You Can’t Travel with Everybody! Some Friends Have to Stay at Home.

Dear T,

How do you tell a friend he’s not invited on a trip?  So I have this close friend who I’ve known for over 2 years.  He moved to the area, I met him at my old job, and we just clicked.  Since he started hanging out with me, I naturally started bringing him around my group of friends.  Which was cool at first. My friends seemed to like him and they would even hang with him when I wasn’t available.  Well last summer we all took a trip to Vegas for my other friend’s birthday.  That’s when the “new” friend showed his ass a bit.  He got drunk nearly every night and was super belligerent and very sloppy.  I mean he literally got so bad one night he got us into a fight on the Vegas strip with some other guys over nothing. We almost got arrested.  He also kept trying to kiss my one friend in the mouth, and needless to say my friend was not interested. Eventually the new friend apologized to all of us and we forgave him, but my old friends stopped hanging around him as much.

Long story short, my group of friends and I have been planning a trip to Punta Cana for my 25th birthday, and all my friend are on board to go.  However, through texts I found out that my original group of friends don’t want my newer friend to go on the trip.  They’ve even said they’ll consider not going on trip if this guy is going. I understand their concern, but now I don’t know what to do.  He already knows about the trip. Hoping you can help.  Sorry if this is a little long winded.


Frankie no Neffe,

Dear Frankie no Neffe,

Thanks for writing to me.  I have to admit, your alias “Frankie no Neffe” made me chuckle a bit.  While I never made a point to watch the show on BET, I’m familiar with it.  I actually caught a preview for the new season of Iyanla: Fix My Life, and it looks like Neffe will be on it.  It might be worth you checking out. Anyway, before I get too off track, let me start addressing your problem.

Look, traveling out of the country can be a costly expense.  You have to purchase a flight, pay for your accommodations, possibly get or renew your passport, and you most definitely have to have some spending cash.  I’m sure you want to be able to eat, drink, and be merry so to speak. With that said, traveling outside of the country takes too much of an investment for you to travel with chaos and drama.

I completely understand your old group of friends not wanting to travel with your new buddy.  While they may have forgiven him for his Vegas antics, they obviously don’t trust him not to repeat some of his bad behavior.  They probably believe in the Maya Angelou quote, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.”  Your friends just don’t want to risk spending their money if there is a good chance of foolishness reoccurring.

Now here’s the thing, you said this trip is for your 25th birthday.  Which means, you have the final say on who is and who is not invited.  However, unless you planned on paying the cost of the trip for all of your invited guests, then your guests have a right to chime in on certain aspects.  Again, it is your birthday celebration, but it’s their coins.  And if they don’t want to spend their money to travel in discomfort because of one person, that’s their right.  But it’s also within your right not to let anyone dictate your special occasion.

If I were a betting man however, I’d venture to say that you aren’t necessarily an advocate of this new friend going on the trip either.  The language in your letter suggests that you are really just concerned with hurting this person’s feelings by not including him.  And with this being the case, you want to know how to rescind his invitation and maintain your friendship?

Unfortunately, whether you two remain friends after you tell him he can’t go on your trip will be more so up to him then you.  No matter how nicely you explain to him that you’d like him to sit this trip out, how he receives the information will determine the direction of your friendship. Hopefully, he’ll be mature about the situation and try not to cause you any anxiety in your birthday planning.  However, I want you to be prepared that your amigo may not take the news that well, because there’s a chance he won’t.

Suggestions going forward.

  1. You could be straight up with your reckless friend and tell him that your friends aren’t that comfortable with him going on the vacation. If by chance you would actually like him to go, suggest that he meet your friends without your present, and have him make his case of why Punta Cana will be different from Vegas. Let your buddies sort it out. If you don’t want him to attend, explain you’re sorry that he can’t go, but would love to spend time with him before or after your birthday.  If you have the money for multiple trips, suggest you and he take a mini vacation somewhere. But regardless of what happens, make sure you let him know you still value his friendship.


  1. If you find yourself overcome with anxiety about hurting your newer friend’s feelings, have one of your old friends take over in the planning of the trip. Have them take care of invites, logistics, etc. Should your new friend ask about details of trip, simply explain your other friend is planning the occasion and he’ll have to ask him.  One of two things will happen next.  Either your new buddy will feel uncomfortable asking your old buddy because they don’t click like that and just not ask for details, or you old friend will be left to tell the new friend he isn’t invited.  This is kind of a cop out way to handle the situation, but it’s an option.


As always nothing but love,


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