How to find a good travel companion

28/09/2015

Photo credit: iStockThe person you share your adventures with can either make or break a trip, leaving you with fantastic memories or a friendship in tatters. This makes finding the perfect travel companion important and it may not be one of the first people that come to mind. Follow these tips and you'll avoid spending your well-earned time away with the wrong person.

Shared expectations

No matter how well you get on in everyday life, spending a lot of time travelling with another person can lead to all sorts of issues. One of the most vital things to look for in a holiday companion is somebody who wants to get the same thing out of a trip. There is no point going on a beach break with a culture vulture who can't sit still or an adrenaline-filled sports break with a beach bum. Match the holiday to the interests and you'll be off to a good start.

Independence

Choosing to travel with someone does not mean you are signing up to spend 24/7 with them and not having some time apart can be disastrous. Choose a companion who has a certain amount of confidence and will be happy to go off and do their own thing occasionally, as well as spending time with you. If your friend has never been to the type of country you are travelling to before, there is a chance they could feel insecure and needy, so address this beforehand if you are the more experienced party.

Photo credit: iStockSimilar values

It is amazing how travelling can bring a side out of people that you have never seen before - good and bad. If you share similar values to begin with, this shouldn't be too much of a shock once you are away. This goes for attitudes to new places and cultures, the pace at which they like to do things and their priorities. Some people require an hour to do their hair each morning, which is only a problem if they are travelling with another person who gets ready in 15 minutes and is itching to leave the hotel.

The same budget

One of the most divisive issues when travelling as it is in life is money and if one companion has significantly more than the other, this can lead to issues. Having totally different budgets will mean being able to do things in opposing ways and can be very inharmonious. More money does not necessarily mean better, but if someone can't afford to do activities or stay in certain places, this can lead to resentment not just for them, but also the person with a bigger budget. Awkward!

Communication

People who keep everything in can be the worst travel companions, as it is easy for the other friend to believe everything is fine until they suddenly explode. Easy communication between the two of you is important, especially if a quick decision needs to be made on the road. There is not always the time for the niceties of holding back when travelling, so it is good if you can both be comfortable about saying what you really feel to each other.

Photo credit: iStockDon't jump in at the deep end

Finding a good travel companion can be a slow process and it is best not to book a three-month long multi-centre holiday with them for your first adventure together. Try a weekend away with other people first and see how you get on, then perhaps a week just the two of you. If there are any alarm bells during these trips, consider how the situation might play out over a longer time and in a destination much further away from home.

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