Conversations like that are vital, said Marisa G. Franco, a psychologist and friendship expert.
“Friends should certainly have discussions from the get-go about boundaries, priorities and the issues that could arise,” she said. “It may feel awkward, but it will feel way more awkward if your friend shows up and she’s not wearing a mask.”
But as Judy Nelson, 38, learned while deciding whether to travel with three other families to Seaside Heights, N.J., this summer, even teed-up quarantine values can turn into a case of “the best-laid plans.”
“There was a bit of ‘I really want to go but I’m sort of on the fence’ conversations, but truthfully, it all fluctuated with how the news was looking,” said Ms. Nelson, the communications director at a design firm.
A few weeks before the July trip, Ms. Nelson and her husband, who live in Brooklyn, took their toddler daughter to Jacob Riis Park, a beach in Queens. She relayed what she saw — droves of mask-less sun-seekers — to the group. A few texts and emails later, they canceled their Jersey Shore vacation.
“Canceling felt heavier this year than in other years, because in other years we would have all had more changes of scenery by now,” she said.
Others found that their trips were no match for travel restrictions and clamped-down borders.
Patrick McDermott, who lives in Abu Dhabi, was excited about heading to Connemara, in Western Ireland, with the group of friends he has traveled with every summer for more than 15 years, despite their being spread across multiple continents and countries.
“It has become a cherished tradition and something that all of us, especially our kids, look forward to all year,” said Mr. McDermott, 42, the founder of the points-and-miles website The Expat Flyer.