If there’s one thing more important than your destination, it’s who’s going to be there with you, as this can influence every single aspect of your trip. And, while you can be the best of friends with someone, you may find yourself unable to stand traveling with them. There’s a lot more to consider when traveling for days with someone as opposed to simply having them hang out at your place for a few hours. Not facing this reality beforehand can lead to a strain on even the strongest of friendships. If you’re looking to find someone to travel with, here are five things to consider to pick the perfect travel buddy.
This is an obvious one, but a big one. Not only do you have to agree on large costs like airfare and accommodations, but also smaller costs like meals. Some people want to spend every night at a five-star restaurant, and that’s not going to mix well with someone who was hoping to get by with some trips to the local market. Either experience can be amazing, but price difference is unavoidable. Arguments over money are always some of the worst arguments, so it’s best to help yourself avoid them by traveling with someone who has similar spending habits.
© John Jones
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Solely agreeing on a destination simply isn’t enough. In fact, agreeing on nothing else can ruin a whole trip. If you want to spend all of your time hiking, you likely won’t want to forfeit a lot of that to roam museums. And if you hate the woods and dirt and physical activity, you likely aren’t going to want to wake up bright and early for lengthy hike that your friend is determined to accomplish. And even if two friends are interested in the same things, it can be tough to find a balance, so making priorities clear is key.
Even though this is an easy one to overlook, it can bleed into everything. But if you’re an early bird, you’re not going to want to wait hours for your night-owl friend to wake up. Or maybe you’re someone who likes to stay in one place and explore it in-depth while your friend would rather see as many things as possible. While not seeing enough of one place can be a bummer to some, not seeing enough places can be a bummer to someone else.
© Chris Alcoran
It can be difficult to face the reality that traveling can be stressful. It’s always intended to be an overwhelmingly fun experience, but there are so many variables that something is bound to go wrong, however minor or major. And if you can’t handle how your friend deals with stress, you might want to rethink traveling with them. Or consider a lower-maintenance trip, like an all-inclusive resort or cruise.
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Having a laid-back travel buddy that’s down for anything can be great, but sometimes being too laid-back can become an issue. Not having opinions on where to eat, how to spend the day, etc. allows you the freedom to do and see what you want, but can also be frustrating. It can get stressful planning a trip for two by yourself when you essentially have to guess what they will and won’t be okay with if they aren’t giving any input. Make sure your companion has a level of enthusiasm that you are comfortable coordinating a trip with, and this way the thrill of your trip can live up to joint expectations.