How to find (and be) a good travel partner
You can be the best of friends in real life, but travelling together can put you both in a pressure cooker. We all have different expectations when we are away from home. Here's how to find, and be, a good travel partner yourself.
Travel can be stressful — you're often in unfamiliar places, and you may not speak the language; you're spending money in a different way than you would normally. So finding (and in turn being) a good travel companion is a key part of a successful vacation. Here are some things to take into consideration when choosing someone to travel with.
Do you have good communication with each other?
When you're spending an extended period of time together, being able to have your say is critical in order to avoid any hurt feelings or resentment. And the communication starts before you even book your trip -- or you might find yourself dragged to every boutique in the city when you really had your heart set on visiting museums and spending time at the beach. Being aware of each other's expectations from the start will help ensure you two are meant to vacation together.
Your open discussion should also cover what budget you have in mind; whether you two will spend time apart; your preference of accommodations. You don't have to have exactly the same musts on your list, but it may help if most of them are similiar (unless you've established that you will spend only half your time together).
How flexible are you both?
There are so many variables when on a vacation that a degree of flexibility on both your parts will help things move along more smoothly. Having a give-and-take relationship will help ensure you both get what you need out of the trip.
Opposites may attract
You don't have to be twins in order to be compatible travel partners. Say your friend likes to sleep in 'til noon, whereas you like to get up at the crack of dawn. You can make it work if you take some me-time while she snoozes. What might not work, however, is if she prefers to eat at the same fast-food joint every day and you want to try every cool eatery in town — unless, of course, you've agreed that you simply will not dine together often.
Of course, even with the most well-planned trip and careful choice of travel companion, there's always the day-to-day idiosyncrasies (messy bathroom habits, for example) you can only discover when living with each other. But if you both try to maintain a don't-sweat-the small-stuff attitude, you can make it through with your friendship intact.