Friday, November 27, 2015         


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Flexibility makes up for failure to plan

By Trip Advisor /


Question: I have a group of friends -- six in total -- and we haven't seen each other in a long time. One of them proposed going away for a long weekend to a resort in the Caribbean. We booked three rooms. However, we forgot to think about our vacation priorities. My friend Jenny is a single party girl -- she emailed us that she "can't wait to close down clubs and roll out of bed at 12:30 like we did in our 20s." The rest of us couldn't care less about clubbing -- we want to go to the beach, hit the spa and relax. We no longer want to party till the wee hours. Jenny says she'll just stay out late by herself, sleep in and catch up with us later. But her late hours will still affect whoever shares a room with her. What can we do? It's too late to book a different room arrangement.

Answer: This is why any group of friends considering traveling together should have a detailed conversation about their expectations. It's not much fun compared with the more exciting parts of vacation planning, but it will make your trip less stressful.

Still, you have a few options. Even if you can't cancel your reservations, you could probably book an additional room so that Jenny (and one other person) could have private rooms. This is obviously more expensive, and someone will have to foot the bill. You could give Jenny her own room and ask the hotel for a rollaway bed in one of the others. Or -- in what I think is the most mature option -- one of you could volunteer to room with her, and the others could chip in for a nice spa treatment for that person as a thank-you for taking one for the team.

Q: Those "I'm pretty sure this isn't your bag" luggage tags have jumped the shark. At first they were clever, but now everyone has some variation on their suitcase. I got three for Christmas last year.

A: Well, those variations on the tags still work to differentiate one bag from another, which is more important than conveying hipster cachet. If you don't like yours, drop them off at Goodwill.

Email travel etiquette questions to Lesley Carlin at

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