This week marks International Day of Friendship (July 30). We know from what many of our customers have told us that a walking or cycling holiday is a great way to enjoy quality time with friends. Getting away for an active break offers the opportunity for enjoying shared experiences in new and exciting places. You will also learn more about each other. Many people talk fondly about forming a closer bond thanks to a holiday that requires self-navigation in new places. Of course, there may be times when your friendship is tested, perhaps because you have got a bit lost or when the weather is not quite what you expected. But these tough times usually strengthen friendships in the end!
Friends enjoying on the Osterlen Way.
The rewards of a holiday with friends include having fun and achieving something together, such as completing a classic walking or cycling trail together. Two sisters who live in different areas of the world (Japan and Australia), meet to share adventures as often as they can. This photo shows them enjoying a Macs Adventure walking holiday, the Tour du Mont Blanc.
Ritsuko & her sister reunited after some years apart to walk the Tour du Mont Blanc, sharing this #MacsMoment photo in 2016
Walking with friends on more popular routes, such as the West Highland Way, the Camino de Santiago and other pilgrimage walks, offer friends the chance to meet with other like-minded people. These kinds of adventures provide many wonderful memories and some great shared tales that will be talked about amongst friends for many years to come. Friends that bridge the generations might also enjoy a holiday together, such as a Lake Constance cycling holiday or cycling the River Danube.
Friends from the USA, who even have a team name "The Omas", have fun on a trip to Germany.
Tips for a successful holiday with friends
The right trip: Make sure you book a holiday that suits you both, or the whole group. You need to discuss with honesty what you like doing on holiday and the sort of walking or cycling distances that would like to achieve each day. The holiday will not work too well if, for example, one of you enjoys cycling lots of hills and the other prefers many miles of flat roads. It’s best to be honest up front for the best holiday together.
Plan ahead: Try to get together, or Skype each other, before the trip to discuss the daily programme and what you would like to do each day. Planning ahead will mean you have the same expectations of the trip and you are less likely to argue and niggle each other while you are away.
Friends on a cycling holiday in Germany.
Give and take: It is also a good idea to have a look at the route, whether it is a walking or cycling holiday, to see what places of interest you might like to see while you are on your chosen walking holiday or cycling holiday. You could pick each pick a place to see every day of the holiday or take it in turns to decide where to eat meals. Compromise – and give and take – can be a good idea on a holiday with friends.
Choose your roles: If one of you is better with a map than the other it might be a good idea to give them the task of being chief navigator. Meanwhile, other people can take ownership of other tasks, such as making sure the luggage is left in the right place to be moved to your next accommodation; making the packed lunches; or choosing a great place to eat an evening meal.
Good friends enjoy holidays together
Give each other space: Having a bit of time to yourself is a good idea. You do not have to spend every minute together each day. Why not head off in different directions for a sightseeing tour of a city, or find a place to enjoy your own lunch or evening meal? It could be that you simply give each other a bit of personal space each afternoon after a long walk or bike ride by taking it in turns to use your hotel room for a shower.
It is okay to book separate rooms: Some friends prefer their own space each night so don’t be afraid to book your own room. It can be a chance to enjoy much needed me-time, if that is what you want.
Friends will have lots of shared fun and laughter on an active holiday.
Making up is good: Even the best of friends can have arguments while on holiday, especially if you become a bit stressed. However, cross words should never last too long and the best way to stay good friend is to make up quickly. Be the one who extends the olive branch of rekindled friendship.
Look back on great memories: After a walking or cycling holiday, especially if you are thinking about another one, it’s a good idea to share with your friends what you liked and didn’t like about the trip. This means that when you book another you will come closer to perfection with your adventures overseas.
Ask others for recommendations: If you are thinking about a holiday with friends why not ask Macs Adventure for their ideas and tips. We have looked after many friends on our trips – and it warms our hearts to see the photos and hear the shared stories afterwards – so we have great insight into the trips that work best.
We'd like to thank everyone who has entered the #MacsMoment contest to date, and provided a lot of the photos in this post - sharing special moments to inspire others to get out there and explore. For more information about taking a walking or cycling holiday with friends, contact us on email@example.com, or browse some more ideas for the perfect trips to meet new friends here.