Traveling usually means you’re traveling with someone (nothing wrong with traveling alone though, shoutout to all my solo travelers out there) and who you go with can have a huge impact on how you travel and the memories that you reminisce about a year, 5 years, 10 years later. After going on multiple trips, I have come to appreciate and seek out certain qualities for travel partners. While there are, of course, more than 5 things to look for in a travel parter, these are the 5 that I have come to view as the most important and will hopefully help you select the best travel partner:
1. Flexibility – I’m not going to sugar coat it, inevitably something will go wrong while you’re traveling. That is why it’s so important to travel with someone who can roll with the punches and adapt quickly. Maybe that hostel you booked mishandled your booking and gave up your room to another traveler or maybe you’re stranded in the busy streets of Japan and can’t find anyone who speaks English. Instead of dwelling on it, you can pivot and search for another hostel in the area or ask the hostel management for recommendations. You can also try going to a nearby cafe, using wi-fi, and downloading a Japanese-English dictionary to ask locals for directions. This is heavily tied to the next point, which is…
2. Good attitude – Traveling with someone who remains optimistic and logical in the face of adversity is crucial. When going to Peru, my friend Christine and I got scammed into missing our flight, and she helped me stay sane and calm while searching for another flight to make our connecting flight in New York for a final destination of California. Also in Peru, my good friend Chris helped maintain morale while trekking for days without running water in the mountains of Peru during our journey to hike Machu Picchu. Good attitudes are contagious and in the 11th hour, you’ll be glad that you had people like this as your travel buddies.
3. Similar Expectations – It is important to travel with people who are looking for similar experiences from the trip. For example, if you’re trying to party and are all about the nightlife/dayclub life, traveling with someone who’s more interested in nature and hiking may not necessarily be the best fit. Seeking people who have the same expectations for your journey can help prevent misunderstandings in the future and help you get the most out of your trip. Since y’all are all looking for the same type of experiences, it’ll make traveling and selecting activities that much easier. For example, before visiting Death Valley, my friend and I talked about what we wanted to do and what we wanted to see. Discussing this before the trip can help alleviate any misconceptions and ensure that you’re on the same page.
4. Communication – Setting clear communication guidelines in the beginning can help prevent fights or misunderstandings from happening during your travels. Oftentimes, I feel like most arguments stem from misunderstandings. Especially with travel, when you can’t retreat to your home and are faced with more adversity than normal, it may be easy for arguments to stir. However, having some sort of understanding about being transparent and open can help huge fights from happening.
5. Similar budget – Some of us are trying to ball on a budget, while others are trying to ball out while traveling. Talking about budgets and seeing if y’all are on the same page are useful things to work out before traveling. For example, you don’t want to be thinking about booking hostels while others are looking at 5 star hotels that are 1,000 USD a night. When my friend Tess and I went to Southeast Asia, we made sure we were on the same page for accommodations and ended up staying in tiny hostels in Hong Kong and splurging on apartment-style hotels in Bangkok. Working this out beforehand will ensure that activities and accommodations work within everyone’s planned budget.
Traveling is exciting and so much fun to do with your friends, family, or random people you meet on the road. With this post, I showed you certain things that are helpful to look for in a travel partner. This list is definitely not exhaustive and obviously, there can be other things you look for in travel partners. This is just based from personal experience and are a couple of the key things that I look for when asking people to travel. What are the things that you look for in a travel partner? Feel free to comment below!