What Makes a Good Travel Buddy?You will never really know someone until you have travelled with them, and you will never really know if you can survive on the road together until you have been there and done it.
You might have a fairly good idea of people you would definitely NOT want to travel with, but for those who are in the maybe camp there is no guarantee that just because you get on well down the pub, or at the office that you will not want to pull their eyes out at 4am on a 26hours bus ride when you can't sleep because they just will not stop biting their nails! Gross!
No matter how well you think you know each other, or how tolerant or understanding you think you both can be, a 15 hours delay on a broken down train, an emergency situation on a dark street, or arriving at your hostel at 4am to find that your room has been given away will bring out the best, and the worst, in anyone.
People will show their true colours very quickly, and you might not like what you see.
So what does make a good travel companion?
It will very much depend on you as people, where you are going, and how long you are going for, but there are a few things you can talk about before decide to buy your plane tickets that will hopefully help you avoid some of the dramas that could ruin your trip.
Agree on a budget before you book your trip and then revisit it again before you set off. If one of you wants to go sky diving, drink cocktails every night, or eat at expensive restaurants, and the other wants to live a simpler life, you need to know right from the start so that you can manage each others expectations.
Remember not too scrimp too much on your travels, make sure you splashout from time to time, you’ll have earned it.
The likes and dislikes of your travelling companion will determine how you will spend your time on your trip. It is unlikely to work well if one of you wants to party and site see, and the other wants to lay on a beach all day and got to bed early with a cup of coco and a good book.
It can be good to travel with someone who has different interests too, they can help you to get out of your comfort zone and have new experiences. After all, that’s the point of travelling, right?
Yes, opposites attract! But this is not always a good thing when committing to a travel buddy. You need to be sufficiently different to keep each other interested, and sufficiently similar so that you both make it back alive.
If your friend is overly talkative, obsessive or sensitive and you’re la little more reserved, laid back and thick skinned, you might want to think twice before heading off into the sunset together.
Sex, Drugs, Rock and Roll
If one of you is single and the other has a partner at home, or if one of you is teetotal and the other has a tolerance that would make even Keith Richards raise an eyebrow, you need to know sooner rather than later how you are going to manage these situations as and when they come up.
It doesn’t have to be a deal breaker, but it is certainly a conversation worth having before you book your trip.
Do you get on?
This should be obvious, but it is certainly worth mentioning: spend some time together before you travel. If at all possible, have a weekend away or go on a day out, even if your would-be travel companion is someone you have known your whole life. Travelling is certain to throw up situations that you would never experience in your day-to-day.
It really has the power to make or break any friendship or relationship. Make sure you go with someone who you can talk to about anything, will tell you when you are being out of order, and be gracious enough to except the same in return.
A rather serious conversation after a 12 hour drive across France.
Deciding on who you’d like to travel with can be excruciatingly difficult, and finding someone who matches your time frame, budget, and interests is also no mean feat. Choose someone who has a similar travelling style to you, and had a similar personality and outlook on life. The closer the match, the better you’ll get along.
Failing all of the above, you can always decide to go it alone as a solo traveller.
READ MY POST: Top 5 Ways to Meet People as a Solo Traveller.