Things To Consider When Choosing A Travel Partner

You are on Pebbles Beach in Barbados, sipping a rum punch, as various shades of Caribbean blue gradually wash into the white sand. The warm salty island air dances along your bare skin and invades your senses. Your face, slathered in SPF, of course, is being caressed by the brilliant West Indian sun. You look to your right. Who is there with you?

Choosing the right travel partner can make or break the most beautiful of holidays. Before you book your tickets, here are some things you might want to consider.

Setting A Budget

Just because you can afford a lie flat bed in first class, with an hourly replenishment of caviar and champagne, does not mean your travel buddy can. Do you have a restaurant that’s a must-visit? Could you imagine going to Copenhagen and never eating at Noma? Which attractions are unmissable? Even if you have the excess coin to spend, allow your partner to come prepared by giving them a heads up of your expectations. Establish a budget for the day to day before setting flight.

Determining Expectations and Packing Accordingly:

When it comes to traveling, it’s essential to be on the same page. If you want a sleepy, peaceful week wrapped up in 600 thread count cotton sheets and your partner planned a guided 50 stop adventure tour of New York City; chances are one of you are bound to be sore.

Make sure you pack for the same trip. The person with the four-wheel petite carry on and the one with the two large checked duffle bags is looking for a very different experience. Be explicit about your expectations of the trip.

Palm trees and an airplane

Examining the Red Flags of Lousy Travel Buddies:

The warning signs of lousy adventure companions are going to differ from person to person, but I think we can agree that unfavorable qualities can be quickly detected in a few simple scenarios:

  •  You’re out for dinner and your partner orders french fries and chicken strips and you’re at an Ethiopian restaurant; that’s a red flag!
  • You go for drinks, and they order a cosmopolitan and offer you a sip,  then when the bill comes, they ask you to split the cost of their cosmo; that is a red flag!

  • You’re at a party with them and they are glued to your hip and not talking to people around them; that’s a red flag!

  • They start a sentence with “You people!”; that’s a red flag, and you should probably re-evaluate your friendship!

Choosing the Activities and Locations That Are Right For Both Of You:

I’m sure everyone has found themselves in the middle of a merlot fueled pillow fight in Amsterdam, wondering how they got there. No? Just me? Not every activity is fun for everyone. Make sure to comprise and find a middle ground. That means enjoy the occasional all-night rager but take time to absorb some culture at the Stedelijk Museum.

How to navigate travelling with a problematic person and what to do if it’s not going well:

So you’re in Tulum. It’s hot, and you’re tired. You are lost, and you don’t speak Spanish. This would be palatable if you didn’t have to deal with a bossy and impatient companion.

Travelling with someone gives you an intimate snapshot of what life is like with them. You get to see how they handle conflict, how loud they snore, or whether or not they are an entitled little Mama’s boy that makes you carry their suitcase because they don’t want to get a callous on their precious little hands. Sorry, that took me back!

When things get difficult, the flare-ups are usually not personal but due merely to a bit of overexposure. You’ve probably been together every waking, and sleeping, minute of every day and have nothing new to share. If it gets to that, take a walk, go shopping,  or just take time for yourself. Taking a breather will take the pressure off the other person and recharge your partnership battery.

Knowing when you’ve found your perfect travel mate:

A dream companion is someone open to exploring. Someone is up for trying everything on the menu. Someone willing to try and speak the language, despite making mistakes. Someone who is respectful of other cultures. Someone ready to say  I’ll take this round.

The best indicator of a good relationship is not how well we agree, but how well we disagree. Having the opportunity to see the world is one of the greatest pleasures we can enjoy. Sharing that gift with someone makes it even sweeter. If you spend enough time together, it is inevitable that disagreements will occur. Establishing mutually agreeable conflict resolution strategies beforehand is a must. Learn how to disagree agreeably.

Now, go ahead and finish that rum punch!