So you’ve got travelling in mind, but are adamant that going solo just isn’t right for you. Now you’re hoping to find a travel buddy that will not only split expenses with you, but is also outgoing, orderly, shares your interests and habits, and can be relied on. While a perfect buddy does not exist and traveling together always relies on a great deal of compromise, there are things and qualities to look for in a companion on your journeys, namely:
- Personality type
- Sleeping habits
- Spending habits
- The need for control or the lack of it
- Easy-going attitude
Before you find your travel buddy, do a bit of introspection first
Just before you start making demands that your travel partner should meet, you should first ask whether you meet them yourselves. Are you the type of person other people would be happy to team up with, or are there some less desirable qualities to you that you should try to remedy or try to acknowledge in advance? Perhaps you’re snoring, are way too tight with money, or you’re a notorious complainer – whatever it is, clean your own backyard first before barging into someone else’s! Once you’ve assessed your own qualities, it’s time to ask what you are looking for in your eventual travel buddy.
1. Do you fit together personality-wise?
Perhaps you’re an adventurous type, while your mate is more of a couch potato who’d prefer lying on the beach sipping cocktails all day and going scuba diving with sharks somehow doesn’t fit into his notion of fun. Sometimes personality differences might be almost irreconcilable, while at other times travelling with someone quite different from you might make for an interesting, well-rounded adventure that combines the best from both worlds! So, definitely factor in different personality types – in case of an age gap, even different generational attitudes towards travelling! But also think twice before writing someone off as a travel mate just because of that.
2. What about sleeping habits?
Night owls versus early birds – as far as travelling goes, these two do not always go together well, not to mention the quality of sleep getting a hit while travelling, which may further stoke the flame. While you’re sleeping off last night’s party, your friend is already itching to set off for a mountain hike. Always consider the sleeping habits of both you and your buddy and try to reach a sensible compromise – or try to individualise your schedule accordingly.
3. Are you cheapskates or lavish spenders?
Financial and budget matters should be settled first before embarking on a trip together. While some waste far too much money, others would prefer to live like bums and drink an often unsanitary tap water rather than ordering a drink at a restaurant. It’s therefore better to make sure you’re on the same page as far as spending goes before you set off.
4. Some prefer control over everything, others like to keep it freewheeling
Perhaps you need to have your day planned to the last minute, while your mate prefers to simply roam about, come what may. Or vice versa. While it’s often good to temper one with the other, sometimes it’s preferable to split temporarily and let your mate do his/her thing without going into unnecessary rows over one’s preferences.
5. It’s necessary they (and you) take it easy
Oftentimes things don’t go as imagined while travelling. There are difficulties bound to happen, what counts then is the attitude. If you miss a late bus and are forced to slog to your hotel through heavy rain, you might make light of it – or burst into an angry tirade. Both you and your traveling mate should fall into the first category.
Try some shorter trip first before committing
So you and your travel mate seem to go together well, so why not give it a test first? Before you embark on a journey around the world together, try a shorter trip somewhere unknown – one day, two days or even more, to see how well it goes “under pressure” and to get to know each other better. If you like it, feel free to try something bigger next time! Just remember that there will always be some differences – it’s up to you both to make the most of them!
These were some things to look out for in your potential travel companion. There are, however, plenty more. What bugs you on your travel mates? Or what do you appreciate in them? Share your thoughts in the comments!