[Updated 15 Nov 2019]
Travelling to different countries and immersing yourself in diverse cultures is, without a doubt, an amazing experience. Spending time with your friends and family as well as enjoying each other’s presence makes the trip even more awesome! ?
Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. You and your loved ones might get along like a house on fire; but out there on the road, your differences can snowball into big problems. Before you go on a big trip together, here’s how to choose the right travel buddy – based on my personal experience!
1. Are you on the same page?Credit: rawpixel on Pixabay
For many people, travelling can equate to freedom. You also need to remember that your definition of freedom might be different from your family and friends. To determine if someone is the right travel buddy for you, ask this question: “How would you spend your ideal day?”Credit: Nursyazana Kahardy
When I went to Paris with my family for the first time, my sister and I wanted to visit famous museums like the Louvre, Musée d'Orsay and The Centre Pompidou. Our parents, on the other hand, wanted to visit popular landmarks, like the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe, before shopping at the Champs-Élysées Avenue, Boulevard Saint-Germain or the Galeries Lafayette on Boulevard Haussmann.
If you’re travelling in a group, make sure that you’re all on the same page to spend lesser time deciding what to do and where to go ? Remember that compromise is key. If push comes to shove, you could take some time apart from the group and visit places of interests individually.
2. What’s your budget?Credit: Giphy
When you’re travelling with someone or a group of friends, you need to consider the group’s financial situation. It might not seem like a huge deal but finding out how much your travel buddies are willing to spend will make your vacation a pleasant one ?
Credit: Nursyazana Kahardy
When I travelled to the UK with a group of friends, we decided to split the cost evenly among the four of us. Some things, like transportation and accommodation, became significantly cheaper (which is great when you’re travelling through places with expensive currency compared to your own). However, there were also minor arguments about how much we should spend on food (since some of us wanted to make our own meals to save costs while others wanted to eat out).
Besides getting on the same page, it wouldn’t make sense to travel with your buddies, only to end up arguing about saving or splurging on certain things ?
3. What's your chemistry with each other?Credit: Nursyazana Kahardy
When you’re choosing someone to go on a trip with you, take a moment and evaluate your chemistry with that person. During a trip, their mildly annoying habits could become 140% more annoying when travelling abroad ?
Credit: Anthony Rosset on Unsplash
It happened when I went to the UK with my good friend who has a bad habit of leaving her things everywhere. We were getting ready to head back to Newcastle after a short-day trip to Durham when she left her jacket somewhere.
Due to my friend’s unfortunate habit, we had to delay our departure, and it took about an hour to find her missing jacket. Once found, we waited an extra hour for the next train ?
Before choosing a travel buddy, think about some of your best and worst moments with that person. Then, ask yourself: “What makes your relationship with this person so strong that you’d be willing to spend an entire holiday trip together?”
4. Are they willing to try new things?Credit: Lina Trochez on Unsplash
Another thing to consider is their willingness to try new things. When you’re travelling to far off countries, you might chance upon many once-in-a-lifetime opportunities ?
Credit: Kamil Pietrzak on Unsplash
Say you’re in Australia and someone invites you to go skydiving or bungee jumping. Hopefully, your travel buddy would be willing to give it a shot. If they have a fear of heights, they should be excited for YOU to try it out! They won’t resent or make you feel guilty for leaving them alone when you try something new ?
5. Are they a positive person?Credit: Nursyazana Kahardy
The person you pick as your travel buddy can either make or break your trip, depending on their attitude during good times, but more importantly, the bad times.
It’s super easy to be positive when things are going well, and when you’re having fun sightseeing, shopping or sampling the local delicacies. But when you miss the train or get stop for passport checks that last for hours, you need someone who won’t bring you down.
You’re going to want someone who can put a smile on your face and say: “There’s no such thing as bad travel experiences. Just interesting stories to tell everyone else when we get back home.”
6. Are they adaptable?Credit: Nursyazana Kahardy
No matter how well you plan a trip, there might be instances where things might not go according to plan. To give you some context, I remember the first time I went backpacking across Europe with my dad and a couple of friends. We were travelling through the German countryside, (heading towards Brussels) when an unforeseen delay occurred with one of our trains ?
Credit: Nursyazana Kahardy
I don’t remember exactly what had caused the delay, but I remembered getting off the train a full 5 minutes later than planned. Unfortunately, in that short span of time, our group (and everybody else who were heading towards Brussels) missed the connecting train ? Now imagine being stranded in the German countryside where nobody speaks English. Sounds scary, right? Thankfully, the group I was travelling with (and my dad) were adaptable and did all they could to figure out a way to get us tickets for the next train to Brussels.
Fun fact: It involved a LOT of miming. In the end, we sorted out our train journey and made it to Brussels in one piece. That incident showed me that during times of crisis, having a travel buddy who is adaptable and level-headed can go a long way in preventing unnecessary drama and headaches.
That wraps it up! Like most things in life, it’s challenging to determine who would make a good travel buddy; especially when you don’t have any previous experience to draw out from. With these six questions, rest assured that you will be able to choose the right travel buddy for your next adventure! ?