The answer seems quite simple and to be honest it’s simple as it is. Travel can be a unique experience in your life, and you should strive to maximize it and use all possibilities in order to get the best out of it. It makes sense to travel with a person who you really love, your bestie, your family, your bae, but let’s be honest: sometimes it can be such a drag. I have had some strange experiences which highlighted how important it is to pick the best travel buddies and how important it is to make some rules. Not only for me but both of us, after all, it’s a shared experience, isn’t it? Here are some easy and simple tips that can help you to choose the best person and can avoid some inconvenient situations.
1, People change and you too
Let’s say that you have a very good friend from your childhood, school, previous workplace or somewhere, but neither of you have had enough time to be together lately, because you both work, keep the household and get lost in the chaos of daily stuff. You chat a lot online, even on the phone and all at once you may have a thought on your mind:
Let’s leave the rat race behind for a few days and go somewhere.
Having a holiday together seems to be a perfect idea, but trust me it is not if you pick somebody you haven’t met in a while. Both of you have changed. I had an experience in a similar situation. It was only a day trip but it doesn’t belong to my best travel experiences. Although I tried to focus on happy things, new expressions and gaining new experiences, it was a little bit disturbing feeling to listen to someone badmouth everyone and everything. When I wasn’t able to take it anymore because I didn’t want her to turn our day into a bad experience, I simply asked her:
‘Why do you hurt and judge people who you don’t know at all?’
Her answer shocked me: ‘Because I feel better if I know everybody is worse than me, but please don’t be a hypocrite, you did the same before. You have changed’
Guilty. I was her partner in crime when we were in our late elementary school age and were living our ‘punk-period’. We hated the whole world and criticised everybody as most teenagers do. The only thing I wanted that time was to revolt… ah, come on, I had mohawk… But it was more than 13 years ago, and we grew up. At least I thought we both grew up. I tried to help her, but she didn’t want help. So the lesson to be learned here is trying to make sure that you are still on the same wavelength or not. It helps to avoid having a bitter pill.
2, Know your travelling style
It is so important to know your travelling style and your actual mood and necessities. If I travel somewhere I like to walk around the city, have a tour in nature or go hiking, so to sum it up I’m an active traveller. No rush, no push to see all of the obligatory places, but I don’t like to stay in a hotel or a cafe all day. One of my friends is completely different from me. She hates to walk or hike, and she imagined our trip as a lazy holiday when we just lie on the beach. We made compromises so it wasn’t a problem after all, but it would have been helpful if we had put it to a test first. The best way to find out is to start with a short getaway.
Before you book your next 1 month trip around Europe, make sure, you fit for each other.
Start with only a few days trip. If it works, you can go wandering around Europe, or somewhere. It could also be very helpful if you discuss your expectations before you set off. You don’t need strict rules and plan every single moment of your shared holiday, but you definitely should speak about your expectations. What will you expect from your holiday? Would you like an active holiday and fill it with adventures or you would rather have a lazy one and just chill?
3, Respect each other’s personal space
Shared holiday or not, everybody needs some ‘me time’, when they can do whatever they want. Sometimes your sense of being alone doesn’t arrive at the same time. No worries, and in particular do not take offense or take the huff. If your travel buddy doesn’t need that kind of time, try to explain it to them how important it is for you, or make some compromises and get up earlier or go to bed later.
4, Create a budget and plan ahead
Well, you have already a plan for your destination, accommodations, activities, you even find the best transportation how to get there. It’s cool, but have you ever discussed the things that seem obvious? Where will you eat generally? In a restaurant or look for a grocery? How will you explore the city? By local transport or by walking? How much money would you like to spend per day or total? It is necessary to speak about these before your travel because if you find some unexpected attraction, or find an awesome activity that is really worth taking a closer look at, will you be able to afford it or not? Maybe the best practice if you use a common wallet.
Travelling with good company is fun, but you should create your own rules and plan ahead to fully enjoy your trip. And please do not forget: you also have to stick to them. If you can’t, you should travel alone which can also be fun 🙂