For many who travel, a backpacking trip or a round-the-world trip is a one-time opportunity. For me, it was when I traveled to Latin America in the 1990s. The question is how can we make sure that we’re selecting the right travel companion when we plan our travel plans?
This may sound strange however, we’ve all experienced the terrifying moment in relationships that are romantic when our partner transforms into a beast or, even more so it is when we feel suffocated in anger or erupt in rage. What is different when traveling with someone else as it is in the home relationship? It’s true that with all the joys traveling can be fraught with obstacles stress, fatigue, and tension.
Sharing a trip with a friend is a great idea, such as sharing experiences, having fun in laughter and company, as well as ensuring safety. However, in my opinion, there isn’t enough planning before planning a long trip in as well in terms of the itinerary as well as in making sure you’re traveling with the best person! Here are some lessons I’ve learned in selecting a travel partner.
1. Look long and hard at yourself and your possible travel partner.
The first step is to conduct an honest assessment of your character, particularly the way you react when you’re in stressful situations. Make a list of traits you’d like to see in your partner. This isn’t the right time to fool yourself and others about what you’d like to be considered. It’s all about who you are.
Also, conduct an audit of any prospective travel friend. Also, clarify what you are hoping to gain from the trip. We all have goals that are not fully conscious of prior to embarking on lengthy trips. A close friend of mine was looking to find out the things she was passionate about to be able to take a different path in her career upon her return. Another reason for traveling was that she had recently ended up in an ongoing relationship and wanted to know what she was looking for in the next chapter of her journey. This can affect the kind of experience you both want out of your travels and whether you can find enough in common to enjoy the fun together.
2. Be clear about your personal requirements.
Find out if you’re the type of person who wants social interaction all the time or needs space frequently. Do you prefer to be in small groups, or in intimate interactions with only some individuals? The answers to these questions will aid you in determining the qualities you want in an ideal travel companion and also what you’ll be able to offer in your turn.
3. Don’t believe that your closest friend is your ideal travel companion.
Friends, you enjoy having a chat with or taking short trips with don’t necessarily make the best travel partners. The experience of being together in a foreign country 24/7 is a different experience than going out with friends. The person who is the heart and soul of the gathering might not be the one you’re looking for when you’re seated in between two Bolivian women and a crate full of chickens during an 18-hour journey on a bus.
Also, that partner who’s available whenever you require an ear to listen to your troubles could be a bit too insistent and overwhelming when you’re in need of new adventures in your travels. If you’re facing possible problems, you might prefer a companion with a more casual ability to laugh.
The issue is that now is not the right time to show your loyalty to the person who you had made promises to years ago, promising that she’d be the sole person you’d travel with if the moment to plan the Big Trip came around.
4. Share the agenda of your destinations and plan of action.
Make sure you know the duration you’re planning to travel for. Do you plan to be away for a set period or do you have an unrestricted ticket? Do your travel companions have similar flexibility?
When I left for Latin America, I was with two other friends who had purchased round-the-world tickets. I was able to travel one way to Venezuela and plan to buy additional one-off tickets as my plans evolved.
Also, it’s important to determine the way you’re doing it in relation to fixed or more flexible schedules. Contrary to plans you plan at home using the map and guidebook it’s possible to change your plans rapidly when you’re actually on the road.
In Ecuador, we came across an amazing village near Otavalo in which they decorated the town for a festival. We also came across their tradition of the year which is a massive drinking contest in which people are submerged by buckets, water balloons, and hosepipes. The reward for getting soaked was the inevitable party that continues into the evening. Five days later, we were able to move on…
5. Learn how you manage budgets and finances.
It’s essential to ensure that the budgets of both parties are the same, at a minimum for the duration of the time you’re on the same trip. If not, you might need to choose very different options for the type of accommodation you choose. Budgets can also impact the choices you make every day about eating out and the excursions you can take. I’ll never forget my helicopter ride across the Bungle Bungles in Australia or paddling through the Urubamba River in Peru. Both had their cost.
The more you’ve worked out estimates of your budget with your travel companion prior to departure and the less stress you’ll experience on your trip. Money can be a means of exposing the differences between individuals and you’d prefer to have a great time on your trip and not a slog.
6. Confirm the type of accommodation you would like to have.
At home, you might be enthralled by the idea of taking it all in. Are you truly satisfied when you realize there’s a cockroach in an outlet in your shower? The location you and your spouse decide to stay is crucial. After a strenuous hike across mountains or a numbing day in Bangkok, the hotel or hostel will symbolize the home you have made and a shelter.
Think about whether you’d like to share a room, or are you happy in an enormous dormitory (and should you choose single or mixed sexual orientation)? Are you happy sharing bathrooms? Do you want to be aware of these points before you get off the bus and meet with a crowd of excited people offering you the “best location in the town”?
7. Find out what your potential partner’s preference in food.
A choosy eater can cause lots of stress during long travels. One of the greatest aspects of traveling is the ability to discover new cuisines. But, not everybody’s choice. And there are occasions when food choices are limited.
When we were on one of the islands in Lake Titicaca, we were taken to a hay barn owned by the family of a local and was fed for days with potatoes, eggs, and corn. We loved it all, however, for others, this could have been hell.
One of my dearest friends is a picky eater I’d give any food item to assist at any time of the day. But traveling with her? Absolutely not. I recall how she caused others to eat and how I walked through nearly every restaurant in Edinburgh before coming back to the very first where she had a simple jacket potato with butter.
8. Find the culture vultures among those who are party animals.
It is possible that you’re attracted to visiting temples, and she might be interested in nightclubbing. Be open about your preferences and dislikes. But be aware that you, the temple-loving devotee could be “tempted to go out” after your twelfth visit. In the same way, in Sydney, I met several travelers who were with money desperately required after having fun all night. There is a risk in the excess of any kind.
The most important thing is to have an understanding of each other so that you can recognize the aspects you have to be prepared to accept in one another.
9. Prepare yourself for how you and your partner will respond to threats or a situation.
Traveling could lead you into danger, and you must have faith and faith in your travel partner.
While on a road trip with some locals in Latin America, my friend was beginning to experience an unpleasant feeling. With a specific code we had agreed to in advance to get out of a difficult circumstance, we were capable of removing ourselves.
Also, it is important to be aware that if you become sick, your loved ones have the determination to do whatever is required to receive prompt treatment. When my friend was diagnosed with altitude illness in the Andes I had to awaken sisters in the convent in the early hours of the morning because there was only one place in the area that had medication.
10. Make an inventory of “what is the case” scenarios.
Also, you should make the options that may arise when you’re on the road with your partner. Some of them include:
- What will your spouse think when you’ve decided to stay together in every circumstance, but she’s ready to bed, and you’re ready to party all night long?
- How would you feel If your partner is always drinking with hangovers and long sleep-ins in the morning, and you’re eager to rise and go?
- What will your partner think when you decide to spend an hour or two of your own? Maybe even a few months before you see each other once more?
- What, and most importantly how will she respond in the event that you encounter the one you’ve always wanted… just like it was the case with me and my potential husband!
There will be some situations that aren’t predicted or anticipate how you’ll react to. But realism and anticipation could help you avoid some issues in advance. Keep in mind that it’s essential to accept your partner’s little vices, annoying behavior — or angered words in the event of a disagreement.
The most important thing is to take a trip with a companion who has the ability to laugh. Don’t forget to bring your own. It’s not a must to share a space with comedians in the car, but the ability to have fun in the midst of tiredness and stress takes the edge off of any circumstance.
I hope that you meet a good travel companion. And have fun traveling!