Picture this: You and your best friend have been planning your dream holiday for months. You both have nutted out the flights you are taking, the accommodation you are staying at, what you will see and do. Since booking the flights you have been unable to stop talking about it, you have been so excited. So its time, you are at the airport checking in, its early in the morning and your friend has just said something you never would have expected out of the blue that starts to make you question, have I made the right choice travelling with you? Travelling with friends is meant to be fun and enjoyable, so how do you know you have picked the right travel companion? If you are going for a long holiday, you need to make sure the friendship ticks a few boxes before locking in that non refundable flight. Regardless of how long you have been friends for, some people are just not made to travel together, and that is ok, accepting that is a huge thing. I have travelled with different people, most of it was full of good times but much like spending too much time with people at home, we did need our space to re-group. So, how do you know when you have found the one? (travel buddy that is).
- How many rounds have you gone? Now, I am not talking about them being able to hold their liquor (although being my travel buddy it is a pretty good idea to have a strong liver!) I am meaning more about how many fights you have had, how big they were and how you overcame them. Even friendships where you have never fought are put to the test when spending a long time together so I recommend having the discussion and laying out a battle plan if things go sour.
- To party or not to party? Not all holidays are going to be booze-fests, so being able to chat to your travel buddy about how often you want to go out is a big thing. If back home you or your buddy aren’t big drinkers, don’t expect that to change overseas (although you never know!).
- Add as friend – Travelling is designed for the social butterflies or helps those who are socially awkward to branch out of their comfort zone. If you make some friends you want to hang out with do it! Be prepared to hang with people outside of your buddy group, this is a good thing as you will be able to spend some time apart and come back with some great stories to share, they say, absence makes the heart grow fonder.
- Planning the holiday – This seems like an obvious one but this is a huge tell-tale sign as the whether or not you are both compatible to travel together. If you both have clearly different ideas on what you want to be doing on your holiday and are struggling to agree on things, it may be time to re-assess. You need it to feel like a joint venture otherwise if one person is dictating the plans then friction will already start.
- Talk it out – One thing that I can admit to being at fault when I travelled Europe was not wanting to voice my opinion and tell people why I was upset. Naturally I avoid conflict and thought being quiet would be the better way. Have you heard the saying silence speaks louder than words? This is true when travelling with friends. You all need to be able say what is on your mind and if your friend said or did something to offend you, tell them! As much as it sucks to have the hard conversation, feeling left out or ignored for being in a bad mood is so much worse in the long run! You need to make sure that you are prepared for the tough conversations as well, it won’t always be someone elses fault so take on the notes and if you need to readjust your thinking, do it.
- Freedom to do what you want – This is a big one. You all need to be able to do the activities that you want to. If one person wants to go inside the Colosseum, let them! It is your choice whether you join them or not. In saying that, you cannot force people to do everything you want to do either, there needs to be a balance. Some days, you will want to be solo, to just spend the day with your camera wandering around the unknown city, alone. You don’t need to spend every moment together because that is when issues arise. Be confident to go it yourself, you never know what the day will bring!
Hope these little tips help you and your travel buddies!
“Take only memories, leave only footsteps”