You're planning to see the world and are keen to take someone with you to share the fun. But the kind of person you travel with can make or break a trip, as well as your relationship! Here are a few questions you should be asking about your potential travel partner before you hit the road!
Adventure-seeker or play-it-safe tourist?
A travel buddy who's more active than you are, or unafraid of new experiences, might prefer some off-the-beaten track activities on a holiday, such as skydiving, kayaking or scuba diving. But if you're not the 'extreme' kind, you could be left feeling anxious or out of your depth.
It's easy to discuss beforehand what activities you're likely to want to do, so no one feels left out or pressured to step out of their comfort zone. Take a look at the options and, if your buddy wants to do something you don't, ensure they'll be happy going solo while you do the same with something more low key.
If a buddy isn't happy with this arrangement, they're not the buddy for you. If they are happy going solo from time to time, book your respective activities at the same time and simply meet up afterwards. It's win-win.
Budget traveller or comfort-seeker?
If, to you, travelling means going all out on fancy accommodation and expensive meals, chances are your plans won't match those of a friend who prefers to travel on a strict budget. However, there are ways you can compromise.
Why not make budgeting fun by working on it together before you leave? Budget Your Trip is a great tool to sift through information on the costs in different places.
Setting up a shared Google document is also a good way to list all accommodation, activities and meals, and ensure you can both afford them before you go. If money's an issue for one of you, why not agree on quality meals over five-star accommodation? Or opt for better accommodation with fewer expensive tours?
Early bird or night owl?
There's nothing worse than waking up early to catch the sunrise only to find your travel buddy has been out till dawn and can't get of bed. It's a good idea to discuss ahead of time which sights you'd like to see when, to get on the same page.
Log into that Google doc again before you leave, and book any early starts into your shared calendar. That way you can remind each other to say no to any crazy party plans that might pop up the night before. You can always reschedule things once you've arrived and agreed on a new plan, but a little forward planning will prevent any disappointments and arguments.
It's worth remembering that if you're planning on seeing a lot of sights that require early starts, you probably shouldn't travel with a night owl in the first place!
Bar or spa?
If the idea of 'taking a break' means spending three days in a quiet meditation retreat, you won't want to find yourself on holiday with someone who's happy drinking local spirits in a bar till 3am.
To avoid disappointment for both of you, compromise on activities before you jet off. Perhaps you could spend a couple of nights bar-hopping before heading to a quieter location for 'recovery' time. Places like Singapore and Bali, for example, offer both excellent bars as well as spas!
Travel-to-eat or eat-on-the-go?
Foodie? If you're someone who loves to plan each meal in a new place, in order to sample the specialities, you probably shouldn't travel with someone who prefers grabbing something whenever they're hungry. Discuss your eating intentions and food budgets ahead of time. To save money, perhaps opt for cheaper lunch options on-the-go, and choose a couple of restaurants together for dinner reservations. Another win-win.
To save money, perhaps opt for cheaper lunch options on-the-go, and choose a couple of restaurants together for dinner reservations.
If you think a little about the kind of travel companion who'll be in sync with your preferences and plan around these, there's no need for arguments or for anyone to be unhappy while on a travelling adventure. Sure, there will be things you can't anticipate, like bathroom-hoggers and loud snorers, but with a little preparation (and a sense of humour) you can ensure that everyone involved has a great time!