Traveling with a partner is unquestionably the best way to travel. While the idea of traveling alone may appeal to some, having a friend or two along for the ride comes with a myriad of benefits that simply can’t be ignored. From personal security against assault and theft to companionship and camaraderie, the upsides of traveling with a friend are too many to list here. However, there is one thing that you’ll want to make sure of before you jet off halfway across the world with your travel partner; are you and your travel partner compatible?
Are you and your travel partner compatible?
Travel partner compatibility can be a tricky thing. On the one hand, you want to make sure beyond a reasonable doubt that you won’t end up regretting your choice of travel partner later on down the road. On the other hand, if you’re too picky, you’ll probably never find someone to travel with; after all, nobody’s perfect!
Fortunately, there are a couple of things you can do to make sure that the person you’re thinking of traveling with is a good choice. From gauging their emotional stability and personal character to finding out what type of activities and attractions they prefer, these tips will help you get to know the person and find out if they are a good fit for you!
Get to know them
This may seem obvious, but let’s get it out of the way regardless. After all, you probably don’t want to set off on a week- or months-long journey before you’ve gotten to know the person you’re traveling with, right? This being said, it’s easier to be unaware of hidden personality defects than one might think. People don’t usually flaunt their flaws, and a person that you only hang out with occasionally can become far less amiable when you spend a longer period of time with them.
Now, there are a lot of ways you can get to know a person better, and dig into their personality to see whether or not they have the type of flaws that can ruin a trip entirely. Try doing a mentally or physically demanding activity with them, such as a mountain bike trail or escape room challenge. If they’re hiding a negative character trait, it’s more likely to come out when they’re under the pressure that these activities entail.
Take a short trip with them
If you’re trying to find out if someone is a good travel partner, what better way is there than to take a short test trip with them? A couple of days spent camping or touring should be plenty of time to see how the person handles stress, fatigue, unpleasant traveling conditions, etc. How they react to these different challenges is a great predictor for how they will handle the same challenges on longer trips.
For example, say you have to take the train to your destination. If it’s only been a half-hour and they’re already bellyaching about how uncomfortable the chairs are and how hot the train is, they probably aren’t going to deal with strenuous travel conditions very well. You should also watch out for any other negative tendencies while on this trip, i.e. “borrowing” your things without permission, getting too drunk on nights out, and other such shortcomings.
Find out their likes and dislikes
Choosing a travel partner isn’t just about finding out whether or not they have character flaws; it’s also about making sure you have compatible interests and preferred activities. After all, if you like mountain climbing and skydiving and your travel partner only likes perusing artisan tea parlors and taking naps, you’re probably going to have a hard time agreeing on activities to participate in.
Finding this out is fairly easy; all you need to do is ask. Find out where they’ve been, what they like to do and what their plans are for future travels. Most people will be happy to share their interests and tell stories about their experiences while traveling, and you can use this to find out if they’re compatible with you!
Additionally, once you’ve found out your prospective travel partner’s interests, you can find ways that your interests can complement each other. For example, if you really enjoy photography and they are into caving, you could get some really great National Geographic-type shots that showcase your photography skills and your partner’s caving skills. If you work at it, you can find tons of fun ways that individual and seemingly mutually exclusive interests can complement one another.
Trust your gut
At the end of the day, choosing a travel partner comes down to good ol’ intuition, plain and simple. Someone can look like a great potential travel partner in all respects, but if they are giving off a bad vibe, just write them off. You may be wrong, but the consequences of going against your instincts and finding out that the travel partner you chose is terrible will be far worse than the payoff of them turning out to be great. Just move on and find a new travel partner.
Traveling is something that everyone should do during their lifetime, whether it’s a weekend camping trip to the national park near your house or a half-a-year long trek through Asia. The things you experience will last you a lifetime; so pick a travel partner using these tips, get out there and explore!