The beauty of solo travel is that it gives you the freedom to create your own schedule and do as you please. However, traveling with a partner has its benefits, too.
For example, a travel partner can provide moral support and ultimately help create more beautiful memories in your travel destinations.
To ensure that a travel partner is one who can add value to your journey, choose someone with similar travel preferences and personality characteristics. Here are somethings you should consider to help you pick a travel partner that can enhance the quality your travels.
1. Look for someone with common interests.
Traveling should be fun. When you are on a trip, you will want to do lots of activities that you enjoy. Preferably, your companion will want to do the same things as you (it goes without saying that your partner will have somethings they would want try out, things that you might not consider fun).
Think about your travel priorities. Make a list of all the places and activities that are very important to you.
Perhaps you’re planning a trip to France. If visiting the Louvre is a priority, make sure your travel partner wants to go, too.
Remember that you don’t have to do all of the activities together. However when you travel with someone, it is fun to do at least some things with each other.
Side note: Consider energy levels.
During your travel, there are many types of experiences that you could have. You could be very active or you maybe you want a more sedate trip. Find a travel partner who has an agenda and energy level similar to yours (or close enough).
If you plan on being active, try to look for a friend who enjoys being active. perhaps your friend from the gym would be a good choice.
Likewise, if you plan to chill, take that into account. If you want to spend your days relaxing on the beach, you don’t want a travel partner that’s constantly *nagging* you to get things done.Pro tip: Discuss financial plans
Prior to when you travel, you should plan a budget. Sort out what items are most important to you. Do you want to splurge on luxury lodging and save by not doing many excursions? Get a good idea of what things will cost.
Try asking specific questions. Your conversation could go like “How much do you think we should spend on a hotel each night?”.
You can also plan a budget together. Discuss with your partner and say something like “Let’s sit down and work out how much we want to spend per day”.
2. Have an honest conversation.
If you are thinking about traveling with a companion, you might wanna take some time out to have an open discussion. You should discuss your goals for the trip. You could also talk about your travel style and preferences.
Schedule a time to sit down and talk, Be upfront. If there is something about you that your friend needs to know, go ahead and share that (avoid mixed messages).
For instance, you could say “I’m afraid of storms and that could make me paranoid during a flight…Is there anything I should know about traveling with you?”.
Another thing to consider is the roles you and your partner share, are they too shy to approach a stranger and ask for directions? Will they make an effort to learn the language or will they expect you to do all the talking?
Is he/she going to research, plan and book hostels along the way, or will you be thrust into the role of paid tour guides? It’s fine for you both to have different roles and strengths, but a healthy balance of travel chores is key.
Find someone who is flexible.
Even if you take the time out to carefully you plan your trip, it is likely that something will go awry. Maybe it will rain on the day you planned to visit the Grand Canyon. Maybe you might not be able to get reservations at that French restaurant you’ve been dying to try.
Choose a travel partner who can adjust. You wouldn’t want to be stuck with someone who declares the whole trip ruined if you have to adjust plans.
Its much better to travel with a friend who is pretty easygoing. Do you have a friend who is willing to go out for sushi, even if you’d planned on having pizza? That person might be easy to get along with.
Make sure that you’re flexible, too. Remember that you’re on vacation to relax and have fun. Try to just go with the flow if you have to change your agenda.
Talk to a friend of a friend.
Planning you’re in the process of planning a big trip and looking for someone to go with you. It can be frustrating if none of your close friends or family can go with you. Try expanding your network.
You can ask your friends if they know anyone who wants to travel with you. For instance, maybe a friend of yours has a cousin who has always wanted to take an Alaskan cruise, just like the one you are planning.
Another thing is to use social media to make connections. A good way of doing this is by creating a post looking for a travel partner, tagging multiple friends. Chances are their friends will see your post too.
Make sure you try to meet your new travel partner in person before your trip. If that’s not possible, correspond by e-mail or phone and get to know one another.
3. Stay at a hostel.
Sometimes you just can’t find someone you know to travel with you. That’s okay. Traveling alone can be really fun too. Plus there are lots of ways to meet new travel companions along the way.
Staying at a hostel is often a communal experience. If possible make some reservations to stay at various hostels and get ready to meet your fellow travelers.
Connect with a new group of people. When you meet some people that you get along with, you can kindly ask if you can go along with them to the next city.
Find a gap year program.
If you are young then you might be interested in a gap year program. In essence, a gap year is a year between high school and college. People often spend their gap year traveling.
• Gap year travel is quite in Europe. It is becoming increasingly popular in the United States.
• Search the internet for a study abroad program. Based on your interests, you will be placed with a group of like-minded travelers.
• Try using a reputable website such as Go Overseas. They have options for short and long trips, with a variety of locations and objectives.
4. Join a travel group.
Its perfectly okay if you can’t find someone you know to travel with you. Some businesses are professionals at setting you up with the travel experience of your dreams. You could use these organizations to find wonderful travel partners.
• Web sites such as Globe Trooper offer many traveler designed trips. For example, you can use their site to meet other people who want to visit great ski resorts in Europe.
These sites offer a variety of trips. Make sure to look for ones planned by people who share your interests.
Also, during the course of traveling with a group of new people, the same rules apply as when you travel with a friend. Consider the fact that you should have the same interests, energy level, and financial plans.
Do your research.
Traveling should be relaxing and enjoyable. If you desire, it can also be full of adventures. Just make sure that your adventures come from things like climbing mountains or taking some archery sessions as opposed to staying in dubious lodgings.
Prior to your travel day, take some time to do your research. Start by reading reviews.
Be sure to read traveler reviews of every place you plan to stay. Its better to know if other people experienced big problems like the heat not working or the doors not locking.
Use a site like TripAdvisor. They post multiple reviews for every aspect of traveling.
5. Manage your expectations.
You want your vacation to be splendid, That’s natural. But make sure to keep your expectations realistic.
Try not to get upset if something goes wrong, Don’t consider the whole trip ruined if one of your adventures gets rained out.
Plan to have a good time. But be ready to laugh it off if something unexpectedly goes awry.
6. Disconnect from technology.
Take a true time out when you are on vacation. Try not to be tethered to your phone or laptop. Avoid the urge to check your e-mail multiple times a day.
Don’t check social media multiple times a day. Try to enjoy your own experiences.
Focus on being in the moment. Look around at your surroundings and find somewhere new to explore.
Relax and enjoy. Make an effort to forget about work and responsibilities.
You don’t have to travel with your best friend. A great travel partner can be someone new, or someone you didn’t know very well.
Make plans in advance. Figure out some fun things to do on your trip and be willing to compromise, Keep calm enjoy your travels.