Growing up, we never really had much of a choice in deciding who we wanted to travel with. For many, being stuck with annoying siblings as roommates was common, and family dramas would usually spiral out of control.
One of the perks of growing up is that you will have the opportunity to travel with your friends. However, this can be a tricky situation as no matter how close you are as friends, it is hardly the case that all of your travel preferences and objectives will align.
For those who are thinking of travelling with your friends, here are 10 Tips On How To Choose The Best Travel Partner you should definitely take into account when planning your next trip with friends.
#1 THE PLANNER VS. THE SPONTAENOUS
There are some who value planning and researching before the trip, and there are others who prefer to just “go with the flow” and “see what happens” upon reaching the travel destination.
Of course, there are benefits to both approaches. Travelling with someone who does adequate preparation before the trip would ensure that no time is wasted on needless activities, and this would also ensure that the time spent at your travel destination is used wisely and efficiently.
If you are looking for a trip where you do not have to spend that much time thinking about the little details of your journey, the spontaneous friend is for you. Your friend would typically be very adventurous and is willing to try anything and everything!
This also means you would not have to be bogged down by a tight schedule, and there will always be room for impromptu activities.
#2 THE EARLY RISER VS. THE SLEEP-IN
Sleep is perhaps one of the most precious things; well at least, to us, it is.
If you are not particular about starting your days early, and you would prefer having that few hours of rest, the sleep-in friend is for you.
In contrast, if you are looking to start your day bright and early and to seize whatever precious time that you have at your travel destination, you should find a friend who shares the same view as you with regards to waking up early during travels.
However, it would be good to remind yourself that there is no right and wrong when it comes to wanting a bit more, or a bit less sleep. It is entirely up to a person’s personal preference and your friends do not deserve any frustration for not being in sync with your stance on sleeping (or not) during travels.
#3 THE NEAT VS. THE MESSY
Even back home, this would be one of the issues that your family (especially your mother), would harass you about on a daily basis.
Before travelling, find out whether your friend is a neat or a messy person. This could even be in reference to the style of unpacking during the trip, e.g. clothes thrown everywhere around the room versus the clothes being neatly hung up in the hotel’s cupboard.
As the both of you will be sharing a common living space, this is an extremely crucial factor to consider as it can either make or break your trip. If you have the habit of not keeping your belongings in order and your items are potentially going to be strewn all over the place, do your best to find a partner with the same living habits.
#4 THE NAPS VS. NO NAPS
In line with our earlier tip about sleep, there are some who have the habit of taking naps during the day, and some who only collapse at the end of the day.
One of the very obvious consequences of a person having the habit of taking naps is that your travel time would be disrupted midway, and this would also entail spending extra time on travelling back to the hotel. And if your travel partner is deprived of the nap that they enjoy daily, you may be walking alongside an angry grizzly bear that you will most likely be unable to placate for the rest of the day.
So, this is something to find out before you pick your travel partner(s)!
#5 THE GPS VS. THE TRUSTY OLD MAP
There is no point trying to deny this. We are all so incredibly dependent on the Internet. When it comes to travelling, the internet is an absolute lifesaver and with the aid of Google Maps and these travel apps, we are able to navigate with ease.
Despite the benefits of technology, there are some who are still insistent on the old ways of using a good ol’ city map.
Ensure that you iron this out with your partner prior to travelling with them as when the both of you are in a foreign land, acquiring the correct directions to your intended travel destinations would, in all honesty, be one of the largest obstacles that you will both have to face.
#6 THE TALKER VS. THE SILENT MEDITATOR
One can either love to talk and chat while travelling, or prefer to be immersed in self-reflection and keep to themselves.
As complete opposites, a talker may feel hurt when the silent meditator does not speak a word throughout most of the day. This may even lead to feelings of rejection and bitterness, which are emotions that will only seek to tear down the strong pillars of your friendship.
Before travelling, check with your travel partner about what type of travelling style they have. This, would prevent any potential misunderstandings or miscommunications between parties, whilst ensuring that the travel experience is a harmonious one without any room for conflict.
#7 THE STREET FOODS VS. THE RESTAURANTS
Which do you love more, street food or restaurants? Now, everyone has different stomachs and different capacities when it comes to enjoying various foods.
If you are looking to try local and affordable cuisine, travelling with someone who is accustomed to eating in restaurants or more expensive food joints, is definitely not the right choice for you. Not only will your wallet feel the stretch, but your tolerance and patience will as well.
Opt for someone who is adventurous in nature, and is willing to go “down and dirty” to the streets of your travel destination, to get the best deals and most authentic food experience.
Conversely, if you are travelling to that city to check out certain cafes or restaurants, you should find someone who is willing to fork out additional monies to cover the costs of such eating plans, and will also enjoy the experience with you through the process.
#8 THE HISTORICAL/SCENIC VS. THE SHOPPING
There are some travellers who just hate seeing historical or scenic sights, and there are others who also hate shopping. Although you will wish to be able to enjoy the best of both worlds, it is undeniable that a person would tend to have a preference when it comes to the type of itinerary chosen for the travel.
As with how you enjoy certain activities with a certain group of friends, firstly, figure out what you desire to gather from your travel experience.
Once you have decided as to whether you are there to cultivate a deeper learning appreciation of the history, culture and geographical landscape of the travel destination, or whether you are there for a shopping trip, pick a partner who would tickle your fancy.
This would be the best way to ensure that both parties leave the trip feeling enriched in their own ways, whilst deepening the relationship shared between you and your travel partner.
#9 THE PHOTOGRAPHS VS. THE NO PHOTOGRAPHS
“No photographs, please.”
“Please take a picture of me.”
There are some who absolutely love being in front of the camera, and there are others who avoid it like they are running from a fire.
Once again, make sure that you know what are the personal preferences of your travel partner before travelling with them. No one would want an awkward situation during the trip, where you or your travel partner is forced into doing something photography-related that both are unwilling to undertake.
In the event that the both of you share different views as to photographs, this is not the end. Perhaps, it would be possible to work out an arrangement between the both of you, where you could assist your travel partner in photo-taking on the condition that she does not give you any trouble for not wishing to be in the photo.
#10 THE WIDE-EYED VS. THE UNIMPRESSED
The hearts of people are not content, and more often than not, they are jaded to the beauties that the world holds.
On the surface, it would definitely appear that travelling with the unimpressed would not be a very pleasant experience, as you would be subject to hearing them complain or moan about how a certain attraction has failed their expectations and so forth.
This may leave you rather dejected and make you feel that the trip and planning has all gone to waste since your friend is clearly not enjoying herself.
In contrast, the wide-eyed person may seem a good option, as they would never stop praising the artwork or historical site, due to their overwhelming appreciation of what the particular site holds.
This too can cause the feeling of annoyance to grow exponentially within you, as you would tend to be irritated by the constant giggles or exclamations by your travel partner, even when the sight is not that much of a big deal.
At the end of the day, simply consider which is the better of the two evils, and there – you have your travel partner right here waiting for you!