Traveling with someone is really the ultimate test of your friendship or relationship. It can get cramped, stressful, annoying, frustrating – and sometimes it can make your break your relationship with them.
QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF BEFORE YOU CHOOSE A TRAVEL BUDDY:
Could I live with this person for a full week in a one bedroom apartment?
If that seems like hell – don’t invite them on an all-inclusive vacation to Cuba with you. It will be a nightmare. The truth is, you might be best friends that spend every weekend together – but a weekend at home watching Netflix is far different then a week on the road or at a resort.
Does this person have a short temper or frequent mood swings? If so, can I handle it?
Unfortunately, I am one of those people who does have a short temper – but people still travel with me anyways, so all hope is not lost! If you’re traveling with someone who has a short fuse or tends to be moody if they don’t eat on time – come up with some solutions. Taking an early walk, always eating meals at certain times or even just giving them an hour by themselves every night…you will be surprised how far those little gestures go!
Does this person adapt to change well?
If you miss your train and are stranded in Brazil for the night – are they going to panic and start crying in the middle of the station? Or are they the type of person to find the nearest bar and have a good time that night? Whatever the answer – you need to be okay with it. I have a friend who has really bad anxiety (like myself) and when we travel together it tends to get a little panicky, because we just feed off of each others emotions and that causes even more anxiety.
Find someone who balances your own travel style – or at the very least, someone who’s travel style you can handle.
Is this person someone you trust?
Are they the type of person that could ditch you at a bar for the night and think it’s not a big deal? If so, you might want to reconsider taking them. You need someone you can trust, because you’re going to very new places, and being left alone at a bar in the middle of a foreign country kind of sucks.
Is this person someone you have things in common with?
If you’re interested in museums and they just want to lay on the beach all day and party all night, you might have a bit of trouble planning your vacation together.
HOW TO PLAN YOUR TRIP TOGETHER:
Plan the right kind of trip.
Picking the right kind of trip can make or break your vacation. A road trip is probably not great for people who get moody, because it’s a lot of time in a small space with each other. A beach vacation is probably not a great trip for someone who gets restless easily. Take into account the type of person you are traveling with and find a trip that suits you both.
Try to pick a trip that suits both of your personalities. If you have an anxious friend (like myself) – it’s probably not wise to have a loose itinerary and not really plan what you’re going to do in the countries you’ll be visiting during your 2 week trek around Europe.
People who struggle with anxiety usually do well with itineraries, so even if you’re not a huge “planner”, you can just give ideas and leave the planning to them. Chances are it will actually make them feel more comfortable with the whole trip anyways.
Have equal say in the trip.
If your trip is made up of 7 days, you each can plan 3 days worth of things and leave the 7th day to relax on the beach. We all know I’m a huge fan of the ANYTHING DAY.
Obviously if you are planning your trip together, there are going to be some things you aren’t really wanting to do. Lines you’ll have to wait in for attractions that you don’t really care about, and trust me – spending 2 hours in a line to see something you don’t really care about can flare tempers pretty fast.
Remember that the opposite is also true, though – there might be some things on your trip that they aren’t really excited to do either. Keep an open mind and you might just have some fun.
Plan it TOGETHER.
Not only will you get you both really excited for the trip, but you can actually plan the trip together in a few nights of wine and laughter, rather than emailing back and forth over a few frustrating weeks. Crack open that bottle, get out the chips and check out our 10 Steps for Planning A Perfect Getaway!
It’s Okay to Split Up
Now, when I say that, I don’t mean ditching your friend in a random bar in some foreign town to go home with a stranger. That has happened to me and it’s just not okay.
What I mean is that if they REALLY want to climb to the top of the Notre Dame and you don’t want to – it’s okay for you to go sit at a pub close by while they take some time to do that by themselves.
As long as you’re safe about it, there’s no reason why you have to spend your ENTIRE trip together doing all the same things.
Choosing a travel friend can be difficult, because even your best friend might not be the most suitable travel companion for you. I have traveled with my boyfriend, some of my friends and most of my family – and let me tell you;
just because you love them, doesn’t mean you should travel with them.