How to guarantee a holiday won’t end your friend group, for the sake of your uni house

The holiday has made it out of the group chat, now it’s time to make sure the group chat makes it out of the holiday

So you’ve decided to take the uni group international. You’ve booked an early morning flight to Split, or you’ve forked out on a trip to Bali hoping to save when you get there. It’s taken some substantial effort to actually organise the entire group to be in the same place at the same time in summer, let alone make it enjoyable. 

The uni summer holiday can be a curse that haunts you for an entire year of living together and you’ll be asking yourself in October if that fight about gelato was really worth it. But, it can also be a blessing and bring you all together as a house before you officially move in. 

Here is a foolproof method to surviving many years of happy group trips with your uni mates:

Don’t let one person book it all, they will end up resenting you

I know it can be a bit of a chore scrolling through endless mixed hostel reviews or trying to find seats next to each other on the plane but don’t let all the others do the work, they will observe silently and remember to throw it back at you in six months when you didn’t put away your laundry. It’s even worse if one person does the whole thing because they won’t even have anyone to vent to about how useless you all are and that’s when things turn bitter. The only exception to this is when they are genuinely the kind of person that would rather die than delegate, but that’s your call to make.

Discuss everyone’s budget beforehand and respect it

This seems like an obvious one because of course you are going to work with a budget when you are booking your flights and accommodation, but the part that is often overlooked is how much money everyone is willing to spend once you actually get there. How many times do you want to go out for dinner? Are you designating any afternoons for shopping? How many rounds can you afford to buy at each cocktail bar? All important questions that are better coming up before an immediate decision is required.

Don’t chance it by going for more than a week

friends holiday advice

A week is the optimum time. Suggest any shorter and people might be slightly offended you don’t want to spend that much time with them, you are living together for at least a year after all. But the longer you go for, the higher the risk of a falling out. A week is enough time to bond without getting under each other’s skin too much. If you’ve survived longer, your friendship group is elite.

Let the group split up once in a while so people can do what they want

friends holiday advice

Everyone wants different things out of a holiday: Some want to relax, some want to party and some just want to fry in the sun. Chances are, even if you think you and your friends are identical, some differences in opinion will crop up on the trip. When this happens there is an immediate urge to stick together, after all this is a group holiday; you fight about whether the people who want to go to the beach have got the right idea, or if it’s the half that wants to go to the pool. Please, just split up. Not for the whole holiday, just for half a day. It will lead to much less unhappiness in the long run. Just because you don’t spend every second of the day together doesn’t mean it’s a failed group holiday.

Before you pick a fight, think about keeping the peace, for September’s sake

friends holiday advice

It’s likely that there will be some disagreement that comes up over the course of the holiday, and when spending every day together in the sun, sometimes tensions can run high, but most conflict can be avoided. Not every annoyance you have has to be voiced unless you know it will explode as something bigger at a later date. Just consider whether that specific issue is going to make it awkward seeing that person at the breakfast table every day for a year, and if it might, do whatever you need to do to cool off.

Have designated screen time 

friends holiday advice

There’s no denying that mates’ holidays are when you can make some of your most long-lasting memories, and because of this, you should spend as much time as possible living in the moment. But don’t forget, you’re only human, and no human can be away from their FYP for that long. Designate a time, I recommend the post-day trip, pre-dinner lull, to have a good old synchronised anti-social phone catch-up. Everyone will come out of it recharged and ready for the evening without anyone getting pissed off that you’re on your phone.

Take turns going off

friends holiday advice

Holiday romances are great and it’s likely that one of your entourage will want to go off with someone they didn’t fly out with at some point in the holiday. This is definitely something you should discuss first as a group, especially if there are only a few of you, but I would recommend simply taking it in turns. If someone is in a relationship in the group, it can be a race to see who gets left in the club, chaperoning that friend. Strike a balance between having some fun and spending time with the people who you came there to be with, it’s the best way.

What happens on the holiday, stays on the holiday

friends holiday advice

If it all goes to plan, you will come back from the trip with some wild stories and feeling closer than ever to your group. But if you want those friendships to last through to at least Christmas, don’t be telling everyone down at the pub how your mate drunkenly walked into the wrong hotel room or got burnt to a crisp on the first day. Let those memories stay between the group, it will bring you together.

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