Exploring and traveling the world is a great way to enrich your soul and broaden your horizons. Cultural awakenings and experiences that will last a lifetime are the driving forces behind the purchase of that first one way ticket, to the heart of whatever destination seems to be the perfect leaping off point for your travels.
Indeed, throughout a long excursion there will be all sorts of encounters with other travelers and you may even find someone with whom you instantly feel a rapport and connection with. Thus, you have now become instant best friends and decide to explore the world together with nothing to stop you.
That’s great and certainly an achievable dream, but not everything can work out for the best and before long, you may find yourself in a remote destination, with someone who at first was a great travel buddy but has now morphed into a hindrance that is now annoying you with their very breathing.
That is, of course, hyperbole, but the warning itself remains true. There are numerous incidents of friends setting off together only to find themselves torn apart by differences and petty arguments that overshadow the exploring and good vibe that should be present throughout. That’s why today we will explore the top tips for selecting the best travel buddy so you can fully realize how awesome moving from place to place can be with the right person.
Establish Common Ground & Connections
First things first; you need to select a partner who you actually have common interests with. It may sound obvious, but picture the scenario further down the road. You want to visit the museum and they want to lay in a hammock all day. Instant clash, instant loggerheads and just plain not going to work. This extends to your personalities being able to click and connect.
If one of you is prone to the extremities of emotions, there could be a problem. It might be too much for you or them to handle. Also remember, there will be long bus journeys, lazy days and points where there’s not much to do. You’ll need to be able to have a conversation with them that will extend past the mundane weather remarks. You should be able to talk about anything and everything.
The Early Bird and the Night Owl
A lay-in is not a bad thing. Partying the night away until the early hours of the morning is also a fun time. But, this comes with the sacrifice of not being able to get up early and see that remarkable sunrise that your travel buddy was desperate to capture.
The day is now ruined by an air of resentment and bitterness and it simply won’t work in the long run. Incompatibility in this way will spoil both of your experience, so before embarking on your expedition, get a feel for each other’s habits first.
Money Matters When Picking a Travel Buddy
Oh how curious it is that small pieces of paper and metal coins can dominate our lives and be a source of joy or stress. Travelling is no exception to the rules of currency and while it sometimes feels like you’re escaping the real world, there are some very real money issues that can crop up whilst on your travels.
Everyone has a budget of some sort, whether you’re funded by mom and dad, or have a tightly controlled financial plan, you should ideally find someone with a similar purse string as yourself. Arguments could quickly arise from differences in budget, examples such as you wanting to stay in that lovely five star hotel you saw on booking.com while your partner blankly stares at you clutching a fistful of dollars are not going to be mutually agreeable.
This extends further to the activities that you may wish to partake in. A diving course sounds neat, but the price may exceed that of you or your friend. If one person is out of synchronization with the other, there will again be bitterness felt and a ruination of the journey.
Travel Partners & Age
This is quite a contentious point, but one that needs to be raised nevertheless. Age does matter, that’s reality. If you’re with someone far younger or older than you, there will be a raft of differences that will be too much to bear. You might want to go out whilst they’re quite ready to tuck into bed and drift off. It’s another alignment that needs to be examined. While there is no optimum range, usually a 10 year gap either way is manageable and anything above and beyond that may prove too much of a canyon to cross.
Staying in one city for a few days might be enough for you, but what if your partner is simply in love with the destination and can’t tear themselves away? You’re going to have an issue. Set your exploration pace and stick to it. Plans can change, of course, but try and at least have an upfront idea of how long you want to be somewhere, that way there are no surprises.
Practice Makes Perfect
The final piece of advice is to have a test run. Go away together and maybe spend a weekend doing plenty of activities and sightseeing. You’ll be able to really gauge how their personality gels with yours and whether you have common interests and goals for your travels. If it doesn’t seem like a great fit, at least it was only a weekend and not a month down the road.
Finding the perfect travel buddy may not happen immediately or even at all, but with this guide you’ll be sure to have an idea of what you’re looking for should that person crop up. Remember, you want to be able to have an experience that will be enriched by someone else, not drag you down and ruin your entire journey. Go forth with an open heart and an open mind, smile and see what comes your way. You may well end up pleasantly surprised and find a companion that you remain connected with for life.