When you dream of travelling, you usually envision the perfect travel partner – a trip with no stress, no feuds, and no problems. But here’s the thing, no trip is perfect and no person is perfect. It is inevitable that something will go wrong, small or big, but this doesn’t mean you wont have a great time!
Planning a trip is one thing, but how do you pick the perfect partner to tag along with you? Or alternatively, how do you know that you can handle traveling alone?
After travelling with various groups of people (from 15 or so people, all the way to travelling alone) I’ve gotten and idea of the traveler I want to be and those I want to travel with.
Best Qualities to Have as a Traveler
These can apply for traveling on your own or with other people. By no means am I the perfect travel companion, a lot of these qualities I am looking to get better at (see 2016 Travel Resolutions). Whether these are qualities I have or that I’m working on, through my experiences traveling with people I’ve found these are the ones that will be the most beneficial!
1. Easy Going
Don’t be a stress case; stress just puts a damper on your trip. Whether you are alone or with other people, stressing and freaking out about mishaps will not make things better. Clear minds solve problems and have more fun! Especially when travelling in a group, people will enjoy your company a lot more if you aren’t uptight about every decision. Don’t be the one person who doesn’t want to go with the flow, unless you’d like to break from the group and do your own thing for a few hours or so.
This is definitely more important for when you are alone. Don’t be afraid to chat with people. You may find yourself new friends, a new love interest ;), or simply someone to helpfully give you directions to your hostel! There is such a benefit to talking to people!
3. Problem Solver
You will likely face tricky situations here and there (I have on nearly every trip) and it’s a hell of a lot easier to overcome obstacles when you can solve things yourself! Don’t call your mom, who’s across the globe, for help (guilty)!
At least ONE person needs to navigate and keep track of all important documentation – it helps to be that person. Of course it’s best if everyone was on top of their shit, but in my experience, there’s usually only one person in a group who does this. By no means does being responsible mean you can’t let loose and have fun. But trust me, it’s a lot more fun and less nerve wracking when you get lost for the fun of it rather than during the worst time possible. Don’t end up in unnecessary situations that take time away from enjoying your trip.
Travelling With Other People: Find Your Second Half or Compromise
1. Tight Budget vs. Big Spender
Tight on a budget? Don’t travel with people who like to travel luxuriously (unless they will pay for your trip, then by all means! … And ask if I can join too!) You don’t want to be arguing about what to do and where to eat during your trip simply because one of you can’t afford it. Money is an uncomfortable issue to have with friends. Discuss your budgets beforehand and try to get as close to the same page as possible!
2. Sleep vs. Late Night Adventures
Think to yourself, and be honest … Do you want to go out most nights, discovering the nightlife? OR Do you think you’d rather get long nights of rest after long days of touring? Whatever you prefer, double check that who you are traveling with is thinking the same thing! It’d be a bummer if you went backpacking at a young age so you could party the nights away and meet some cute Europeans, only to find out your travel buddy is not down, so you ended up having to go to bed each night at 9pm. And vice versa! It can happen to you.
3. Flexible vs. Scheduled
Do you like to see where the day takes you OR do you like to have everything planned so you can squeeze in every activity recommended by TripAdvisor? Chill people and uptight people usually don’t work well together. As a former control freak, not having a day mapped out can cause anxiety. I’ve shifted to the in-between of the extremes so I can sympathize for both situations!
4. Differing Interests
YES, you can have different interests with who you travel with, in fact, it can make for an even better trip AS LONG AS you are both/all open to delving into each other interests. Whether it’s shopping, R&R, sports, art, history, culture, adventure, or cuisine, you’d be better served by opening your mind to new things.
Though there are many different travel styles, don’t worry, you can easily find someone who will be a good travel buddy! Nothing is perfect – learn that soon if you haven’t already! One of the most important lessons about travelling with people is COMMUNICATION and COMPROMISE.
What do you look for in a travel partner? Let me know in the comments!