Do Your Friends Have Different Religions? Here Are 3 Things to Remember When Traveling Together

It's common nowadays to have friends who come from all walks of life and faith. People are more open to mingling with their peers and making compromises in respect of each other's religious beliefs. This might've been tricky for you and your closest friends when you first started hanging out, but you eventually learned the ropes of being in a diverse social circle. 

Just because you've achieved this level of camaraderie, however, doesn't mean you can be less meticulous in planning your first overseas trip. Spending an afternoon in a spa is different from spending a week together in a foreign country. If you want to make this work without developing ill feelings for each other, there are three things in particular that you need to remember.

Everyone Must Agree

Your choice of location and activities shouldn't be taken lightly. Neither should you make decisions without everyone's approval. No matter how long you've known each other, it's unlikely that you'll have their faith down to a tee unless you've traveled with them before. Spending several days together will let you witness faith-based practices like Islam's five daily prayers and a Christian's daily Bible devotion. Mormons, too, are avid readers of the Scripture and will need time to reinforce their faith daily. 

This means you have to intentionally create a margin for these activities and other faith-based practices they need to perform throughout the day. If you're skiing in a resort in Niseko, Japan, schedule breaks in case one needs to get away for prayer. If you've paid for an LDS travel, let your Mormon tour guides know in advance that you have people of diverse faith in your group. It's by planning for any obstacle you might face that you'll be able to get the most out of your vacations.

Talk About Meals

Food is where things get tricky. Muslims don't eat anything with animal fat, Mormons don't take alcohol, coffee, or tea, and a Christian could have Biblical or personal convictions about food. Buddhist practice lacto-vegetarianism, and Hindus do not eat meat, fish, or eggs. The variety of restrictions and preferences you have makes meals an important discussion when traveling.

If you can look up places in advance that cater to all your dietary needs, then you have a head-start. The bad news is that rarely will all the places you visit have these dining places. Compromising each other's diet is never an option. Consider splitting up instead and partnering with those who have the most common meal requirements. Keep in touch or Face Time while eating. Doing so will let you enjoy your meals while feeling as though you're eating together. This may not be what you had in mind, but respecting each other's faith is more important.

Sundays Are Holy

family in church

When possible, plan your vacations on weekdays and avoid religious holidays. Sundays are holy for most religions, and they'll most often prefer to attend church in their locality. If it can't be helped that one of your vacation days land on a Sunday, however, help each other find places of worship where you're currently staying.

Mormons have many churches worldwide and often have no trouble finding one during vacations. The same goes for Muslims and Christians. Buddhists might need to locate an image of Buddha or listen to monks, and Hindus can worship in isolation by repeating the names of their favorite gods and goddesses.

While it's okay to learn about each other's faith, agree beforehand to avoid any conversation that may trigger arguments. Your vacation also shouldn't be riddled with attempts to convert one another. Allow each one to practice their faith, especially on days they consider holy, and then stick to your itinerary.

Anticipate a Different Experience

Traveling with people of diverse faith will be different from your usual vacations. Keep an open mind and remember to value your friendship despite your differences. When you do this, it's easier to make the most out of every vacation you take together.

Scroll to Top