“There ain’t no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them.” Mark Twain
Tiredness, poor orientation, delays, lost luggage and the occasional terrible meal – travelling with people can be a serious test of a relationship.
Whether you’re travelling the world or just hoping to the next city for a well-deserved break, the right travel companion – one that will enjoy the sights (and share your picture-happy habits), the exotic food (and not complain once about always eating it cold) and the aimless wandering – will enhance any adventure.
So choose wisely (with some help of the points listed below).
And once you find your perfect travel companion don’t let that person go. Or -even better- go with them!
1. Discuss your expectations
When it comes to travelling, some people like seeing all the sights. Others prefer travelling like a local. There are the foodies. The shopping lovers. The museum goers. The nature seekers. The ones that just want to relax and take it easy by the pool with a cocktail in their hand…
And all are great ways to see a new place – as long as whoever you’re travelling with share your views on the matter. So before you start planning and booking, make sure you discuss must-sees and must-dos and check that your travel companion’s and your expectations of what you want to do on the trip match to some extend!
2. Make sure your travel paces align
While you’re at it, you’ll also want to discuss how much you’re expecting to do on your trip.
Do you want to visit a city/area in depth, leaving a lot of time for wandering and getting lost or would you rather hit several cities/countries in that same amount of time?
Will you be up at the crack of dawn and pack every day with as many activities as possible, or would you rather sleep in and take things slowly?
Are you planning to beat your personal best in terms of daily steps, or would you rather favour public transport or taxis?
Again, there’s no right or wrong answer – it’s only a matter of personal preference (and level of exhaustion!) – but discussing this ahead of time will make your trip much more enjoyable for everybody!
3. Check you’re on the same page budget-wise
No matter where you go, your travel budget will really affect your trip – from the destination (short VS long haul), to deciding where to stay, what to do and where to eat.
Trust me – there’s nothing more frustrating than trying to save when your travel companion wants to splurge or vice-versa.
The budget discussion is not an easy one, but it’s one you’ll want to have very early on. The best approach in my experience is to agree on an overall ‘budget’ so your spendings should not come as a surprise to anyone in your travel party.
4. Be flexible and make the most of your differences
You don’t have to agree on everything and have the exact same idea/desire/need for every single second of the entire trip.
Maybe your list of must-sees isn’t exactly the same? Maybe your travel companion of choice really wants to do something you’re not all that excited about?
But in travel as in many other things – your differences make you a stronger team. So compromise. Do some of the things they suggest. Push your boundaries. Drag them to that can’t-miss-won’t-miss exhibition in return.
You’ll all get out of it better (if only because you’ve learnt something about yourself!).
5. Consider your options for alone time
Because you’re travelling with other people doesn’t mean you should have the option to split for a while and go do your own thing. This is especially important if you’re travelling as a big group (be them friends or family).
Fellow introverts / curious wanderers, trust me on that one. Planning ways to escape / do the things no one else is even remotely interested in (a city walk, a trip to the museum, a cycling excursion to the next village, a nap…) is a life (and trip) saver!
6. When in doubt – pick the ones that always say yes to cake!
People who like food are always the best people.
This post was written as part of this month’s #travellinkup, all about travel companions, be they constant, occasional, animal, crazy or simply left at home. If you want to join in the #travellinkup fun, pop your post up over the first week of the month (the 1st – 7th Oct.), then add it to the link up widget found on Follow Your Sunshine, SilverSpoon London, Adventures of a London Kiwi or Wandermust Family.