Are you choosing the right friends to go travelling with? I came to find that the people you travel with is a similar decision as picking roommates – just because you’re friends with someone doesn’t mean they’d be great to travel/live with. And boy, have I had some experience with both!
There are certain things you should ask yourself about what you want in a travel companion (if you so choose to have one) and these are the things I’ve learnt to consider from my experiences – the good, the bad, and the ugly!
This may seem really obvious, but you definitely have to get straight what things you want to do on a trip. Warning bells should have rang for me when I went around some of the East Coast of Australia with a friend: he wanted to go to theme parks and Sea World, whereas I wanted to go surfing and find quirky bars. This was not a good mix.
Of course, you’re not always going to want to do the same things, but make sure you don’t mind doing what they suggest – this is your journey, too. Or if it makes you both happier, arrange to go to different places and meet up afterwards. You don’t want to end up like me, still upset that I didn’t surf Byron Bay or walk around the hippie town of Nimbin.
Complement each other
Try to see if you complement each other’s strengths and weaknesses. I’ve always found my boyfriend Alan to be one of the best travelling companions for me, and that’s partly because we have our separate travel skills: he’s brilliant with money and budgeting, what costs to consider and what they will realistically add up to. This is precisely my weakness. My strength is discovering what experiences we can’t miss out on, what to see and the hidden secrets of a destination. Alan also makes sure I don’t get lost walking around… shamefully easy for me.
Is the person you’re travelling with laid back? How much will they stress out if something goes wrong, and will they be able to get past it? If something goes wrong during your travels (we all have our stories) you need to be able to move past it and make the most out of what you have. If your travel companion does let it get to them, can you handle that? Can you calm them down and still enjoy the trip?
I have been battling with not being able to make certain decisions. When I was little it was which DVD should I choose for me and my sister to watch, more recently it’s which bus should we take to which place. It’s a massive time waster to be standing on a street corner trying to decide what to do and neither of you progressing with an idea (this was East Coast trip again). Be honest with each other what you want to do, weigh up the pros and cons, and just stick to it. Decide and go.
Choose someone you have fun with
SO IMPORTANT. Having the same/similar sense of humour and making those experiences truly memorable is one of the best parts of travelling. I love sharing the happiness of travels with someone I care about and laugh easily with. I even love those private jokes annoying to everyone else around you. If you have fun with your travel buddy, that’s what you’re going to remember.
Photo credit for the first two photos to my talented friend, Monika. Not entirely sure I could get by without stealing her photos.