When it comes to celebrating a big event, it can be hard to choose what to do for it. Celebrating in a foreign country with your best friends is one of the more ‘out-there’ ideas, but it doesn’t have to be too difficult to organise or expensive for it to be the best time. I took a cheap trip to Berlin with my boyfriend back in June and it was one of the best trips I’ve ever been on. Likewise, hitting up Paris for a weekend with my boyfriened, my best friend and her boyfriend was absolutely amazing.
Travelling alone, while introspective and humbling, is never as fun as travelling with a group of your best friends (imo). There are a few tid bits of advice that can make you feel relaxed and able to have a memorable time. After all, when you look back on your trip photos, it’s best to revel in the enjoyment you had, rather than wondering about things you could have done.
Choose A Sunny Location
While winter holidays can be wondrous, especially when celebrating near Christmas or in the pursuit of an extreme winter sport, nothing quite says ‘celebration’ like summer in full bloom around you. Depending on where you go, there are a lot of cultural celebrations in summer.
Places such as Italy or Spain in Europe have almost guaranteed beautiful weather, and the landscapes are jaw-droppingly stunning. My favourite is definitely Positano and I would love to have a group get away there after visiting with my family a few years ago. The relaxing coastline atmosphere of Italy and Spain would make for a pretty fab girls get away where you lie by the pool in the day and eat the best pasta at night.
Get Easy Accommodation
When you’re celebrating and travelling with your friends, you want to focus on the holiday, and the ‘admin’ of the entire visit less so. While entering a long, drawn-out survival holiday can work with a certain friend, it’s not really most people’s idea of a good time. Battling the elements can be humbling, but maybe reserve it for a vacation where you feel an escape from the ‘human hive’ is needed.
Instead, a self catered Spain accommodation can help you simply get set up and grounded immediately, and you wont have to worry about any additions that take from your purse and limit your freedom. Nothing worse than a pre-packaged holiday with set meal times that you have to attend, making it feel like a school day. Easy accommodation exists to help you enjoy a culture with much more clarity and much less worry. Checking out where you want to go, and planning your visits to where you choose your accommodation can do wonders in helping you get set up and active from almost the moment you arrive to your quarters. I’m a frequent user of Air BnB, which is obviously self-catered and I think it immerses you fully in a ‘home away from home’ type experience.
Do A Little Of Everything
It’s important to know that trying to fit everything into your visit can be a difficult affair, especially if you’re off for a weekend. Trying to cram everything in can make you feel rushed and fragmented during your visit. However, that doesn’t mean you should only choose one or two things and limit yourself. It simply means you’ll require a little extra planning with your friends to make the adventure worthwhile.
Allocate times where over the course of a day you choose to dedicate yourself solely to visiting a select location. Do the most you can when you’re there, but don’t be afraid to pepper in slow periods of eating, relaxing, drinking and talking. Sunny European cultures (especially the Med) are often the best place to relax and enjoy a meal over the course of several hours.
I think it’s a fab idea (provided you’re not on a spa weekend) to have a few hours of productive exploration, to make sure that you can say you know a location. Keep the reason for your visit to the forefront of your mind, and try to surround your activities around the person for whom the celebrations are for.
Heading abroad with a group of friends can get pretty wild. Not only are you free from the shackles of your home life and maybe family, but you only have your best friends with you, and that can often make anyone loosen up and act a little more boisterously.
Always be kind, considerate, and mindful of how old some of these cultures are. Too often negative tourist stereotypes expected, and if you do nothing to disprove that, you might be given the cold shoulder by the locals in a number of ways. Sometimes the best way to respect a culture is to stay interested in it, and not just the corporate exported pastimes on offer in these locations.
if you’re looking for the best restaurants, the best nightlife, the best and most reputable clubs, or the best place to relax and learn about the historical significance of a place, you need to get friendly with someone who works there.
Take A Guided Local Tour
No matter where you go, the locals know what is best. For this reason, if you’re looking for the best restaurants, the best nightlife, the best and most reputable clubs, or the best place to relax and learn about the historical significance of a place, you need to get friendly with someone who works there. Become friendly with the restaurateurs, a shopkeeper or better yet, a tour guide for a local museum.
These people always have their finger on the pulse, because they deal with tourists often. If you can try to convince them that you desire the quintessential experience of that place, you are much more likely to stand out. If you’re respectful and ask in the right way, you’re often going to be pointed in the direction of something truly wonderful to behold. This helps your entire visit take on that secret, ‘insider’ feel, which makes your trip all the more special.
Don’t Rule Anything Out
Taking time to see the best of a location means actually taking time to do things outside of your comfort zone. Not everyone is the cultural and historical buff they wish they were. But making time to explore a select destination such as a cathedral and its grounds, or walking an ancient pilgrimage route can turn the whole affair into a beautiful detour which will stick in your memory. We all love relaxing on beaches, let’s face it, but pushing the boat out every once in a while is healthy.
Whilst beaches are gorgeous and relaxing to unwind on with friends, and can be the catalyst for plenty of fun. I always say that “a beach is a beach” no matter if it’s in Thailand or Spain. No matter your initial tastes, and no matter how steadfast in your desires you are, make room for something a little extra and new. When experiencing this with friends, it can foster a sense of adventure which is so important for you to take part in.
What kind of advice do you give people travelling in a group? Do you prefer to travel alone? With friends or with family? I’m heading to Morocco in December so would love any tips about the location! What should I get involved in?