Monday, October 28, 2013


VACATION – one of my favorite words in any language.
We enjoy going on vacation quite a bit.  In fact, we try to make it happen more than once every year.  We do however make it a point to go on vacation by ourselves only. 
Our friends used to ask us to go on vacation with them or they wanted to come along with us.  We always politely refused their requests.  They got the message and now they don’t even bring up the subject of travelling with us.
I know there are many advantages to going on vacation with friends.  It’ll be a lot of fun with more people than just the two of us.  I believe the phrase is – “The more the merrier” right?  Yeah well, we still prefer to go by ourselves.
Here is my reasoning:
When we travel, we do not adhere to a pre-planned schedule while on vacation. Not every hour of every day is planned out and we don’t follow a strict schedule.   If we plan to leave the hotel at 8am to start our fun filled day, but we decided that morning that we are not in the mood to leave so early, then we will wait and relax in the hotel until we are ready to leave (whatever time that may be). Can’t do that if you’re travelling in a group.
When travelling somewhere people have different interests in what they want to see and experience and for how long.  If we go someplace and we absolutely love it there, then we will spend extra time there.  On the flip side, if we don’t like where we’re at then we will cut the trip short. Again, this may not be doable when travelling as a group.
Another issue could be the hotel and where to stay at while on vacation.  When we travel by ourselves, we can stay at any hotel that we like and not wait for the approval of our accompanying friends.  We may not like the hotel they prefer and vice versa. The same holds true for restaurants and the type of food that we want to eat while travelling.  Mexican or Italian or Chinese – no problem for us. Hey, once in a while we might not even want to go out for dinner.  Just order some room service and have an extra glass of merlot.
The bottom line is that when you travel with a lot of people you lose some flexibility.  That is a key ingredient for us while on vacation…because after all it is a VACATION right?  And you are planning on having a good time.  Without flexibility our vacation becomes less fun.
Don’t even get me started on the whole privacy thing when travelling with others. Is it really a good time when you have no privacy while on vacation? Now instead of just the two of you travelling, you have 4 other couples in tow with you.  Again, I’m sure this works for some people (and that is totally fine)…but we do place a premium on that.
Is it really a good time when you have 10 people trying to figure out what to do for dinner every night?  Of course there are always leaders and followers and stand firm decision makers…but at the end of the trip there will be 9 complainers.  Sometimes it’s already hard enough making TWO people come to an agreement on what to do, where to go, what to see, and where to eat.  Now when you add other people (albeit close friends) to the mix – forgetabout it!  It’s a recipe for disaster.  Many people hanging out together for waaayyy too long will surely put a strain on your relationship.
Hmmm, I do have some “friends” that I don’t want to be friendly with anymore. Maybe I will go on vacation with them so that I never have to see them again.


  1. I also feel the same...even the same with extended family too..

    I feel best when we are just by ourselves for the same reasons you have cited...

    Vacations are not vacations anymore if we have company:)

  2. We have traveled with friends (by friends I mean, like minded people) and on our own too. And both the experiences have been fun. Have even traveled with large groups (KG's office's outing with families)... there also, we came across some like minded people and had our share of fun and enjoyed the trip too.
    Agree, in a group... not everybody is on the same page and there are hassles and cribbing sessions!

  3. Hi SG

    Nice post! I agree with you as I have experienced something very similar. We once went on a holiday with many cousins and elders of our extended family. Oh gawd! the trip was an extremely frustrating one as it was so difficult to manage everyone's whims and choices...I have vowed never to plan a holiday with such a big group again!!

  4. Thanks for your comments Renu. You are correct. Vacations are not vacations anymore if we have company.

  5. Thanks for your comments Shilpa. Large group (like 75 or 100 people) is fine. The problem is vacationing with a few friends. But you are lucky to have fun experience.

  6. Thanks for your comments Ankita. Sorry about your bad experience. Lesson learnt.

  7. Vacations are about enjoyment and I think it's up to us to decide on what is enjoyable.

    I don't prefer traveling in groups either. Individual tastes are different and people should be able to do what they want/like - otherwise, it becomes like another work assignment!

    I make sure that there is ample time to rest, while on vacation - when I travel in groups, they try to 'cover' so many places that I get exhausted!

    Destination Infinity

  8. Thanks for your comments Rajesh. I agree with you that we take plenty of rest also during vacation. We do not subscribe to the saying "I am going to enjoy this vacation even if it is going to kill me".

  9. My experiences are similar like Shilpa's. Have experience going in groups as well as on our own and enjoyed both and have best memories from both.

    But like you say, there can be situations like what you have cited in your post when the people you travel with do not gel.

  10. Thanks for your comments Asha. You have been lucky.

  11. I completely agree with this post but in our case it is usually opposite of what you say. Last time when we went with a group, they wanted to sleep and spend time in the room itself till 12 PM or so. Our idea of vacation is different. We like to get up early and spend more time outdoors, than waste time sleeping. And usually when on vacation, we don't even get sleep. Also different people are usually interested in different activities or have different interests.

  12. Thanks for your comments Ash. Our wanting to stay at the hotel longer was just an illustration. Never happened. I was trying to bring home the point you have said perfectly. Different people have different interests.

  13. It is very true on all the points raised by you.
    Even I prefer holidaying with just my husband, Now getting along with one's husband itself might be big hassle, imagine me getting along with 2 or ten others: it is impossible. Twice we went on a holiday with some close friend (they are also just couples, but somehow didn't enjoy the trip. Even with my daughter I just can't get along, for she is very lazy, and would not start on time.
    However, we have been with group tours, (Cosmos), which was really very good, they stick to their time, and make such long journeys covering various countries very comfortable, though we opted to go for only 2 countries.
    And we enjoyed driving all over US also very much.
    There are indeed different ways of travelling, but travelling by one self, at least to nearby places is definitely the best.
    Happy Deepawali!

  14. Apart from the WE ALL LOVE VACATIONS! thing, I think everyone has their own likes and dislikes on vacations.

    Maybe I have not travelled much in life, I am still struggling to find mine.

  15. Happy Deepawali to you and your family.

    Thanks for your comments Rama. I am glad you are also just like us on traveling.

  16. Thanks for your comments Karunesh. I am sure you will visit lot of interesting places in the world very soon.

    Happy Deepawali to you and your family.

  17. SG, you have very vividly shown why vacation should be yours and your own only.Of course both the types have merits and demerits.But with regard to time,food,areas etc we may have to sacrifice our choice in group.That part I liked very much as "There will be nine complainers." Very true.

  18. Thanks for your comments Sarala. I am glad you liked "there will be 9 complainers". The 10th is you/us.

  19. While going for vacation as a couple is certainly preferable to going with other couples I must say that there are instances where going with others is good fun. For example, a group of school or college friends meet after a long time and decide to plan a vacation together. YOu can always plan the budget for the hotel well in advance. However too large a crowd is not fun as there would be too many people with too many differences. I think it is also good for two families with kids to go together on vacation. This makes sense in today's world where many families have single children. Your kids can have fun with each other. Parents make boring travel companions for teens.

  20. Hello!

    You have been awarded and tagged! Kindly accept the 'Leibstar Award' from my blog!


  21. Thanks for your comments Meera. I agree with you.

  22. @Ankita,

    Thanks for the Award. I am honored.

  23. Thanks for your comments Krishna.