A recipe for the right travel partner
So you’ve decided against travelling solo, and you’re out to pick the perfect ingredients for your travel partner: but is it your best friend you’ve known since you were five, or is it that guy you spent a week with whilst backpacking around Europe? No one wants to clash on the road, so get the right mix with our tried and tested recipe.
1. A balance of ingredients
Let’s start with the most general rule of thumb – you need to balance each other out. Are you so laid back you could fall over? You’ll need to find someone who’s on a similar wavelength whilst conscious of keeping you on track. Can you get neurotic and highly strung? Pick a partner with a relaxed attitude to mellow you out in more stressful times.
2. A pinch of curiosity
That inert inquisitiveness when exploring somewhere new is super important. You need a travel buddy who will have you stumbling across exciting places, making fascinating cultural discoveries, and as a result creating some incredible memories together.
3. A matching schedule
Are you one of those people who thinks lying in bed for an extra 10 minutes is a waste of potential exploration time? Don’t choose someone who dreams of whole days spent on the beach topping up their tan, or will happily take three hours to get ready for an evening snack at a local street food stall.
4. A dash of humour
Embarking on a trip is one of the most exciting and enriching experiences ever – we get it, but times will almost certainly get tough at some point, and sharing those times with someone you can laugh them off with is really valuable. If you can miss your transfer, be stranded in the middle of nowhere, and still be crying with laughter about it, you’ve done something right.
5. A big slice of respect
Respecting you, respecting your surroundings and respecting other people, the R word is a key component in a travel partner. Whether it’s a bit of personal space you need, or a tolerance and appreciation of cultural differences, choose someone who cares for you and your environment.
6. A bunch of good chat
You’re in this together and hopefully, you want to learn something from each other as well as the new places you find yourself in. Debating the meaning of life; obsessing with over five items you would take with you to a desert island, or just rambling about nothing in particular is just as important as the occasional golden silence.
7. Social media sharing to taste
For some, travelling is one big Instagram moment, and for others, it’s the perfect chance to rid themselves of the internet’s evil over-sharing grasp. If you don’t want to get lost in a barrage of #WanderLust related hashtags and be the subject of a thousand selfies, or you feel like documenting the trip is more than half the fun, discuss your strong social media inclinations and make sure you’re on an even Facebook playing field.
8. A balanced measure of budget consciousness
The classic mistake: you book a spontaneous trip, and at 70,000 feet you realise that this might not work as she orders a bottle of prosecco and you shyly retrieve your packed lunch. Budget backpackers and five star jet setters will find it hard to co-exist peacefully.
9. Taste before travelling
The best idea is to road test your travel companion before booking a trip halfway across the world with them. Book a weekend away or an overnight trip somewhere nearby to get a feel for how they work whilst travelling; are they flexible or flaky? Do they fall into step with you or are they constantly trailing behind or rushing ahead?
Do you feel like you’ve discovered your partner in crime? Then this could be the real deal.
Found your perfect travel partner? Tell us your stories about how you met or your amazing experiences together for a chance to feature on the HI blog.