Both traveling solo and with someone have their pros and cons. As a solo traveler, you can do anything you want without the need to compromise. Nevertheless, sometimes it’s great to share the experience with another person. When you reach a new, exciting place, there’s someone right next to you who feels equally amazed. In difficult moments, there’s someone you can solve the problems with. It can be beautiful, but only if the travel mate is a good match. Choosing the wrong buddy can destroy your trip, so it’s crucial to find the right person. Here’s a list of tips that will come in handy when it’s time to pick a travel mate.
Friends aren’t always good to travel mates
You might have been friends for years. You might have been the best men on each other’s weddings, partied thousands of nights together, shared a flat or studied at the same high-school. It doesn’t matter; traveling is a whole different thing. It’s surprising what kind of traits people reveal on the road. Be aware that you can find out new things about your friend during the journey, especially if it’s a long one – and vice versa. Don’t just assume you’ll get along because you’ve known each other for a long time. Treat your best friends as you’d treat any other potential travel mates. Tell them what this trip means to you, what and how you want to do. Ask them about their goals and listen carefully what they say. Discuss and find out whether you have shared objectives.
Have some common interests
It’s going to be hard to travel with a fashion designer who mostly wants to wander around boutiques if you prefer to stay in nature, hike, sail and observe wildlife. It’s good to have something to talk about and a few activities you both enjoy. You don’t have to be interested in the same things, of course. Don’t reject travel mates just because they aren’t into cooking or reading as much as you do. The perfect balance is when you share some interests, but is also able to accept the differences between you. If you both love surfing, you may spend one day together catching the waves, but the next day you stay on the beach with this amazing book you’ve just bought, while your mate goes climbing some rocks.
Don’t go backpacking with a luxury-seeker
It’s incredibly important to have a similar way of traveling. While many differences are acceptable, it’s hard to hitch-hike with someone who doesn’t like spontaneity and must have a detailed plan for everything. It’s equally difficult the other way around. If you don’t feel comfortable backpacking, wild camping, and hiking, you shouldn’t travel with a survivalist. People look for various things while traveling. For some having fun and relaxing is a priority, while others want to explore the cultures, reach unpopular places and talk with locals as much as possible. Make sure your general goals are similar. The minor things don’t matter as much as the primary objectives.
Make sure you’re able to communicate with your travel mate
By “communicate” we don’t mean just exchanging words, but comprehending them as well. You must be able to find common ground. Talk about your plans, share ideas and check whether you understand each other. If you can’t agree before the journey begins, you’ll most likely have to face lots of conflicts on during the trip. Ask your prospective travel mates how much time they expect to spend together with you if they’re okay with being alone sometimes, how they’d solve some problems if they appear. Listen to them carefully and give feedback. You should be open with each other. To avoid misunderstandings, you must be able to let your travel buddy know in case something bothers you. Don’t be afraid to express your opinion and expect the same honesty from their side.
Agree on a similar budget
Whether we like it or not, money matters. The budget plays a significant role in your travels. It affects the way you move around places, the choice of accommodations and activities. When you’re a backpacker traveling on a small budget, it’s terrible to be accompanied by someone with loads of money who’ll constantly try to push you to spend more than you have. It might also be frustrating to travel with a caring person if you’ve been saving money to enjoy some luxury during your holidays.
Ask your travel mate where they’d like to stay: hotels, hostels, wild camping? Tell them where you want to dine: restaurants, street food, buying groceries in a shop and making picnics on the beach? The best solution is to agree on a similar budget. If you have the same amount of money, you won’t have to talk through all the expenses; you’ll just naturally manage the finances the same way.
Avoid picky, crazy and whiny individuals as a travel mate
It doesn’t mean you have to be judgmental. The fact someone’s extraordinary doesn’t mean they will make a bad travel partner, but use your intuition and pay attention to the way you feel about them. If you immediately notice someone’s an extreme chatterbox while you enjoy silence, they’ll probably annoy you. As an adventurer, you’ll be tired of a company of people who tend to complain a lot and be overly sensitive about themselves. Check how independent your potential buddy is. The best way to do it is sharing some responsibilities. Don’t book all the tickets and accommodations, let them do a part of the work, you’ll see how well they can manage. Besides, picky people are usually hard to make trips. Choosing someone who needs everything to be done their way might ruin your trip. Make sure the person you’re about to travel with can compromise.
Test each other on a short trip
Don’t go on around the world trip with someone you’ve just met. Instead, go for a small trip, a weekend getaway at least. Even a few days can be enough to see how you get along. It’s a great opportunity to check how your mates behave on the road, where they prefer to eat, how much time they like to spend alone, whether they’re always in a hurry or relaxed. Someone who will make you irritated within two days surely won’t make a good companion for a long journey.
You don’t have to be like a couple of inseparable lovebirds
You’re travel mates, but it doesn’t mean you have to do everything together. Give your travel partner some space and ask them to do the same for you. It’s especially important for long trips. Spending a lot of time with the same person is usually difficult. Even someone you adore can become a bit tiring if they’re around all the time. You can spend two days hiking together, but after that separate for a few hours and use this time to do different things. This way you’ll have a chance to rest, and once you meet again, you’ll have stories to share.
Leave a comment and tell us about your experiences with travel mates! And share this article with your friends to save them from traveling with a wrong companion.