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Group Travel 101

How to Keep From Throttling Your Roommate: Tips for Stress-Free Group Travel

By: Liz Patterson

Are you having pre-trip nightmares about traveling? Do you dread those inevitable nights of sharing a room with someone who snores loudly, wears too strong perfume, or talks all night on their cell phone? Or are you afraid that your roommate will be frustrated with you? Don’t let it spoil your trip and diminish the fun and excitement of traveling. If you follow these simple guidelines, you will find that it really is possible to keep from throttling your roommate.

First and foremost is this: communicate! Communicate, communicate! This is absolutely vital to stress-free group travel. Any relationship cannot survive without communication. Break the ice with your roommate and make sure that you can speak comfortably with each other. Do not be afraid to admit that you snore or to ask them if they like the air-conditioning on all night. Too often we try to be nice and tolerant and not complain about the heater being on in July. If there isn’t proper communication, your roommate could be suffering just as much as you but trying to be tolerant also.

The second tip goes along with the first. It is to admit your faults. If you snore, tell your roommate so he can purchase earplugs. If you have allergies to something, make sure to tell your roommate so you can prevent any kind of disaster. Admitting your defects or simply your preferences can be awkward, but you will both appreciate the conversation when it is done. Knowing ahead of time what you are going to be facing will give you a chance to prepare. Also if you properly warned your roommate, he or she has no grounds to complain!

Thirdly, in order to get along and cooperate in any group, people must compromise. Now, let’s clarify that. Everyone must compromise. It can’t just be the kind people letting the assertive people get their way. You have to discuss (communication skills again!) and make sure everyone is in agreement in the compromise. Though sometimes frustrating, compromise creates unity and helps a group to function smoothly.

Last but definitely not least is to not be a pushover. Once in a while you come across someone who is a mooch. A mooch will try to get out of all expenses possible and will be a drag on the morale of the group. Though you should be polite, you have to take that person aside and tell them that you can’t let them impose upon you. If said tactfully, this is not cruel or ungenerous, but practical. It is important to stand up for yourself.

Traveling in a group can often be a tricky thing and sharing a room takes a deal of patience. However, if you can find the balance between assertiveness and compromise, you will have a stress-free, enjoyable trip. Remember to keep up communication with your roommate and not be afraid to talk to them about what is going on. Communication is the crucial key to surviving group travel without throttling your roommate. So don’t be afraid to go on a trip, enjoy the memorable experience, and don’t forget these rules to hassle-free group travel.

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