Everybody likes planning a trip to see an old friend — it provides a break from the everyday routine, it gives you a chance to visit somewhere you’ve never been, and, most important, it allows for no-holds-barred behavior that you wouldn’t be capable of doing elsewhere, like at your home.
Regardless of how much fun it is to travel and to experience life, the task of visiting your friend can become extremely complicated, and even cumbersome, if you make the wrong decisions or go into the trip with the wrong attitude.
It’s important to stay positive, remain alert — even when inebriated, and keep on relaxing and having a good time. After all, this is a vacation and you should treat it as such.
With that said, here’s what you shouldn’t do when you’re going out of town to visit a friend:
For obvious reasons, having a run in with the law when you are out of state is never optimal. Perhaps most important, if you’re to somehow mess up your weekend this badly, you should try and make sure you’re doing something that you can pay the fine for right before you leave the area. Having to drive or fly back somewhere to handle open-ended court shit is an absolute nightmare and will only cost you more time and money, and will come with a lot more self-loathing. It’s always best to shore up your mistakes rather than have them linger.
Puke And/Or Shit Everywhere
Again, this is pretty obvious, but it’s shocking how many bros go visit friends in cities they’ve never been to or campuses they don’t know their way around with their sole focus on becoming the drunkest person in the room and end up violently throwing up or, worse, shitting everywhere. This shouldn’t be your goal if you are paying visit to a friend. Take it down a notch or two, and you should be fine.
When you’re a traveler, you should be excused for a lot of different ill-advised behaviors — like being out of control drunk — that you would be called out for if you were in an environment with a crowd of people who knew you. However, this doesn’t give you a get-out-of-jail free card when it comes to defecating in something that isn’t a toilet or vomiting all over the couch that your crashing on. Again, most behavior is allowed but if you take it too far, then you won’t be invited for a return visit.
Disagree and Make a Scene
This can include a lot of behaviors, but the main one is acting like a self-absorbed jackass who thinks he runs the place. This should be avoided mainly because you don’t run any place where you are a foreigner — and that should be common knowledge, but also this type of action will give all people from your school or hometown a bad reputation. You may not give a shit, and you reserve that right, but acting like a snob won’t win you any popularity votes and your weekend trip will become extremely isolated and a lot less fun.
When you’re visiting a friend, the best thing is to go with the flow, make as many new friends as possible, and not try to control any situation, no matter how pissed off you are. Throwing a temper tantrum is frowned upon everywhere you will go in life, but it is especially looked down at when all you should be trying to do is having a good time and relaxing with an old buddy.
Remember Rule #6 of Wedding Crashing: Do not sit in the corner and sulk. It draws attention in a negative way. Draw attention to yourself, but on your own terms.
Pass Out Early
As obvious as this is to the first three items on this list, I feel obliged to have it here at the top because it’s vital to the visits success. The best memories are created late at night and if you’re calling it a night anytime before 3 a.m., then you are missing out on the best part of whatever it is the place your visiting has to offer. You shouldn’t really need any extra incentive to stay up when you’re traveling because the only thing that’s waiting you when its finally time to crash is a worn-down, smelly-old couch that has probably been pissed on several times.
Remember: you can catch up on sleep after you’ve made it safely home to your own bed. Make the most of your journey even if you’re sleep deprived during all of it.
End up in the Hospital
It’s important to note that there are three things wedged in between getting arrested and ending up in the hospital. Your visit will probably still be chalked up as an epic disaster if you end up in the hospital, but spending the night in the hospital is much better than spending it in a police station or a drunk tank — as long as you haven’t broken any bones, you should be ok.
Your liver will probably end up hating you either way, and so will your wallet (hospital stays aren’t cheap), but it’s an improvement over booting all over your friends apartment or pretending like you’re the man when you’re really just an out of towner.
Pull a Vietnam
For those of you who don’t know the phrase “pulling a Vietnam,” it’s quite literal and easy to understand — someone enters a complicated situation and leaves it in far worse condition when they arrived, similar to how the Americans acted in Vietnam in the 1960s and 1970s.
Anyways, removing ourselves from that brief history lesson, pulling a Vietnam during a visit somewhere should really be avoided at all costs because the friend your visiting will be left to clean up the shit-storm you created, which could then create some serious man-drama. Some examples of pulling a Vietnam: sleeping with a chick who one of your buddy’s friends used to date and/or is still dating; getting your buddy and his friends permanently kicked out of a bar; and, probably the worst of all, be the catalyst of an incident that gets your friend and/or his friends physically injured or in trouble with the law or their school.
Lose Your Phone
Getting lost isn’t exactly optimal, but you’re a grown up and you will eventually find your way back to a group of allies that can get you in touch with your friend or get you back home at least, if the situation gets that dire. There’s a high percentage that you will walk away with an amazing story to tell.
With that said, losing your phone really hinders your ability to get found in any situation and, therefore, should be included on this list. Most of the time, if you lose your phone on a visit, you will have to by a burner phone to last the rest of the weekend or buy a whole new phone altogether. Similar to some of the aforementioned Do-Nots on this list, this will be a gigantic waste of time and money.
Act Like a Local
Confidence is always a valuable asset to come armed with, even if you’re in a completely unfamiliar surrounding. However, there is a difference in keeping your composure and pretending like you’re a local resident when you’re really a tourist. What this point really means is don’t make any assumptions of the people or the place you’re visiting, and just listen to what people say. It’s not an original concept, it’s called acting like a guest.
Fight a Friend or a Friend’s Friend
This could probably go under the same umbrella as “Pull a Vietnam” but it isn’t quite as bad because there’s a pretty good likelihood that you and your friend have had a scuffle or two prior to your trip and you can get over it in the long run. However, fighting a friend or fighting a friend’s friend never leaves anybody feeling happy and there’s always a hangover of animosity until you finally skip town for good. Also, the next visit to see your friend may be postponed or may never actually happen. Overall, it’s best not to fight anyone when you’re traveling.
Miss Your Flight Home
This isn’t really as bad as it seems, but definitely deserves a place on this list. After spending an entire weekend, or week, tearing shit apart and acting like a ruthless savage, the last thing you want to do is return to the place you just laid to waste for another night of debauchery. Chances are by this point you’ve already overcome your stay and you will find yourself longing for your own better more than ever before