In the Chicago Tribune – Do you tell your friend she’s a terrible traveler?

Published on: September 25, 2015 | Last Updated on July 30, 2018

Screen Shot 2015-09-25 at 11.30.17 AMSeptember 25, 2015

In her regular column in the Chicago Tribune called Social Graces, journalist Alison Bowen asked experts to weigh in on a common dilemma: Do you tell your friend she’s a terrible traveler? (September 25, 2015.) Essentially, she asks whether it’s more prudent to stay mum or say something that might affect the friendship.

She quotes Dr. Irene S. Levine, The Friendship Doctor:

“If you have misgivings about spending time with a friend before the trip, the stresses of travel can only make things worse. If you are ambivalent about how things will go, listen to your inner voice. You don’t want to invest time and money on a vacation that one or both of you won’t enjoy. Moreover, you don’t want to create more tension between you and your friend that may strain, or even fracture, the friendship.

“It’s important to talk to your friend beforehand to discuss your expectations of the trip and reach some agreement or compromise on logistics: how much to spend, style of accommodations, sleeping arrangements, type of meals, types and amount of activity each day, how much time you will spend together versus independently.

“If you are aware that your friend likes luxury accommodations, for example, and you are on a tight budget, you need to let her know about your financial constraints. Or, if she is an early riser and you like to sleep in, will she be comfortable doing things without you in the morning?

“By having this discussion upfront, you may avoid many problems.

“Whether to go or not depends on how you feel. Are you desperate enough for a travel companion that you are willing to make concessions, or do you envision being so unhappy that you would rather save your leave for independent travel or travel with someone else?

“Another alternative would be to plan an overnight rather than a more extended vacation.”

Click here to read the Chicago Tribune article in its entirety.

  • Previously on Fitness Republic, Five Tips for Planning a Girlfriend Getaway.
  • Reply
    September 26, 2015 at 7:06 pm

    “Terrible” is highly subjective. It’s not necessarily that one person is a good companion and the other is bad, it’s just that their preferences and habits are different.

    I would not tell a friend that she is a terrible travel companion just because her preferences and habits are different than mine. I would point out the differences such as “Hey, you’re an earlybird and I like to sleep in. Will this work for us?

    • Reply
      Irene S. Levine
      September 26, 2015 at 9:55 pm

      You’re correct. Would have been better for the headline writer to speak about incompatibility.

Leave a Reply