It takes a special kind of company to travel together with – and not drive you crazy. But who better to take a trip with, but your best friends, right?
In fact, travelling together can be a litmus test for your friendship. All quirks and habits come out in the open when you spend time together in close proximity over a couple of days (or even weeks).
As Condé Nast Traveler contributor Alex Postman puts it: “When I was single, I never much liked travelling with friends – they tended to be slow dressers, slow walkers, slow eaters … basically, I like to move at a clip and do what I want to do without having to please or placate anyone else.”
However, the above shouldn’t deter anyone from discovering the treasures of the world with their BFF. To mark World Friendship Day (which was on July 30), travel booking platform Agoda has come up with reasons why travelling with friends is so much better.
Split the cost
Granted, things can get awkward when it comes to splitting the dinner bill. But the upside of travelling with friends is that it helps you save some money on your holiday.
From sharing room expenses to sharing costs for taxi rides, travelling with friends means being able to stick to your budget without foregoing all luxuries. It might also make dining out easier as some places might only serve a minimum portion of two (like Korean barbecue).
You can also share a bigger room with your friends instead of roughing it out at a backpackers’ inn.
On a side note, a travel app to consider is Splitwise. It lets everyone input any group-related expenses and settle up at the end of a trip.
If you’re a seasoned solo traveller, you would be familiar with the pain (or sometimes, shame) of getting someone to take your photos. With a friend, you can be sure of having a personal photographer 24/7 during your holiday.
A great Instagram backdrop is The London Edition boutique hotel with its blend of modern design and classic European architecture. Located in London’s artsy neighbourhood of Soho, this glitzy hotel is close to trendy galleries and restaurants.
Other Instagram-worthy properties are Bambu Indah Hotel in Bali, Indonesia, a green oasis with breathtaking views of rice fields and Ayung River; and Melaka’s The Rucksack Caratel, a hip boutique hotel.
Sampling new food with friends is all part of the adventure. Why not make the trip more memorable by trying bizarre meals?
Adventurous eaters can head to Osaka, Japan to try out Dotonbori Street’s diverse food. One of the options here is fugu, a pufferfish dish that is notorious for the lethal poison they carry in their organs. Take heart in the fact that Japanese chefs must undergo years of training before they are allowed to serve this delicacy.
The Filipino specialty balut (fertilised duck egg) is certainly not for the faint of heart! The best in the Philippines is at Pateros, a neighbourhood in Metro Manila.
Closer to home, do a roadtrip to Bentong, Pahang for some durians, although there are also many stalls in the Klang Valley.
Perfect wing (wo)men
Whether you’re at the club or a pool party, friends can make the night out more fun. For the ultimate party holiday, look no further than Las Vegas in the US. Here’s where you can find some of the best casinos, nightclubs and pool parties in the world.
If you want to keep it real in the region, then head to Ho Chi Minh City. It is Vietnam’s nightlife capital and offers hundreds of bars and nightclubs to choose from. Alternatively, spend a night or two in Bangkok, Thailand, checking out the city’s swanky nightclubs, rooftop bars and trendy speakeasies.
You can count on your buddy to help you get your A-game on when you decide to get sporty. Head to the Philippines’ surfing capitol Siargao, home of the world-famous Cloud 9 wave, and see who can manoeuvre the waves for longer. Meanwhile, Chiang Mai’s May Taeng River is the go-to place in Thailand for rapids and white-water rafting. Elsewhere, Luang Prabang’s meandering mountain trails in Laos are best experienced from a mountain bike. If you’re opting for an easier ride you can cycle along the Mekong River. For something up in the skies, consider jumping together from the plane in Dubai.
And just 45 minutes north of Nha Trang in Vietnam, you’ll find several off-the-beaten-path waterfall ponds with varying heights. Brave souls can check out the 12m-drop.