There are endless guides about where to take a family vacation or the best places for honeymoons, but articles about vacations with friends often take a backseat.
Travelling with a group of friends often means compromise - half the group may be adventure seekers, while the others are in search of spending their days off relaxing on a beach.
The good news is, in many destinations it’s possible to do all this and more!
From diverse Italy to expansive Vietnam, we’ve rounded up the best places to travel with a group of friends.
A destination that’s found itself firmly on many travellers’ bucket lists, Iceland is a fantastic escape for a group of adventurous travellers. Iceland’s hip capital Reykjavik is filled with stylish bars and restaurants and its colourful streets are a delight to wander along. Home to friendly locals, the infamous Blue Lagoon and boutique shops and coffee houses, Reykjavik is an exciting place for any group of friends to explore. Stop by the moody south coast and the Golden Circle for natural wonders such as the dramatic cliffs of Dyrhólaey and imposing glaciers in Thingvellir National Park.
With incredible ecosystems, amazing wildlife and tropical beaches, Costa Rica caters to almost every kind of traveller. There’s a plethora of activities to enjoy in this Latin American playground. Go turtle tracking in Tortuguero, zip line through forest canopies or hike volcanoes in Arenal Volcano National Park. For wildlife lovers, the Osa Peninsula is home to monkeys, toucans and other exotic wildlife, while those who enjoy relaxing on the beach can soak up the laidback lifestyle of coastal Porto Viejo.
Costa Rica is home to incredible landscapes too. Coffee plantations, rainforests and cloud forests make it one of the most diverse countries on the planet. With so much to choose from, Costa Rica is the perfect destination for a friend-filled vacation.
From bustling cities filled with ancient culture to lush highlands and beautiful beaches, Vietnam has it all. North, central and south Vietnam all offer something slightly different, so you’re guaranteed to find something that caters to your group of friends, no matter what it is everyone is hoping to get out of their holiday!
In north Vietnam, former French hill station Sapa offers the country’s best trekking and Halong Bay’s famed limestone karst landscape is as beautiful up close as it is in the guidebooks. In central Vietnam, cultural hub Hoi An is a beautiful melting pot of Chinese, French and Japanese influences while the extraordinary Hai Van Pass is a must visit for landscape lovers. In the south, vibrant Ho Chi Minh City is filled with delights for foodies, while a cruise down the Mekong River is a relaxing way to take in the local sights and sounds. Vietnam is a vast country with so much to explore – any group of friends is sure to find something that pleases even the most discerning of travellers.
Italy is a country filled with historic cities, delectable cuisine and beautiful coastline. Groups of friends can spend time here wandering the streets of Rome, sailing across Lake Como and the Amalfi Coast, savouring delicious pizza and pasta in Venice or soaking up history in Pompeii. Italy is one of Europe’s most sought-after holiday destinations, and it’s easy to see why.
Each region of this Mediterranean wonderland has its own identity, and with them all combined, Italy is a delightful place to explore. From the incredible buildings of Renaissance Florence to the exquisite beaches of laid-back Puglia, you can’t go far wrong in choosing Italy as the next destination for your group vacation.
Countless game reserves filled with heaps of wildlife, evocative cityscapes, pristine beaches and an exciting food scene – South Africa has everything you could want and more. With awe-inspiring wildlife, world class wineries and incredible lodges, it’s easy to mould South Africa to meet the needs of almost any group of friends. Cape Town offers wonderful dining options and incredible views from the top of Table Mountain, while cultural Johannesburg has a burgeoning public art scene.
Oenophiles can delight in tours of the Western Cape winelands, and of course an opportunity to go on safari is never far away. Track the Big Five in the Sabi Sands game reserve, or sleep out under the stars in the Kalahari Desert. Whatever it is you’re looking to get out of your group vacation, South Africa is sure to provide it.
Historically overlooked in favour of more popular destinations, Sri Lanka is an island nation that has greatly increased in popularity over recent years. It’s no surprise that this undiscovered land has made its way on to everyone’s bucket lists, with beautiful landscapes, incredible wildlife and a fascinating history coming together to make it one of the most mesmerising places in the world.
Animal lovers can go on safari in Yala National Park in search of the magnificent Asian leopard and culture enthusiasts can wander through the incredibly verdant tree plantations and ancient temples. For foodies, the seafood scene is unrivalled. There’s miles of unspoiled coastline too, so it’s excellent for those looking to lay out and relax on a beach.
Australia is one of the largest countries in the world, and as expected it’s also one of the most diverse. Vibrant cities, beautiful vineyards, the wild outback and gleaming coastline understandably put Australia at the top of many travellers’ bucket lists. In a country that’s almost the same size as the continental US, there’s a lot to see and do so you’ll probably have to pick and choose what exactly it is you want to prioritise during your trip.
This doesn’t mean compromising on variety though, as almost every region in Australia is a delightful mixture of metropolis, countryside and coastline. As much of life as possible is lived outdoors here, whether that’s through surfing, fishing, boating or barbecuing. Whatever it is you like to fill your time on vacation with, Australia is sure to have something that suits your group’s fancy.
One of the most diverse countries on the planet, there’s something for everyone in hidden gem Colombia. An ecologically diverse nation, it suits nature lovers and city slickers alike. Foodies can take their time exploring the Coffee Triangle or satisfy their taste buds on a foodie tour of Bogota.
In colourful Cartagena, art enthusiasts can meander through the city’s street art exhibitions and galleries or meet some of the town’s best artists on a captivating art tour. For adventurous types, the rural San Gil and Chicamocha National Park offer opportunities for paragliding, bushwalking and mountain biking amongst other adventure pursuits.