Hitting the road to see the world is one of life’s greatest joys, and while some people prefer to do it alone, most travelers prefer having a buddy on their expeditions. A travel buddy can make your trip safer, provide some much-needed companionship, and snap your photo with landmarks — assuming you choose your partner carefully. If you don’t, you could end up reluctantly tagging along to landmarks you have no interest in seeing, spending more than you planned on, or splitting up just to get some peace and quiet. I recommend you take the following things into account when choosing a travel buddy.
Are You on The Same Budget?
Some people travel on a shoestring budget, while others save all year, so they can enjoy a lavish, comfortable sojourn, sleeping and dining in style. It’s important that your budget aligns with your buddy’s. If you don’t, you could find yourself arguing over hotels vs. hostels every night. If you’re in the mood for pricy food and accommodations, you might end up footing the bill for your buddy just, so you can stick together — and if you’re the thriftier partner, you could run through your entire budget trying to keep up with your companion’s profligate ways. Before you commit to traveling with someone, ask them what their total and per-day budget is for the trip. If it’s too far off from yours, you might want to look elsewhere.
Do You Want to See the Same Things?
Traveling is all about seeing the sights, but people have different priorities for the attractions they’d like to experience. Some people are down to hike along an ancient trail to an abandoned monastery, while others would prefer to tread through well-known tourist traps and grab souvenirs. You need to be certain that your travel buddy is on board with your plans, and that theirs aren’t too outlandish for you to go along with. Discuss your itinerary in each city or location you’re planning to visit and make sure there are no deal breakers for either of you. If you’re both excited for the same experiences, your trip will go much more smoothly.
Do You Make a Good Team?
Even if you’ve discussed the two issues above and you’re in agreement, there could still be problems. If your companion is someone you haven’t spent a lot of time with, you might benefit from taking a shorter trip somewhere together in order to anticipate potential problems. Can you two stand each other? Or is your companion’s personality just not compatible with yours? You should also look for someone who complements your own attributes. If you’re not naturally outgoing but you’d like to socialize with some foreigners on the road, choose a mate who will bring you out of your shell. If you don’t speak the native language, look for a companion who can double as a translator. Traveling is fun, but it’s not always easy-you need to be sure your duo won’t crack under pressure.
Don’t worry if you have trouble finding a companion who’s perfectly compatible with you. Some minor differences can be forgiven. But if your potential buddy has a budget that makes you swallow hard, an itinerary that sounds grueling rather than relaxing, or a prickly personality, you’d better look elsewhere.