Let’s face it. A travel companion can make or break your trip. Here are some issues to consider when choosing your travel companion.
Its awkward, but talk about your budget ahead of time. If one traveler plans on staying in five star hotels, while the other is on a backpackers budget, then it is probably not the right fit. This is why it is so important to discuss your budget BEFORE scheduling your trip. You do not want any surprises while abroad because at that point it is too late and one person may be stuck in an uncomfortable position.
Do not assume that you and your BFF will have the same travel style. Some people are more comfortable booking everything (and I mean everything) ahead of time, while others are much more ‘go with the flow’. Personally, I like a mix so that I have some type of structure for my trip, but am still left with enough freedom in case “something cool” comes up. Similarly, many travelers prefer the do-it-yourself travel experience whereas others like to go on full-day guided tours. I, for example, really hate going to museums so it would not be a good idea for me to travel with someone that wants to go to every museum in every city.Oftentimes travel style is related to travel experience or personality type.
Just because you and your friend get along spending the day together does not mean that you will have the same travel style.
It is important to know how your travel companion will handle stress because unfortunately things do not always go right when traveling. Unexpected things happen, trains are missed and wallets are stolen. Think about how your companion may handle such events before booking your trip.
Traveling with a companion that can keep a positive attitude in the worst circumstances is a really wonderful thing.
YOLO or NO?
Is your companion willing to try new things when traveling? Are you? If you or your travel companion have a YOLO attitude, that’s great! However, it is important to contemplate if you will both feel comfortable doing the same activities while abroad. Traveling gives you the opportunity to experience adventurous activities. I have gone scuba diving, bungee jumping and cage diving with great whites. It’s essential to figure out if your travel companion will be “down” to do the activities you enjoy because you don’t want to miss out on any opportunities.
**If your companion is not interested in one of the activities you love, then you can always find out if they would be willing to split up for that day/time.
Compromise is key. It really is!
You will never find a travel companion that is exactly like you. So you both need to be willing to compromise.
For example, my friend is willing to compromise by staying in hostels on our next trip to help me save money. I am compromising by staying in private rooms which are a bit more expensive, but are much cheaper than hotels. This way we both win! My friend has security by staying in a private room and I save money by staying in a hostel instead of a hotel.
What do you look for in a travel companion?