Finding the perfect travel companion is key to having a successful trip. You don’t want to look back on your vacation and remember fighting in restaurants or awkward days of silence.
The ideal travel companion is light-hearted and understands that not all trips go exactly as planned. Luckily, we’ve got some tips to help you find the best travel buddy for you!
1. Look for people with similar interests.
When it comes to finding a travel companion, one of the biggest factors is having similar interests. After all, if you’re an organized, planned-out traveler and your travel buddy is a free spirit with no plans at all, it may not go so well on the road. It’s important to spend time with potential traveling companions before embarking on a trip to see if you get along and can handle the stresses of travel.
A few different ways to do this is by tying up loose ends in your friendship group, checking out social media or turning to local interest groups. Cromer says that tapping into the community beyond your immediate circle can uncover people who might make for good travel buddies because they share the same passions you do.
It’s also essential to find someone who understands that the beauty of traveling is in the freedom it allows you to explore your surroundings on your own. “You don’t want to be with a travel partner who’s constantly begging for you to do everything together,” Raymond says. “Travel is about being able to entertain yourself and have some alone time.”
The ideal travel partner also knows that there are bound to be mishaps when it comes to travel, such as missing the train or getting lost in a city. You need a travel buddy who can lighten the mood and turn a negative experience into a fun one. This is especially important if you tend to get stressed out easily or have difficulty handling stress.
2. Be open to meeting new people.
If you’re going to spend extended time with someone on a trip, then it’s important that you get along with them. Getting to know them in a new environment exposes all kinds of quirks that may not come out during a regular lunch date or phone call. If your friend has a tendency to be clingy in certain situations or is an excessively impulsive spender, those tendencies will likely carry over to the trip — and could negatively affect the overall experience.
You also want to make sure that you are compatible with your travel partner’s sleep schedule and activity preferences. If you’re a morning person and they like to party into the night, you’ll probably end up spending most of your time apart. You’ll also want to consider whether they’re on a similar budget as you, as it can be challenging to split expenses equally.
A great travel companion is open to trying anything at least once. Whether that’s a local delicacy or a thrilling excursion, it’s important to find a partner who can embrace the full travel experience. A reluctance to step outside their comfort zone can quickly derail an otherwise exciting adventure.
Finding the perfect travel buddy can be a challenge, but it’s a worthwhile endeavor to find the right match. It’ll ensure that you have a better, more fulfilling trip and create memories that will last a lifetime. If you’re looking for a volunteer abroad that’s just right for you, create a free Worldpackers account to discover volunteer experiences that align with your interests. You’ll also get exclusive travel discounts!
3. Look for people with similar budgets.
It’s important to find a travel companion with a similar budget, as this will have a direct impact on how much you spend during your trip. If you’re traveling with someone and they want to splurge on expensive restaurants, rafting, diving and other activities, this will likely put a strain on your finances. It’s best to discuss this with your travel companion in advance so that you can make sure you’re both on the same page financially before setting out on your trip.
It is also helpful to choose a travel companion who doesn’t have the same financial priorities as you, which will give you some flexibility with your spending. This is one of the reasons why it’s often easier to find a travel companion among friends or acquaintances rather than family members. This allows you to evaluate them without the extra pressures of a relationship.
The perfect travel partner doesn’t necessarily have the same personality traits as you, but they do have a good understanding of how to work together. This is especially important during tense travel situations, such as getting stuck on a train for 15 hours or dealing with an emergency in a dark alley.
They’re also willing to compromise, which is essential when it comes to travel. This is because there will inevitably be times when you and your travel companion disagree about something, which can be difficult in stressful situations. A good travel partner knows how to work through these disagreements and doesn’t let them ruin the rest of the trip. It’s also helpful if they can laugh at the embarrassing travel moments, like when you get food poisoning and spend the next few days in your hotel room vomiting up everything you’ve eaten.
4. Look for people with similar travel styles.
Finding a travel companion who enjoys the same activities as you is essential. If you’re an intrepid climber but your friend is terrified of heights, it will be difficult to share the thrills. And if you love trying local street food but your buddy prefers to stick to the resort pool, you’ll find yourself bored.
Ideally, your travel buddy will move at the same pace as you and like many of the same activities. This isn’t a requirement, of course, but it helps to ensure that you are both happy and comfortable with the dynamic.
It’s also a good idea to look for people with similar financial expectations. A wildly different budget could cause friction throughout your trip, especially if one person is always asking to borrow money or foot the bill. To avoid this, have an open discussion about money and expenses before you depart.
Finally, you should look for people with a similar sense of adventure and curiosity. If your friend adores historical medical museums but you think they’re a bit morbid, you might struggle to connect on a deeper level about the places you visit together.
It may seem counterintuitive to search for a travel partner outside your immediate friend group, but Cromer suggests that it’s actually the best way to find someone who shares your travel style. It’s easier to assess someone’s personality and interests without the extra pressure and expectations of being close friends. Plus, it can be a lot more fun to bond with strangers who have similar interests!
5. Look for people with similar travel experiences.
The people you travel with will make or break your trip. That’s why it’s important to choose your travel companion carefully. If you want to have a great time on your trip, find someone who has experience traveling as much as you do. It will be easier for you both to navigate new environments, understand different perspectives and know what to expect from each other.
You also want to look for someone who is flexible. Traveling isn’t always as easy as you might have planned, and your travel companion should be willing to adapt to changing circumstances without getting frustrated or upset.
Finally, look for someone who is respectful of other cultures. This includes things like dressing appropriately for religious sites, respecting local customs and being aware of cultural nuances. This is a sign that your travel companion will be respectful of the people you meet on your trip, which can help ensure a positive and enjoyable experience for everyone involved.
Finding the perfect travel companion can be challenging, but it’s worth the effort. The right travel buddy can enhance your trip and make it one to remember for a lifetime. So if you’re ready to find the Indiana Jones of travel companions, start your search by considering these tips and resources. You might just discover that your next adventure is your best one yet. Happy travels!