Our trip to Tanzania is the 4th time we are traveling with one particular family. You learn a lot about another person when on an adventure and traveling with this family just works for us (and hopefully for them). There are lots of advantages to team travel: the shared anticipation, the group think on how best to experience the destination, and the value of experiencing a new place with some of your favorite people.
5 key ingredients to finding your fellow travel family include:
1. Shared sensibilities on how you want to spend your time. We like to be on the go and active and so does this family. It would not work if they were more lounge by the pool see you at dinner types.
2. Shared temperaments. Both of our families try to embrace a drama free lifestyle. While I admit I am prone to excitability, I do try to keep a level head. This family is the definition of level-headed – so sensible – each and every one of them.
3. Shared mutual respect. Having a group of people that are prone to kindness and open to compromise makes for a much more pleasant travel experience. There is a lot of give and take when you spend the better part of 24/7 for 10+ days with a family. You have to be aware and be sensitive to everyone’s viewpoint. People can take turns leading the charge, but no one person can dictate the path lest there be a palace overthrow.
4. Personalities that can assert control, but are not controlling. Yes we are on vacation, but there are times when someone needs to take control over the situation. I like strong people – I am happy when someone takes charge. Less happy am I when a person takes over and removes my opinion from the equation. It’s a fine line, but another key to making travel together work.
5. You need to like each other and give each other space. Having kids with similar ages helps with this a lot. The kids can pair off and do their thing so the husband and I can have our time together and so can the other couple. Then, when we all reconvene, we are happy to be back together. Important not to over spend your time together.
You want each person in the group to have his or her best time. That can only be achieved via the above listed attributes.
Bonus: Helpful if everyone can be comfortable NOT talking ALL the time. When comfortable silence has been achieved you know you are really onto something… Grab that Group and GO!