One of the most important factors when travelling is who you’re travelling with. This can make or break a good trip and of course we all want to make life-long, positive (!) memories. It may not be your best friend – because, believe me, you may get on great in ‘real life’ but on a 6-month backpacking trip through South America? That may be a different story entirely. This doesn’t necessarily say anything about your friendship just that we all have different travel styles and that’s a good thing.
So ideally, especially on longer trips, you want to be travelling with your perfect travel buddy (or buddies) – be it your partner, your best friend, brother or sister or a friend you’ve made on your last trip. But don’t get me wrong, even if you’ve found him or her, there’ll be times when you disagree over smaller things or you just need a few hours, maybe a day apart. It may also be that you have several ‘perfect travel buddies’ for different kinds of trips – a weekend of partying in Ibiza with your mates from uni, a spiritual backpacking trip through India with your best friend, a city break with your partner. In any case, travelling with the right person will make your trip much less stressful and that much more enjoyable. You may just have the best time(s) of your life with them.
So how do you know you’ve found your perfect travel partner(s)?
1 – They like the same kind of activities.
Chilling on the beach all day with a few cocktails? Exploring cities and ticking off every museum in town? Seeking outdoor adventure and chasing one adrenaline rush after the other? Hopping from party to party? Or maybe you both like a good balance out of all of these. In any case, you should be looking for the same kind of trip.
2 – They’re curious and inquisitive.
They like exploring as much as you do and are ready to really experience a country. They don’t say ‘no’ very often.
3 – They’re easy company.
You will spend many, many hours together, sometimes only the two of you. So you’ll want to have plenty to talk about, common interests, past memories, whatever it may be. At the same time, you’re absolutely comfortable not talking for a while – silence between you is never awkward. You simply like being around them.
4 – They’re into food, local food that it is, or are at least willing to give it a try.
Fighting over where to have breakfast, lunch and dinner and endlessly walking from restaurant to restaurant only to end up in the same pizza joint, or worse even, McDonald’s, isn’t fun. It’s good if you have similar taste.
5 – They complement you.
You should have lots of things in common but differences are great too. You’re completely clueless when it comes to planning an itinerary? Great, your partner in crime will force you to think up a plan with them on the plane. Do they like a sleep-in but you’re an early bird? Throw them out of bed early every once in a while – they’ll thank you later for having seen the most beautiful sunrise in Colombia or beating the crowds at the Taj Mahal. Let them sleep in some days and simply enjoy a little me-time on the beach or get in a workout. It’s all about compromise.
6 – They’re spontaneous – ‘yes’ and ‘why not’ are their favourite words.
They may call you up one Thursday, telling you they pick you up from work tomorrow and you’re heading to the countryside for a weekend getaway. No questions asked, you’re ready to go. They’ll say ‘yes’ to a pool party invite by a Colombian family in your hostel and ‘why not’ to trying snake blood in Cambodia and animate you to join in on the fun. With them, adventure certainly awaits around every corner.
7 – They’ve got a pretty good sense of humour and are full of positivity.
Absolutely essential because things go wrong when you travel and you’ll appreciate being with someone who is still smiling after having spent the night freezing in a 15-hour sleeper train across India. They’ll keep up your spirits after flight delays, stomach bugs, cultural faux-pas, anything really. You’ll be laughing about these things in no time with them.
8 – They’re on the same kind of budget.
Or at least happy with the same hotel/food/transport standards. It’s no fun arguing over money on the trip so talk about it openly beforehand and decide your rough budget for accommodation, food, transport and activities.
9 – They can survive without their smartphone.
Who enjoys spending time with someone who’s constantly on their phone? Restrict phone use to a few hours a day when you’re both relaxing and enjoying some alone-time. Also, Google Maps may be a life-saver at home when you’re meeting someone at a new place at a specific time but when traveling, getting lost is the best thing in the world.
10 – They know your flaws.
Snoring? They’ll have brought super earplugs. Prone to losing your valuables? They’ll have an eye on it for you and will always check if you’ve got your passport before leaving the hostel. We’ve all got our flaws – knowing about them not only avoids unpleasant surprises but it allows you to help each other better.
Have you found your perfect travel buddy? Let me know in the comments below what you appreciate about them most and share this blog post with them 🙂
Wondering how you can afford to travel? Ultimate Budget Travel Guide!