I find myself saying yes to travel pretty much any time I can. If someone else is able to go and invites me, it is very difficult to say no to this travel addiction of mine…BUT in my wise [pause for giggle] older age, I have learned that some people just weren’t meant to travel together.
There are actually quite a few details that travel buddies need to be on the EXACT SAME PAGE about, in order to achieve a drama-less, joy-filled getaway.
Tony [my main squeeze] and I have our first upcoming International vacay TODAY [oh my goodness, I am so excited]. He doesn’t know this, but it is 100% a test to see if he is travel companion material. 😉 Haha totally kidding, I know he is an awesome travel buddy already! #thankgoodness #dealbreakerforsure
But seriously, romantic relationships and friendships can really be put to the test during travel. I have traveled with some super awesome ladies who, come to find out, take 2 1/2 entire hours to get ready in the morning before going to…the BEACH. Aka a no makeup or dressing-up-needed zone.
I have traveled with peeps that WANT to go where we are going, but immediately complain about all of the differences in the foreign city compared to their hometown.
I have traveled with companions that 100% could NOT afford to be on the trip we were on, and thus refused to spend money on anything once we were there [yet completely failed to mention that prior to departure]!
I think overall there is a travel companion etiquette that we should all follow. Questions need to be asked before departure and compromises need to be made during your travel adventure for everyone to get the most out of the travel experience.
Take a minute and interview each other. Ask specific questions, based on your travel style, that you and your potential travel partner-in-crime should answer for each other before going far far away. It will make the entire experience so much better…I PROMISE!
Here, in my opinion, is how to be an ideal travel buddy:
1. You want to dive, head first, into the culture + destination you are going to
This means that you say yes a lot and that you actually want to try NEW things. When non-new things are an option you still choose to try the new ones as often as possible. This means you say yes to trying new foods [even if you aren’t quite certain what it is], and you say yes to new social activities that present themselves from awesome locals.
You select a few tourist sites that you want to see and you both go to the most important ones to each of you, but you also are okay NOT making it to every single tourist site. You are fine with exploring off the beaten path areas and won’t feel like you missed out on something.
If you LOVE your routine back home and have no desire to try anything new, then you definitely should go with a travel buddy who feels EXACTLY the same way [although, to be frank, I’m not sure why you would want to go somewhere new if this were the case]. Bottom line – you know that travel changes you for the better and you are open to be changed. #heckyahman
2. You can go with the flow
You are fine with the sleeping arrangements, food options, and plans in general. You don’t complain to the hotel front desk in hopes of being upgraded. You don’t complain to the chef that your dinner doesn’t meet your crazy diet requirements. You don’t have an emotional meltdown when you miss an entire day’s itinerary due to weather/missing the last ferry/getting lost/etc.
You can figure out, without being too scared to try, how to locate a restroom, a temple, a castle, transportation. You know that stuff IS going to go wrong…but you just go with it, appreciate being where you are, know that everything will work out – and live in the moment. You know, you just flow! 😉
3. You can be appreciative + respectful
I mean, you should do this with or without travel…but you put even more effort and awareness into being respectful, even if you don’t understand why, during your trip.
You attempt to learn the language because you know the locals appreciate your effort instead of expecting them to speak ‘American’ [for example]. Lol. You are aware of cultural traditions & differences and you do everything you can to take part in them and blend. You don’t dress like a ‘slutface’ when entering a cathedral in Europe and you purchase a teeny tiny bikini for the beaches in Brazil because that is just what you should do!
You behave while also having a great time, and you follow the rules [again, out of respect]. You treat locals, workers, fellow tourists, hospitality peeps etc all in a respectful manner. Let’s put it this way…when you leave to return home, there isn’t one person that came across your path that would hope you never returned to their country.
4. You can afford to go on this trip
I’m all for making travel happen no matter what, otherwise people tend to wait their whole life to go on a trip…BUT you do have to be able to afford this trip and communicate exactly what that means to your travel buddy. If you think ‘afford’ means shared dorm room hostels and street food only, meanwhile your companion thinks that means a 4 star rating lodging instead of 5, you are going to have a problem.
Just communicate before you book anything, and if you aren’t on a similar financial page one of you is going to have to compromise more than the other. Either you slum it for their sake or they do…or you just don’t go together.
*BTW what is with me ALWAYS being on the left in photos?!? LOL, never noticed until now!
5. You appreciate YOUR travel buddy +/or companion[s]
I mean, you clearly liked each other enough to travel together. Remember that? The good ol’ days before the travel started? Haha j/k. But really, there are a lot of reasons why you chose your travel buddy, hopefully. Remember all of those reasons if your moments abroad ever become frustrating.
Be grateful that you don’t love EXACTLY the same things nor have the same exact travel style. Their uniqueness may open up even more experiences on your travel adventure that you would have never had otherwise. #travelbuddyforlife