Picking your travel buddy can be hard sometimes. The possibilities of things going wrong are endless.
Losing luggage, food poisoning, missing your flight.
But nothing is worse than having to spend every second with unfavorable travel companions.
Now, I consider myself someone who has travelled a sufficient amount and with a decent assortment of people.
Complete strangers? Check
Best friends…Frenemies…Friends with Bennies?? Check, Check and absolutely Check!
From my own personal experiences and surveying those around me, I can confirm, finding the right travel companions is a universal struggle for EVERYONE.
Here are the top 11 things to consider and questions to ask with yourself before committing to your potential travel buddies:
Ordinarily, people do not have a crazy amount of issues with most other people..well, unless you are an ass hole. But when it comes to travelling, keeping in mind how much you can tolerate the people around you is vital if you are going to have any chance in hell of a great trip. Do you really get along? Can you spend days on end with them and still enjoy their company? OR do you usually have to hang out with them in moderation? Do their weird smells or obnoxious laughs make your hair curl?
Make sure you can genuinely be around these people for long periods of time without wanting to push them off a cliff because well, you most likely will!
Getting arrested for murder is probably not something you wish to include in your travel itinerary.
If you are trying to go on an awesome adventure trip, but your travel buddy wants to do nothing but lay on the beach and count the sand, you will be in for some trouble. Having similar travel objectives and common interests are important so everyone can get what they want out of the trip. Is your objective snowboarding but everyone else will just be in the lodge drinking? Is your intent action with skydiving and zip-lining but everyone else will just be by the pool? I am not saying you have to do everything together..please don’t, actually. But the overall purpose of the trip needs to be in agreement for everyone to be happy.
Otherwise, I’d say screw it! You’re better off travelling alone.
3. Travel Experience When Picking Your Travel Buddy
Something to keep in mind is the amount of travel experience your potential partners have. Do they travel often? Have they ever left the country? Can they live for 2 weeks without seeing their dog?
Being able to travel at ease and in comfort is usually a skill developed after travelling frequently. Plane rides get easier, culture shock decreases, fears of getting kidnapped rationalize AND you get more adventurous with the things you put in your mouth!
For newbies that all might be a bit much, causing stress between the new and veterans travellers. It is better to confront this, in the beginning, to see if travelling together would really suit.
When travelling, believe it or not, money matters! Shocking, I know.
Travelling with people with extremely higher budgets than others can cause a lot of tension even with the smallest situations. Do you want to stay somewhere nice? Eat fine dining? Or is your budget hostels and fast food?
Those with the extra cash will either have to help pay for the others throughout the entire trip in order to do what they want, or they will have to comprise what they want to do down to what the others can afford.
Nobody wants the quality of their trip reduced by other’s financial restrictions .. and nobody wants to be that broke ass burden holding others back.
5. Open-Mindedness When Picking Your Travel Buddy
How open or how closed the minds are around you will impact everyone’s attitude. Make sure your partners are just as open-minded or as closed-minded as you are to help reduce argument and increase all the amazing opportunities out there to enjoy. Do they think they are always right? Will they give you attitude when you want to try something new?
Make sure to pack an open-mind inside your carry on to ensure you and your buddies get the most out of the experience.
And for those who prefer to leave it at home, just make sure you remind everyone else to do the same.
6. Moods and Maintenance
This one can be a killer when travelling, especially if you find out too late. Travelling with moody people just might be the worst way to directly affect your mood. Misery loves company, but if you can choose your company before you travel, don’t take anyone miserable!
High maintenance individuals are more likely to carry this moody gene when things aren’t up to par to what they want. And when things don’t go their way… Holy Moly, let the tantrums begin!
It can be a challenge for both high maintenance people and the low maintenance people to travel together so consider how much maintenance you require and pair up accordingly.
7. Travel Buddy Obligations
Keeping in mind relationships and obligations people will be forced to leave at home is important. Will they be on the phone calling their partner every 5 minutes? Do they need permission to do things? Do you want to go out and party all night? Possibly bring someone back for some hanky panky?
Consider if it is small nights in you are after or long with no memory nights out you want. Depending on what people have waiting for them back home, everyone will have different priorities in this department.
It is better to be singing from the same song sheet with this one to be able to avoid OR invite random people to be dancing in your bed sheets. When picking your travel buddy talk late night fun.
8. Food Restrictions
One of the best things about travelling is FOOD! But everyone nowadays seems to have some type of food issue. Do you love eating everything and anything? OR are you Gluten lactose intolerant with a side of vegan?
People are naturally the most grumpy when hungry and trying to decide on a place to eat in its self is already a challenge- don’t make life harder on yourself! Knowing if you will be able to eat what you want or what you can without pissing off who you’re travelling with would be.. you know, nice?
Just some food for thought…
9. Cultural Tolerance
Understanding how the individuals you are travelling with view cultures will impact the amount of pleasure everyone can get out of the place. Do they view different as bad? Are they extremely judgmental?
In the world today, many many racial intolerant people exist and travelling with someone who isn’t a fan of other cultures will hinder the appreciation and zest of what all the country might have to offer.
Life is always easier when travelling if everyone has the right qualifications. And no, I am not talking about being a “qualified” party animal, though that could be relevant depending on your #2.
Did you want scuba dive? Is there a lot of driving involved? How about pippin out on a boat?
“Whoopsieee sorry Bob, I don’t have a license.. looks like you will need to do all 15 hours of driving today”
Check to see if everyone has what they need to participate in all the fun. These may seem like smalls ideas but can turn in to big problems if not considered beforehand.
You DON’T want to be Bob.
When picking your travel buddy, the most important thing to think about is how much love and admiration you actually have towards those people you pick. Ideally, you want to travel with people that you wholeheartedly want to share these incredible experiences with. Someone where you can be like “OH MY GOD – look at that tree” and they will be like “OH MY GOD” back…. and you will share that phenomenal moment forever.
But if you do not know anyone like that, that’s okay.
Because you see, here is the best thing about travelling…
It doesn’t matter who you travel, holiday, or vacation with, you and them now hold that unique connection. And if you pick the right travel companions, you have now formed a new meaningful bond and relationship that will last a lifetime.
<3 Hot Mess
Did I miss some of your concerns with travel partners?
Loved this post and found I could definitely relate on a couple of levels! The graphics really helped convey the message too!
I especially like your last point about building lasting, meaningful connections. In fact, I’d say it’s the most important part and the rest are details.
That is pretty much spot on. Love it.
Thats great, I love it! I usually travel alone, as I’m an asshole! Also I have see the film Trains Planes and Automobiles, in which Steve Martin is paired with John Candy to great comic effect! I live my life out of films it seems, cos I also loved Forces of Nature, where Sandra Bullock travels with Ben Affleck, confronting many of the situations you mention above.
I can’t really think of any disastrous journeys I have been on with wrong’uns – I once took an unwilling friend on a holiday and made him climb a mountain I wanted to go up, he was fine when we got to the top, but I did have to drag him most of the way. That was just the first day, our transport (a motorbike) cut our trip short by breaking down 200 miles from home, that was when the fun started, lessons were not learned, as a yr or 2 later we both moved to London for a few months of sheer madness! OMG< that was a long time ago, I almost forgot. This guy was lazy and useless, but he was MY FRIEND!! And consequently, liable to be inducted into my great schemes!!! 🙂
Sound advice for relationships in general… maybe the theme of life is a journey…
What a great article. I’m currently on a trip to Maui and one of the people is having emotionally labile moment. On the verge of joining a long time friend on another island. Just waiting to see how tomorrow goes and I’m out of here.