We have met plenty of people over the years who have shared horror stories about falling out with friends or partners while travelling. Choosing the right travel partner is important, as your ability to wear the ups and downs of travel together will have a huge impact on your trip. Here are a few things to keep in mind when making your decision.
1. Length of your trip together
If you are planning a long trip (say 12 months), check your travel partner is on board with this. Perhaps they only want to join you for part of the way, or they would prefer a shorter trip.
If you haven’t travelled together before, a short ‘tester’ trip to check your travel compatibility is a good idea. If you can’t hack 5 days on a beach in Bali together, you probably won’t survive 6 months in Central Asia.
2. Your budgets
Having a similar budget to your travel partner will make life a lot easier when choosing activities and accommodation. Have a chat about your budget with your travel partner before you leave. If there is a big difference between budgets, have a frank discussion about what happens if one wants to stay somewhere or do something that the other can’t afford.
3. Having similar interests
Make sure you are interested in doing and seeing similar things. This may sound basic, but it’s can be a mistake to assume that everyone else is interested in the same stuff as you! Do you prefer cities or nature? Art galleries or hiking? History museums or watching sport? There is so much to see and usually not enough time to see it all, so it helps if you have the same priorities.
4. Personality clashes
How do you both react under stress? What is your ‘arguing style’? Are you a little obsessive compulsive, or extremely laid back? Travelling someone with complimentary yet compatible personality traits is important. You are almost certainly going to have disagreements and stressful times on the road, so think about how you will both handle these situations.
5. Hostel vs hotel
Some people have a real aversion to dorm rooms, while others love the social side of hostels. Check you are both on the same page when it comes to the type of accommodation you will be staying in.
6. To party or not to party?
The age old question. If you prefer to be in bed tucked up with a book at 9pm, it probably best to avoid travelling with your mate who likes to go on drunken benders until 3am.
7. Have an escape plan
So what happens if you chose the wrong travel buddy, and it all goes tits up? It’s worth having an ‘escape plan’, so you can part ways or take a break from travelling with each other without ruining your friendship or relationship.
Of course, if you travel alone you don’t have to worry about any of this! Travelling alone isn’t for everyone, but we’ve met plenty of people who love the freedom and flexibility of solo travel.