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Keeping Trips With Friends Friendly

Going on vacation with your friends is a great way to save money and have fun, but it can ruin a friendship if you don't set a few ground rules. So how do you travel with your friends and stay friends?

Travel consultant Nadine Nardi Davidson, who wrote a book in 1999, "Travel With Others Without Wishing They'd Stayed Home," stopped by The Early Show to share some tips with co-anchor Julie Chen.

Why is it some people who are compatible in everyday life just don't seem to get along while on vacation?

"Because different people are different types of travelers and they have their different needs and expectations," says Davidson. "For example, if you're the type of person who loves to sightsee and see the castles and the museums and the cathedrals and your friend thinks the perfect vacation is to do as little as possible, one of you is going to be disappointed and feel like your vacation is wasted. So the best thing to do is give the other person an agenda of the things you really want to see and do. That way they can opt out and go to the spa while you check out Napoleon's Tomb.

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"When people don't know what to expect that they become disappointed."

Another important tip is to make sure that your budgets are compatible.

"Because you may be the same tax bracket doesn't mean you like to spend money the same way on travel. Some people can afford luxurious accommodations but for them, they will say 'I'm only sleeping there so why waste my money on that?' Whereas, other people, would — for them, where they stay may be the most important part of the travel experience," Davidson says.

Speaking about how costs should be split, Davidson says this is an issue that needs to be understood in advance.

"For example, tell somebody in an e-mail, because people forget, you know, after you've discussed a trip for six months, make sure you put it in writing, you know?" she explains. "Your half of the condo will cost $150 and you can expect to pay $100 a day. That way you don't end up on a trip that, 'Boy, they were mooches' or the other person is saying 'We were supposed to be a free guest but it costs us so much morning we expected.' "

Davidson says you also have to be clear about cancellation costs.

"That's a problem particularly if your cost increases when somebody else drops out of the trip. So if you don't want to lose your vacation, you may want to agree in advance at what stage, their portion becomes nonrefundable because if they drop out, then your half of the cruise cabin may double in price," says Davidson, who is also a travel agent.

Asked whether trip insurance is a good idea, Davidson says: "Yes, it is a good idea but it doesn't cover everything. For example, if you are going on a trip with a significant other and you break up, who is responsible for the cancellation fee? Insurance will cover a broken leg. It's not going to cover a broken heart."

When it comes to dining, Davidson says you should choose restaurants in advance. How come?

"Because if you're a vegetarian and someone else is a meat and potatoes person and another person is allergic to flowers there are you in Paris. At 8:30 you still haven't decided because everybody's idea is shot down by the other person's dietary problems," Davidson explains. "Choose your restaurants in advance and you'll save a lot of time on your vacation. Take turns choosing so everyone feels like they got to do what they wanted."

Davidson also says be aware of the "odd man out" factor. "If you're traveling with two other couples and their relationship to each other is closer than your relationship to either one of them, then they will vote to go shopping or wine tasting. That will outnumber your vote to see the Tower of Pisa. You are always the odd man out," she says. "If it doesn't bother you, it's OK. If it is bothering you, then don't do it. "

Finally, Davidson has some important advice on traveling with children.

"First of all, because you may be friends with the parents doesn't mean your children are going to get along with each other. So before you travel with another family, have a test run," she recommends. "Don't set off on a week's vacation when you haven't observed your kids together on a weekend trip or even an all-day trip to see whether they get along. You don't want to spend your vacation breaking up fights and arguments."

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