Welcome to Insider Out Travel, a blog about LGBT travel written by LGBT tourism professionals. Travel the globe and gain insight into the tourism industry (with a gay twist), brought to you by the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association.

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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

10 Tips for Getting the Most out of Your Vacation with Your Friends

by Bryan Herb, Zoom Vacations

Vacations provide the perfect opportunity for reconnecting with your friends, and to enjoy their company without the hassles and complications of the “real” world. The following 10 tips will help you and your buddies get the most out of your time together, without getting under each other’s skin. These same tips a great to bear in mind when traveling with your boyfriend or girlfriend as well.

1. Get a good night’s rest before the trip and as much as possible during the trip. Children aren’t the only ones who get cranky when they’re tired.

2. Allow plenty of time to get to the airport. Flying can be a bit stressful, and this is magnified if you’re running late. The more stress you have, the more likely you are to take it out on each other.

3. Keep your hotel room clean and organized, especially the bathroom. This is a big challenge because you are living temporarily in an unfamiliar space, and you have to quickly develop a plan for where things should go. However, doing so will help limit how much you are in each other’s space.

4. Don’t feel that since you are on vacation together that you have to be at each other’s side at all times. There may be times when you each want to pursue different interests, and doing so is very healthy. When you reconvene, you have much more to share and talk about at the end of the day.

5. Be flexible, and focus on having fun, not worrying that you have diverted from your original itinerary.

6. If one of you needs to sleep in, let him. If one of you is having that extra piece of cake, don’t make a comment about it. Allow your friend to vacation the way he or she wants to.

7. Bring something to read or something to do so that if you find yourself waiting for your friend, you can entertain yourself and not get agitated.

8. If you are the type of person who is always late, remember that this is their vacation as well, and you should plan accordingly in order to minimize his or her waiting. Most of us do not have as much vacation time as we would like, and the last thing we want to do is spend it waiting for someone while he or she tries on jeans.

9. Stay fed and don’t let yourself or your travel companion get hungry. Nothing leads to crankiness as fast as hunger! If you are the type who needs to eat every few hours, pack a box of protein bars and carry one with you whenever you leave the hotel room for touring. You never know when your plans may change and a meal gets postponed.

10. Take this vacation time to tell and show your friend how much you appreciate him or her. Do something nice, like scheduling a spa treatment or some activity that focuses on his or her interests.

Bryan Herb works for Zoom Vacations, a global gay vacation company offers incredible gay group and independent trips to South America, including Rio for New Years and Carnaval, South Africa, India, Australia for the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, Peru, Argentina, Amsterdam for Gay Pride, and several luxury mega-yacht cruises. You can find more information on their website at www.zoomvacations.com or call 773 772 9666.

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