How To Fix Fighting With Your Friends On Vacation
Our epic two-week trip to Italy had been planned for months, with my friend and I adding to the itinerary every time something caught our eye online. We had always wanted to go on an Italian journey together. We didn’t plan on fighting over the itinerary we worked so hard on. Maybe things would have turned out differently if we had a better idea of how to avoid arguments while on vacation.
I wanted to check out the nightlife by popping into some bars in the area, but my friend wanted to catch a museum tour in the morning, so we decided to stay in Florence for a few days. Our itinerary had accounted for both, but in a last-minute change of heart my friend wanted us to lay low, and was upset that I was willing to go out without her. What would have been a great night had the argument not been made. The fight we had on our dream vacation left a bad taste in my mouth, even though we fixed everything the next day.
Fights with friends on vacation are not a new concept, but what is it about vacations that creates such a sensitive, volatile environment? What makes the stakes feel higher? Many friends seem to end when they are away from home
According to a psychology professor at the University of Toronto, you might be more likely to have a confrontation with your friends when you are on vacation. She shared tips on how to prevent conflict from boiling over.
Why do friends fight more on vacation?
The very nature of vacations can make them a hot spot for conflict, because they can be really stress-inducing. Think about all of the planning that goes into a vacation: flight tickets, car rental, hotel reservations, dinner reservations, research on activities, landmarks, tours, and so on. The environment is going to be taxing from the start if you travel with a friend.
From a psychological perspective, vacations can cause stress, says Bockarova. Is there a strain in the friendship or is it a spillover effect from the stress of traveling?
The possibility for conflict is created by the fact that your friends may have completely different goals and desires for the trip. compromises will need to be made to accommodate everyone’s preferences, if you are spending all of this money and time planning a trip, you are going to want to do everything on your vacation bucket list.
It is more difficult to plan a trip with someone than with yourself. Different people have different wants and needs. That will weigh a lot.
A 2012 study on vacation stress was published by Tourism Analysis. The study found that the planning phase of the vacation was the most difficult for most people, but that stress increased when the traveler was accompanied by a spouse or relative. The study found that younger adults were more stressed out than older adults at the destination.
It isn’t all doom and gloom, despite the scientifically proven stress that surrounds vacations. As long as you and the people you are traveling with know how to use Bockarova’s tips and tricks, you can steer clear of conflict.
Here’s how to avoid (and resolve) fighting with your friends on vacation:
Assess whom you’re going on vacation with.
If you’re more of a go-with-the-flow type, you might want to consider teaming up with a friend on a trip.
If you can assess the personality of the friend that you are considering going on vacation with, you can decide if they would be a fun person to travel with. She points to the Big Five personality traits, extroversion, agreeableness, openness, conscientiousness, and neuroticism, as factors to consider when deciding whether you and your travel companion are well-matched. People who are high in openness tend to have less conflict than people who are high in neuroticism.
Lay down your boundaries before the trip.
You have decided to take a gamble and book a trip with a friend who has different travel goals. Maybe you are on a vacation with a friend who is stubborn or pushy. Before you get to your destination, it is important that you know your boundaries. Is it possible to completely stop drinking while going to Mexico? It’s time to say it loud. Do you have a goal to visit the Louvre? Your friend could want to do something else. If something is important to you, put it in stone.
Before you go on the trip, you should talk to your friend. When you are on vacation, you can be firm with what you want if they keep pushing your limits. Creating boundaries is great, but not if you can’t follow through.
I would have known in advance that my friend wouldn’t want to go out the night before a morning tour so we could move things around.
Step away if things get heated.
Conflict still arises even though you are miles from home, and you pondered who you were traveling with. What are you doing right now? If you feel like you’re getting more and more agitated during an argument, it’s best to take a break.
Our fight-or-flight response is what kicks in when we are stressed. We can sweat, our pupils will dilate, and our heart rate can go up. It is the best way to hijack your biology and not engage in conflict. I need to calm down, everything is ok. I will be back and we can discuss it then.
She says 20 minutes is a good number to keep in mind since it is how long it takes for our bodies to return to baseline level.
The company is called the Brat Co/Stocksy.
Return to the situation at hand and try to have a calm conversation after you have settled down. Learning effective coping mechanisms is an important tool for resolving conflict. She points to the EVLN model as a way to help you resolve things when you’re dissatisfied. Exit and neglect are the most negative of the four, with someone choosing to mentally or physically check out the situation, or continue to be upset without vocalization or an attempt at a solution. Someone is unwilling to share how they feel in hopes that the situation will somehow resolve itself, which is not the most effective strategy.
According to Bockarova, voice is the most constructive. Voicing in a calm way, in a way that you’re not attacking your friend, what it is that you need and want, as well as what your expectations are is the best way to manage conflict.
During the conflict in Florence, I drank away my troubles at a bar in order to not deal with it. We could have separated and regrouped to talk it out, instead of spending the entire night being upset with each other.
Reach a healthy compromise.
It is the goal of a difficult conversation to reach a satisfactory outcome. If you and your friend are willing to work on a solution that is fair, it could be a win-win situation.
Sometimes it is okay to say, “Let’s agree to disagree” In both instances, people feel as if they have won, right? If it means that you’re going to become resentful, don’t compromise if you want to keep the peace. Try to reach a compromise where your friend gets what they want, you get what you want, and you’re sticking to your boundaries.
Ensuring from the beginning that you and your friend have a mutual destination where you can choose to split up and do your own thing is a great way to go. Any potential arguments over the itinerary should be smoothed out by tackling this potential issue during the planning stage. You and your friend will both have time to look forward to and an agreed meeting place to meet up and share your experiences with each other. In the example of Florence, a great mutual destination could have been Piazza del Duomo, which has museums, cathedrals, and other attractions, but also restaurants, bars, and desserts.
There are a lot of options for compromise in the United States. Disney Springs is a small part of the Disney World resort destination. Nick Regueiro, a spokesman for Disney Springs, suggests that the outdoor mall and entertainment center is a good place to split up a group of friends.
There is something for everyone at the open space. If you are into fashion, you can shop on the west side, if you are looking for something specific, you can go to the opposite side of Disney Springs, or maybe your friend has a sweet tooth. They can check out Salt & Straw. Everyone can chill, relax, and do their own thing in the spaces that are available.
It is a good idea to set a day for everyone to do their own thing. Everyone gets to remove things from their bucket lists.
Enjoy the rest of your vacation.
Although my friend and I didn’t walk for 20 minutes during the Italy conflict, we eventually came to a compromise the next day. I promised to accompany her to a pasta-making class in the evening if she would come out with me to some more laidback bars. If a peaceful settlement can be reached, everyone wins, and the vacation can resume without any additional bumps in the road.
As long as you follow safety tips for solo travel, you can always travel on your own. Adding a friend or two can make a trip even more memorable, so it’s worth giving Bockarova’s tips and tricks a try.
The experts were mentioned.
A professor at the University of Toronto.
Studies are cited.
Crotts, John C., and Zehrer are related to each other. The development of a vacation stress model among US vacation travelers is discussed.