5 Tips for Finding the Perfect Travel Companion
Don’t want to travel alone? Find your perfect travel companion.
If you’re planning a vacation overseas with a travel companion, be they your spouse, your friends, someone you’ve just met or someone you plan to meet, the secret to success is compatibility. Yes you could argue that traveling with people who are different to you can open your mind to new horizons and make you challenge and accept new ways of thinking, but if your practical you’ll also know it can lead to a lot of arguments and feelings of resentment.
If you want to try and ensure you and your chosen travel companion are going to get along in relative harmony, here’s five tips you can follow…
1. Find a Common Interest
If you’re the type of person that loves to go hiking but your travel companion is the type that likes to get up at midday and party the nights away there’s going to be a clash pretty early on in your trip. You’ll be out of the door before they awake and they’ll be out the door before you’ve returned. Instead try to find some one with a common travel interest between you. This of course doesn’t mean that you both have to do the same thing as each other every minute of the day. When you do both go off and do your own things you’ve got something extra to share with them at the end of the day.
2. Avoid the Neurotic
When you’re traveling in a different country things are not going to be the same as they are at home. There are going to be sacrifices made on many, many levels. If you have an open mind and a can-do attitude then you can ride the bumps and ultimately enjoy yourself. However, if the person you’re with simply falls at every hurdle because they can’t get what they want; they make a scene in every social situation as they try to get things ‘just so’ you’re soon going to ram that Eiffel Town souvenir where they won’t forget it.
3. Work to the Same Budget
You’re happy with a picnic in the park; they want a Michelin star at the very least. You’re satisfied with a clean room; they want private butler service. You’re happy with a metro ticket and sense of adventure; they want a private tour guide. If you’re travel companion is someone who has wildly different budget expectations than you then you’re going to clash at every turn. Even if you don’t fully agree then at least agree to compromise and set aside times for saving and times for splurging.
4. Open Communications Early
Or even better before you leave. Sit down with your proposed travel companion and share between you what you both hope to get out of the trip and how you see yourselves spending your time. Once you both know each others motives and driving forces it then becomes much easier to plan ahead, agree whether you’re going to be doing everything together or splitting up certain days to follow individual activities and perhaps even set some ground rules about how you might deal with conflicts of interest. It sounds serious but a little chat can go a long way to avoiding problems down the line.
5. Do a Test Run
So far all the advice has been theoretical. You can agree with each other until the cows come home when you’re just talking about things, but once you hit the road, that is when the true character of you and your companion will manifest itself. Depending on your budget and timescale you should plan to take a smaller trip together, just to see what happens. It could be a weekend away or simply an afternoon out. But spend some time with them and sound each other out.
A Word of Warning
If you refer back to tip number 2 you’ll remember you should never travel with a neurotic person. Well, if you go too gung ho on these tips then I’m afraid you may come across as the neurotic one. Nobody likes to feel they’re being studied or judged, so subtlety is the way!
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