Over the past few years, taking a solo trip has become insanely popular. And for good reason: Traveling alone tests your independence, forces you outside your comfort zone and gives you time and space to reflect. It's good for the soul, and I firmly believe everyone should do it at least once. But despite the many benefits of exploring solo, it doesn't really compare to traveling with your friends.
Here's the thing: Not only is traveling in a pack safer, but it's also 10 times more fun to experience new places, cultures and cuisines with other people. It's especially beneficial as we get older, and friends begin to move away or just grow apart. Nothing strengthens a long-distance friendship like exploring a new state together or navigating a new country, language barrier and all. And it's not a one-sided deal. Beyond what it does for your relationship, having your BFF alongside you makes the travel aspect that much more enjoyable, too. You can split the cost, collaborate on pool itinerary ideas, and have someone to complain to if your flight is delayed.
In collaboration with the BIC® Soleil Shine® campaign to "Make Your Own Sun," here are all the reasons you should travel with friends. Because what better way to create your own happiness than to plan a girl's trip with all of the BFFs who make you the happiest?
Even The Planning Process Is Fun
Maybe you're the type-A friend of your group and show up armed with an stuffed itinerary binder. Maybe you're down for whatever as long as you get to sightsee. Either way, the phone calls, group email threads and sheer anticipation are half the fun of traveling with your friends.
You Get To Know Each Other Really, Really, Really Well
Even if you were roommates in college way back when, there's nothing like sharing a cramped hostel room to bring you closer than ever. You'll learn everything about your bestie, from what she loves and hates, to what she'll eat and what she definitely won't, to how she truly feels about everything. It's the truest test of friendship and the unique bond you'll develop is unlike anything else.
There's Always Someone To Take Pictures of You
Selfies are cool and all, but there's no way to take, say, a cool selfie of yourself mid-jump. Enter your bestie. (Then, of course, enter a fellow tourist to take a picture of you and your bestie.)
You Leave With A Million Inside Jokes
The crazy tour guide? Check. Those hideous matching hats from a souvenir stall? Only acceptable if you wear them together. Your totally wrong pronunciation of "Gaudí"? LOL-worthy. No one else will get it when you return home, and that's totally okay.
You Do Things You Might Not Have Considered
You might be all about the museums, but your friend found this hole-in-the-wall restaurant (which, by the way, are always the best kind). So do both! You might end up discovering an unexpected gem.
It's Way More Affordable
Those small, incidental expenses can add up quickly. With a travel buddy or two, you can cut down on transportation and lodging. Think of it as built-in budgeting! If you get an even bigger group together, you may be able to splurge on even nicer digs.
Travel Delays Are More Bearable
So you missed your connecting flight. (Don't sweat it: It happens to even the most seasoned traveler.) On the bright side, you won't be sitting alone in the terminal. Everything is better when you and your BFF are together—even airports.
No Toothpaste? No Problem!
Forgot something? Chances are, your friend has it. You can even divvy up who should bring what, so that you're not bringing multiple bottles of contact lens solution or dry shampoo on your trip — you know, the essentials.