5 Tips For Having Happy Travels With Others
You’re going on a trip – say, a week or longer – and a friend or a friend of a friend asks to come along with you.
Or, there’s a group of friends headed to some place fun, like Memorial Day Weekend at a beach, and you’ve been invited to join them.
Your first reaction is likely to be “heck yeah!” But beware, for you could be headed into that dreaded travel scenario in which you wind up being miserable because of someone and you spend half your time saying “I should have just come alone” or “I should have just stayed home and skipped this danged trip.”
So choosing travel partners (or mates, friends, buddies or however you choose to classify them) is a very important factor in traveling. Since I’ve had both good and bad travel partners, here’s what I’ve learned about choosing the perfect companion.
1.) Take A Trial Trip. Maybe there’s a music event, a wine or beer festival or other such event coming up in your area. Or maybe just take a quick road trip. The point here is to really get to know if you get along with someone to the point you can travel with them. Do they like the same things as you, do they roll with the travel punches or complain about everything, are you on the same budget, are they great at meeting new people or are they constantly embarrassing you with their behavior? You would hate to spend a week (or more) with someone who drives you crazy. I once traveled with someone who was so cheap, I was ready to strangle him or commit suicide by the second day. Fortunately, another friend joined us, whom turned out to be an excellent travel partner, and that pretty much saved one of our lives.
2.) Ask Other Friends If They Have Traveled With This Person. Utilize your resources! If you’re considering going on a trip with someone, ask friends who have traveled with them if they have any quirks. Such as, do they like to order the most expensive thing on the menu and then say “let’s just split the tab.” If you’re going in a group, find out if a person or persons in it has any issues. I’ve not gone on group trips before because I found out one particular person was on it and I did not want to deal with their drama. And what did everyone talk about when they got back – the drama that person caused on the trip.
3.) Is Your Potential Partner A Drinker Or Partier? This should you should know already and let it be stated that when I travel, I like to go to Happy Hours and bars. But if I don’t have the right travel person with me, this can cause issues. Example: I tend to like lively places where I can meet people. I’ve traveled with some people who prefer quiet, nearly empty places where they can take half an hour to sip on a single glass of wine. I think this is boring and I’m always itching to get out of there, saying to myself “I can’t wait to ditch this person so I can go someplace fun!”
4.) Is Your Potential Partner A Smoker Or Non-Smoker? If one of you is a smoker and others are not (or vice-versa) then keep that in mind. I’m a non-smoker and don’t like to be around cigarette smoke. I also require non-smoking hotel rooms. So traveling with a smoker means I’ve either got to make concessions or we’re getting separate rooms (which can add the budget), and choosing a table in a restaurant if it has two sections, well, you can imagine the potential stalemate here.
5.) No Politics! This is very important. Make sure your travel partner is not a politically-charged character. Even if you agree with his or her views, you don’t want to be hanging out with someone who has the propensity to launch into political conversations with others. These “discussions” often lead to angry moments and could cost you new friends you meet on the road. One way to find out if your proposed travel partner is a loose political cannon is to check their Facebook page. Do they often post about politics? If so, choose another travel companion.
Finally, just be sure and do your homework to avoid any potential issues in advance. A good travel partner can make a trip. A bad one can ruin it.