Maybe you've mastered the art of traveling as a couple. But the same rules don't apply when traveling in a foursome. Back in the '90s, the Spice Girls kindly wrote the rules of engagement for when "2 Become 1," but what about when four become one? The more the merrier should really be amended to the more the hairier. Here's how to double up without doubling down on the drama.
The key to a stress-free co-coupling vacay is to assure that nothing is compulsory. Once you make the decision to hit a destination in tandem, there's an expectation that group outings will be de rigueur. Proclamations like "We're in Paris; we simply must spend at least one day touring the Louvre and soaking up the arts" can be fighting words. Resist the urge to set the agenda. Instead, seek common ground on your sightseeing wish list and split up the rest of the way.
Deciding where to eat at home can grease the flames of debate. Add another set of palates and a limited time frame to sample the local cuisine and suddenly there's a ravenous debate raging on the trustworthiness of UrbanSpoon ratings versus Zagat restaurant reviews. Avoid a fork fight over who has got the most inspired sea bass in town and achieve dining détente by allowing a third party, perhaps the concierge, to reserve a table for four.
Much vacation time is spent lazing by the pool, sipping pina coladas and just generally doing nada. The art of sloth increases in complexity when more people are invited into the mix. Staking out one umbrella isn't too difficult, but hunting for a spot to accommodate four can be tricky--especially if you are holidaying in high season. Don't settle for subpar snooze real estate. Decouple and reunite later once you've all had your fill of vitamin D.
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