I usually travel alone.

There are a lot of reasons why I choose to be on my own when I’m hitting the road, but it all boils down to one thing: total freedom. I don’t have to wait for anyone. I don’t need to consider anyone else’s taste or feelings. I don’t get forced to be in group photos, which tend to be sort of mandatory when I’m with friends.

But there are times when traveling with familiar souls is unavoidable. It’s not easy planning trips for a group. It’s difficult to find the best deals on accommodations and airfare. It’s difficult to create an itinerary that would fit everyone’s interests. It’s difficult to bring them all together. Yes, planning a group tour is difficult. And flakers make it a lot worse.

Oh yes, what could be more horrible than last minute cancellations? Whenever I plan trips with friends, there’s always one or more backing out, leaving the rest of the group with more problems than expected.

Here’s what you need to understand with “group traveling.” I wish I could say that you’re too adorable we can’t go without you. Maybe you are. But that’s not the point. Since you already said “yes,” someone in the group might have already paid for airline tickets or accommodations in advance and it will be a shame to leave them unused.

So this post is for people who are planning trips or other activities with their friends. Hope this helps. Here are the top 5 signs that your friends are flaking on you according to PhilippineBeaches.org fans.

Flakers are desirable only when they come in this form. Much more useful.

5. Details keep on changing.

Common flaker remark: “Can we move the date?”

One of my friends planned a trip to Tuguegarao in Cagayan. It wasnt her idea; it was something that came up at a school reunion party and everyone loved it. She was tasked to put the trip together and let them know the details. At first, everyone was enthusiastic. But as the big day drew nearer, so did the destination. She kept on hearing complaints like, “Oh, it’s too far. Can we choose a closer destination?” So they changed it to Anawangin Cove in Zambales. And then complaints about facilities (or the lack thereof). Changed to Subic. Then to Puerto Galera. (This circle of friends is based in Batangas so Mindoro is much nearer.)

And then, they decided to cancel it.

Seems like it happens to others, too. Babylyn, a fan of PhilippineBeaches.org, shared:

Una, malayo pa ‘yung mga pupuntahan. Habang lumalapit na yung travel date, palapit na ng palapit sa Manila, hanggang sa kanya kanyang bahay na lang. Nagkakatamaran na. (First, everyone agrees on a distant destination. And as the travel date draws nearer, the destination choice gets closer to Manila too, until we all decide to just do a sleepover. But then everyone is too lazy for anything.)

It does not happen only to big trips like that. Have you ever planned a simple night-out and realized that the bar or restaurant you’re planning to go to just keeps on changing and then finally, laziness gets the better of you and then poof, it’s canceled.

Not just with destinations, same thing applies to dates. When the date of the trip keeps on changing, you have a problem.

4. Uncertainty strikes.

Common flaker remark: “Let me check my schedule/budget.”

At first, everyone is excited. At first, everyone is very very sure. And then, uncertainty strikes! Nadeen Olivar ‎shares:

100% sure na sure sa umpisa until maybe nang maybe until “hope so” nang “hope so.” Kapag andyan na, “Ay! Sayang naman, di na tayo TULOY! GRRRRR! High blood! (100% sure at first until sure turns to maybe.)

Well, most people are sincerely uncertain but sometimes, being uncertain is a convenient excuse to just back out. And this makes it even worse. if you’re sure early on that you can’t make it, say it right away so the poor planning friend won’t overbook or if we have booked already, we can find a replacement as early as possible and avoid all the hassle that comes with your uncertainty.

3. Commitment vanishes.

Common flaker remark: “Text text na lang.”

You have a problem when each time you bring up the planned trip in your conversations, one of your friends keep on dodging it — changing the topic or saying, “We’ll see,” or “Let’s talk about it later.” Here are some more scenarios:

Aurora de Leon: That awkward moment when you are starting to talk about the plan and nobody seems to listen to you. :)

Anthony: Kapag palanging ang bukambibig ay “Sige, text text na lang.”

It’s pretty simple. When a friend avoids the topic, he/she is most probably not gonna join the trip. They just don’t know how to say it to you straight.

2. Conditioning starts.

Others have a way of backing out that somehow prepares you for the impending doom. It’s called “conditioning.” It’s when your friend begins telling you that there could be something that might prevent him/her from going with you but it’s not final yet. For example, they tell you that suddenly they have so much work to do and they might not be able to finish by the target date of the trip but they will try and they think they could do it and they still want to join but let’s see. If you hear something like that, take that as “I’m out.”

The upside is, they are giving you a hint. Downside, come on, stop leading us on! If you can’t, just say so. Don’t make us expect you could still make it when you have no intention to.

1. No response is “NO” response.

When your friends are not responding when you bring up the trip, they are probably not joining.

Jasmin Gonzales: When no one from the group pays the dues or your friends keep on ignoring you when you start to collect payment.

Jasmin mentioned a good point. Sometimes, the best sign of commitment is paying the dues. And if it’s only a few days before the trip and no one has chipped in yet, don’t shoulder anything because there’s a good chance that the trip isn’t going to happen.

There’s a reason you are invited — we want you to be part of the experience. You know why? Because you’re a friend. And when you give us your word that you’re going, then go. And if there really is a good reason to back out, please, please don’t do it at the last minute.

How about you? Have you experienced something like this? Do you have more signs to add? Share your stories!


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Yoshke Dimen

Storyteller at Yoshke.com
Yoshke is a part-time digital marketing consultant, part-time travel blogger, and full-time dreamer. He has three passions in life: social media, travel, and --- wait for it --- world peace. Yoshke has won 3 PHILIPPINE BLOG AWARDS and received 9 nominations. Learn more about his personal journeys at Yoshke.com.
Yoshke Dimen

Comments

  1. OMG YES. #5 is my biggest pet peeve! When people has obviously “seen” the discussion and refuse to just say “no”. Although I can’t get completely made at friends who flake ’cause I’m guilty of it, too. Haha. Usually when I flake, it’s usually because I’m moody about being surrounded by people.

  2. Joseline Alosbaños says:

    I agree to all the above. We are planning to travel to Japan in 2017 but decided to move it the following year (2018) ’cause one of the planner’s parent died this years (and is a possible candidate for operation).

    We decided not to talk for the meantime para di pare-pareho mafrustrate. Baka ang ending is either #3 or #4. Oh well there is solo travel na lang to consider.

  3. Milet Miranda says:

    “The upside is, they are giving you a hint. Downside, come on, stop leading us on! If you can’t, just say so. Don’t make us expect you could still make it when you have no intention to.”

    This post is spot on! Super relate ako!

    • lev says:

      oo nga ako rin.. iremember when we paln to go to borawan in quezon biglang 1 araw na lang di na tuloy.. nagfile ka pa naman ng leave tapos ganun lang mangyayari..

  4. I agree group traveling can be a pain when you are with the WRONG GROUP of “friends” or family. Trick is, find the right friends that you can have adventures with. Experience shared are much more meaningful for me. :)

    • Serenity Ramos says:

      Happening to me right now. Arrgggh. After all the efforts, from staying up late for the much awaited seat sale, searching and talking to a lot of organizers about the trip and possible accomodations. After throughly planning the itineraries.. biglang “sorry friend hindi ako pwede” and yeah plus those many times that they ignored you and they don’t seem that excited as you about the travel. Nakakalungkot. Sayang lahat ng effort. I’m really hurt to the point na I promised my self that this would be the last time that I’ll plan travels with them. Better to be alone, or to stay home. Lesser stress I guess.

  5. You want to plan a trip get the money upfront with no refunds, people will agree to things without thinking them through, most adults should know this, there’s even a word for it, appeasement. If your stupid enough to plan holidays for other people without putting conditions in place your setting yourself up, own your mistake don’t complain about other people.

  6. Tens chie says:

    Spot on! Nangyayari na ngaun, since peak season na… Papalapit ang date, paubos din ang pera hehe.. there are those who even wants to get their money back at the las minute bec they can’t make it.. Its very difficult to plan and research, and talk to different people with regards to accommodations, fares and everything that goes with the trip. Pag ngpost ka ng pic na di sila kasama sasabihin di ka nag-invite, pag ininvite mo naman daming alibi.. haha… hirap. Need mo ng patience at flexibility pag organizer ka,

  7. Joseline Alosbaños says:

    One of the burdens I had experienced is that I used my credit card in paying for plane tickets and airbnb accommodation. Gusto nya huhulugan nya at ng friend nya. Tapos yung pinsan mo nagdemand na bayaran agad ng cash ang Universal Studio tickets. Ang nakakainis pa, napagbintangan pa ako na pinagkakitaan ko pa yun.

    Same thing with the Hong Kong trip, di na ako binayaran ginamit pa ako (sa pagyayabang).

    So, ayoko na talagang me kasama or kung meron man, I need to lay all my conditions and non negotiable talaga sya. Di baleng magisa at walang selfie, at least di ako makukunsumi ng bonggang bonga.

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