Let’s set the scene.
You come across a destination on Instagram you really want to visit this summer. You have the savings and PTO saved up to make it happen in about 3 months, so you start to seriously look into it. You do a few days of research and drop the idea in the GM (group message) with your 5 closest homegirls to see who’s interested.
Surprise, everyone is excited!
They begin asking you a ton of questions about the schedule, cost, activities, and they like your answers. Because you’re doing most of the leg work and it sounds like a great time, everyone commits. Yes!
2 weeks later you’re crowdsourcing ideas on what area of the city you should stay in. 3/5 of your friends respond, and they all say you’re the expert, you decide.
2 more weeks pass and you’re looking at flights, and decide to drop a few ideas into the GM. Uh oh. Friend 1 and Friend 2 drop out.
Friend 1 suddenly remembers it’s her mom’s birthday that weekend—it’s the same day every year, she didn’t remember earlier? And Friend 2 says she just “has too much going on”… Okay. Disappointed, you check in with your other friends and make sure they’re still coming, and they all reassure you they can’t wait for the trip.
1 month before the trip. Your PTO is reserved, you’ve found a dog sitter, and your flight is booked because you caught a good deal because you have Google flight trackers set up like a damn pro.
You’re also the only one starting conversations in the group chats and sharing excited IG pics of your destination… And your friends have been ducking you for coffee and brunch for the past two weeks… Wait.
Your stomach is doing little flippy-flips. These b*tches better not.
You call them up to confront them, and sure enough: they have to back out.
Wanda couldn’t get time off from work. Really? No one could cover your shift at Shake Shack, Wanda?? Betty’s boyfriend says 1-week is too long and he will miss her too much—we’ll unpack that later, but girl, you got bigger problems. And Penny says she didn’t know you needed a passport to leave the country… Okay, Penny.
What you need to understand is, this isn’t the fault of mercury in micro-braids.
The gag is: they were never really committed. They were ideally committed.
Idealism vs. Realism, and why you were dumb for even asking them, girl.
This is a hard pill to swallow, but I’m going to let you know the red-flags of flakes that you can learn to look out for in the future.
I like to call the friends in this hypothetical scenario, The “Ideally” Friends. The honest-to-god-truth is that travel is not as high of a priority for them as it is for you.
They would love to go on that trip. If…
Someone did all the planning, paid for it all, took care of all of their at-home responsibilities, chauffered them from their homes to the airport, placed them in strollers, and personally wheeled them onto the plane and into first-class. In that case sure, they would be in there like swimwear.
But if it’s not made so impossibly appealing that they can’t say no… They eventually say no.
Ideally, it sounds fun, but realistically they have other priorities and are not willing to compromise or sacrifice them (a boyfriend, a dog, a birthday, etc.) “just” for a vacation.
This is why they may initially commit, but as the time for action comes closer they end up finding some half-hearted reason to back out. It’s frustrating and annoying, and I wish more people would know themselves enough not waste anyone’s time with empty commitments.While we can’t relate, we must respect. You can't force your friends to travel with you... So now what? Click To Tweet
However, while we can’t relate, we must respect. It’s their prerogative, and you should never try to force your friends on a trip with you.
Honestly, they likely wouldn’t enjoy the vacation anyway once they got there because they’d be too busy thinking about their real priorities back home.
But since you now understand what’s actually happening in this situation, you can politely fail to invite these particular friends on the next trip. And to avoid this type of person in the future, you can practice these planning precautions:
How to deter flaky travel friends:
- Involve them in the planning from day. Make them choose a hotel they like. Make them look at activities they may be interested in. As the travel addict, you may know better and end up convincing everyone to go with your recommendations, but having them involved in the research will help make the trip more of a reality for them and get them more excited to go! And if they make good recommendations you end up agreeing with? They’ll really feel like they helped organize a great trip and become more of a travel addict just like you. *evil laugh*
- Write up a contract. It doesn’t actually have to be legally binding, but making them right down their commitment will make sure they’re serious in their intention to go. And if that doesn’t work, as a last resort…
- Require a deposit upfront. $100 given if they claim they commit to going on the trip, to be returned later… once they’re on the flight. This will force them to be honest with themselves from the start and prevent them from prematurely committing. And if they do commit and end up not being able to go, you can obviously give them their money back. …Or if they have another sh*tty excuse, keep it as a planning fee. You waste my time, you waste your money. #SorryNotSorry
If you keep inviting people who bail without trying to put these in place, you know what they say.
Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.
Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Okay, damn we get it. Well, now what?
Please refer to the title of this article, and the real reason you clicked on it.
Ya friends are not coming sis… Book that sh*t anyway!
I have an entire article about how you can gain the confidence to travel solo before your trip, but just know that you can do it, sis! You deserve to do it.
And whether this specific trip is one you attempt solo travel on or not, the takeaway from this should be that it’s in your best interest to get into the “book that sh*t anyway” mindset.
There will be times your significant other is sick, the family is broke, and friends are busy. And if you have the desire to see the wonders of this world that I think you do, you shouldn’t limit your life based on other people’s availability.Don't limit your life based on other people’s availability. Click To Tweet
There are precautions, prayers, and big-girl-pants you can put on before your trip, but you will be okay, I promise! Many, many women have traveled solo before you, and many more will after.
If you cancel your trip you’ll have lost your deposit, maybe lost respect for your friends, and worst of all lost an opportunity to build your solo self-confidence and see the world.
But if you go anyway, I promise a journey filled with challenges, triumphs, new friends, last-minute changes, kick-ass activities, and travel freedom of which you’ve never know. Trust me, once you dip your toes into that solo travel waters, nothing ever quite feels the same.
So, ya friends ain’t coming, sis… So what?! Book that sh*t anyway! Tag those flaky friends in your international photo flexes and wave at them.