throw out phrases like, “it only cost ___” and “ ___ is not a lot of money”. The worst part is, the big spender is probably spending way beyond their means. Like I said before, they are oblivious and annoying.
The Overexcited One
Another spoiler alert, this friend probably will end up not coming so do not get excited about their excitement. The overexcited friend does the most when it comes to the planning phase but in all actuality they do nothing. They are excited every step of the way but never really has any intention of going. The overexcited friend will do things such as send you funny memes about travel on Instagram and send you fun facts they see about where ever you are planning to visit. Months leading up to the trip, every time they speak to you they will tell you how excited they are and how much fun everyone is about to have. A few months out from the trip the overexcited friend will start coming up with some excuse as to why they may not be able to go. The easy suspect is their job. Suddenly, they may not be able to take any time off for work even though they mentioned putting in the request months ago (this was a lie). As the trip gets closer, they will unofficially pull out the trip. The overexcited friend will actually never officially pull out because that will kill the excitement they had for months but all friends have moved on without them.
The Bad Communicator
Dealing with this person is the equivalent of pulling teeth. It is very difficult and painful. Getting any information out of them is nearly impossible so please do not ever need anything that is time sensitive. The worst part about the bad communicator is you have to repeat several things to them several times. You can send an email/text message to them with all the information, even highlight the important parts, but they will still ask you about things that are clearly there. The bad communicator seemingly is doing it on purpose. You will hear things like, “they thought they texted you back”, “I did not have my phone on me”, and “I am bad a communicating.” None of that is real because you will get on social media and still see them posting stuff while they are ignoring all your messages.
The newbie is brand new to traveling. They have not been to many places at all and just got their first passport a week ago. This friend does not know much about travel and most of their opinions are either rooted in some fantasy they have seen on social media or things they have heard from other people. The newbie is going to want to go to some really hot tourist spot because everyone is currently going there and flooding their timeline with pictures. Think Cuba circa 2016. The newbie will either be underprepared or over prepared, again there seems to be no middle. Their freshness is something to be enjoyed because only a newbie will want to start packing a month in advance so they do not forget anything.
The Go With The Flow
Possibly one of the most polarizing friend because half of the people want to travel with this person all the time and the other half never want to travel with them. The go with the flow friend just does whatever whenever. During the planning phase they do not really contribute much to the conversation or give any good ideas, they do not give any ideas at all really. They just agree with what the group is saying. During group disagreements, they do not make matters any better because they do not add anything to help solve the choices the group is trying to make. The go with the flow friend is just going to agree with what everyone is saying. The great part about this friend is they will communicate timely and have their money ready at all times. This is a kind of friend you will want to have during the execution phase of the travel process but not so much in the planning phase. FYI this friend is also amazing on vacation because they can do just about anything and never complain, that is difficult to find.
Did you find yourself in any of these categories? Share your experiences below!