Unless you prefer to travel alone, you might benefit from having a steadfast travel companion. I have an amazing travel buddy. Her name is Trinidad. We didn’t consciously decide to pair up–it just happened. But we’ve remained together for several reasons that make us compatible travel mates. Sure we have our disagreements here and there, but nothing that could potentially spoil a trip. And that’s the consequence of choosing incorrectly.
So when considering who will be your plus one, make sure the person is:
The ability to be amenable to different options is very important when you’re traveling, especially if you’re on a budget. Rigid people who are angered by last minute changes or who get stuck on one idea and can’t stomach a change will undoubtedly ruin your trip. Remember: spontaneity is the spice of life!
Sometimes travel requires you to act fast, but sometimes it requires some premeditation and patience. Acting rashly when cash deposits and flights are involved can wreak havoc. Furthermore, understanding that your companion will operate on his or her own routine is key to your sanity. Getting agitated because they take too long in the shower or because they eat at a snail’s pace will only get you—well, agitated! Be cool.
3. A Troubleshooter
Sometimes itineraries don’t play out as planned. An amazing travel buddy can shift gears and come up with a new plan fast. The ability to come up with a plan B, C, and D is invaluable in any situation, but especially when you’re on the other side of the world and don’t speak the native language. On the other hand, someone who shuts down in the face of distress will leave you to shoulder the burden alone.
Sometimes “ish” happens–flights get missed, luggage gets lost, reservations get screwed up. A high-strung companion will complain–turning an unfortunate accident into a nightmare. Their anxiety will inevitably rub off on you, turning your mood sour. The person that can laugh off small setbacks is a good travel partner indeed.
Hiking through the jungle with someone who’s afraid of bugs or heading on a beach holiday with someone only interested in partying is just silly. You’re asking for trouble. Make sure ahead of time that you and your buddy share the same interests and have the same expectations for the trip.
What’s the benefit of traveling with someone if they won’t add to the fun factor? It may seem like common sense, but choose a companion that has a happy demeanor. A fearful, somber, or drama-seeking person is almost never a good choice.
Again, this common sense, so I’ll be brief. If you can answer with 100 percent certainty that your travel mate will have your back in any situation, then set those sails. But if he or she would be the first to toss you the keys to the car while you’re busy throwing up on the sidewalk, then think again.
The two complaints I hear most often from travel-deprived people: 1) I don’t have the time, and 2) I don’t have the money. Make it your goal to find a buddy that always makes the time and socks away the money for travel. ‘Nuff said!