Going on a trip with a group of college friends can make for amazing adventures, great photos, and lifelong memories. However, it can also be a pain at times–especially when it comes to food. Everyone wants something different, everyone has a different budget, and everyone seems to be hungry at different times. There is also always that one friend who has an extremely low hunger tolerance. With Spring Break coming up and speaking as the notoriously hangry friend, here are some tips I've developed for staying sane and well fed while traveling with friends. 

1. Be flexible—to a point

Emily Breay

This goes for nearly every aspect of group travel—but it is very important when it comes to choosing what to eat. If you are the "down for anything" friend, great! But if you are not, don't try to force yourself into that role. You could end up eating something you didn't want to try in the first place. Try to be flexible and open to everyone's ideas. However, if you really are opposed to something—especially if a dietary restriction is involved—speak up!

2. Respect the lowest budget

toast, sweet, bread, butter, grilled cheese sandwich, cake, honey, pastry, cheese
Christin Urso

You may have saved up and have cash to burn on your trip, but that does not mean your travel companions are in the same boat. Remember that while you can suggest some pricier options, understand and respect that you may be shot down due to others' financial situations

3. Get whatever you need at each place

Emily Breay

Even if you may end up eating at cheaper restaurants, you should get whatever you need at each place. Never feel bad if you need to order more to stay full, or want to splurge on a pricier menu item or appetizer. In this same vein, try not to make anyone else feel bad about what or how much they want to eat. 

4. Do not let yourself get hangry

Emily Breay

It is extremely rare that your entire group will be on the same hunger schedule. Some people eat one or two huge meals and then they're set. Others like smaller portions and snacking throughout the day. If you know you get hungry more often than your group, be upfront about it. Maybe keep some snacks on hand. Being open early on is much better than getting to a point where you are starving and about to snap at the next person who suggests another sight to see. 

5. Snack away

cereal, corn, honey, wheat, rice, sweet, granola
Torey Walsh

Snacks are great! Trail mix, granola bars, chocolate, crackers...these easily portable items can save you money and time in between meals because you can stay full on the go. It is sometimes good to keep a mighty snack collection for the whole group, so you can share the wealth. But again, if you personally need to eat more often, it is perfectly fine to keep your own little hoard. 

6. Stay hydrated

juice, ice, soda, water, milk
Alexa Rojek

No matter where you’re going—tropical or not—it is essential to constantly drink water. You'll likely be outside and walking a lot. You may be trying every corner cafe's cappuccino or every tiki bar's margarita. These drinks, on top of being out in the sun, dehydrate you, and you do not want to get a headache or fatigued while you're exploring. So bring that portable water bottle along, and make sure you look into the water supply wherever you're going. 

7. Pay each other back quickly and precisely 

Lexi Shepherd

Venmo is your friend, but make sure it is used equitably. Some places don't split the bill, and people forget their wallets or are short a few dollars. If someone pays for your meal, don't assume that "getting the next one" will always cover it. Make sure everyone is paid exactly what they are owed, so you don't end up in a messy game of "who owes who" toward the end of your trip. 

8. Plan a group picnic

Emily Breay

Not every vacation meal needs to—or should—be at a restaurant. Shake things up and plan a group picnic. See if you can find a local market and get some bread, cheese, and produce to share. You may even stumble upon a local delicacy. Picnics are great because they allow you to share food, save money, eat in a cool spot, and maybe even have some leftovers. 

9. Plan a home-cooked meal

#cheese, #pizza, #shreddedcheese, #cheesegrater, #cooking, #food, #photography, #foodporn
Yasmeen Aboulhawa

An easy way to avoid eating at a restaurant is to arrange some home-cooked meals. If a kitchen is available to you on your trip—looking at you Airbnb—be sure to make use of it at least a few times. Your group can decide on a simple dish and make some quick staples, or you can plan an elaborate concoction where everyone pitches in ingredients. Either way, cooking saves you money and can make for some of the best memories and bonding of the trip. 

10. Plan a fancy meal

tuna tartare, tuna, fish, dairy product, vegetable
Nicole Korolevich

A "fancy meal" does not mean eating at the top of the Eiffel Tower. But if you have been frugal for most of your meals, eating in, and/or eating infrequently, see if it's in everyone's budget to splurge on one nicer restaurant. This splurge can be a great way to explore the best of local cuisine, make a night of it, and try something new. 

11. Trust in recommendations

Emily Breay

Before you even get on a plane, ask around to see if you or your travel companions know anyone who has been to where you're going. People are often eager to offer recommendations and have most to say by way of food. If you get a good list, don't feel obligated to stick to it. Use it as a solid set of options when you're out of ideas or no one can decide. 

12. Be open to splitting off

soup, corn, chowder, Lunch, cafe, Restaurant, Kitchen
Alex Frank

If you are a part of a larger travel group, eating altogether at one place for every meal can be difficult or downright impossible. That's why it's important to be open to splitting off and exploring or eating in smaller groups. People can maximize their happiness, and a smaller group can be a great change of pace. The buddy system is key here though–try not to let anyone wander off alone. 

13. Encourage "family style" at some restaurants

Emily Breay

"Family style" just means sharing meals at restaurants, and it's a great option for a large group of friends. If there are some items on the menu that sound good to everyone, order a few full entrees for the entire group to share, and see how you feel. You may not need your own dish to get full. This way, you can also sample something you might not have tried otherwise. 

14. Give everyone a chance to add input

pizza, cheese, bread, italian
Denise Uy

Traveling with a group is a surefire way to find out different personality types among your friends and learn some things about yourself. If you are a vocal, strong-willed, diligent planner, understand that some of your companions may not be the same way, and make sure they get a chance to give their input. On the flip side, if you are not one to share your opinion because you're afraid to or you genuinely don't care, try speaking up a few times, and at least make sure you are content with others' choices. 

15. Step out of your culinary comfort zone

meat, sandwich, gyro, kebab, chicken, french fries, Greece, greekfood, Pita, Greek food, European food
Julia Gilman

Traveling is one of the best ways to try new foods, but some of us are more adventurous eaters than others. Encourage your group to try something unexpected and take yourselves out of your comfort zone. If it works out, you have added spectacularly to your food repertoire. If not, you and your friends got a good story—and probably a good laugh—out of the meal, and you know not to try it again.

Emily Breay

In my various travels with different friends, I have learned that I am a "down for everything" companion—if I am well fed. Acknowledging my tendency to get "hangry" easily has taught me a lot about how to stay sane and happy traveling in a big group. If you're sailing away with friends this Spring Break, take these tips along and make some memories.