We all have those friends and family members that want to travel together, but deep down we know we could never. It’s a fact of life that people have their own ways of living, in this case traveling styles matter! That’s why it’s important to make careful considerations when choosing your travel buddies. Whether it’s your family, a significant other, a new friend or just a group of people you’ve never traveled with before—there’s a lot to think about beforehand. Beware, traveling will reveal your biggest pet peeves, quirks, and insecurities!
Going on a trip soon? Or planning a trip? Here are 9 things to discuss before committing to taking an adventure with someone/group of people.
It’s awkward, but budgeting is the utmost important thing; you must talk about it before booking any flights or accommodations! Financial inequality often is an issue when traveling with someone or in large groups. It’s much harder to deal with once you’re already on your trip and it can take a toll on your vacation experience. That’s why it’s crucial to be on the same page as your travel buddy/ buddies beforehand.
The simple act of communication can improve your travel experience. Discuss costs related to your transportation (airport/cars rentals/taxi’s/uber/bus/etc.), accommodations (Airbnb, hotels/hostels/etc.), meals, and where are you willing to slurp and what is non-negotiable!
- City vs. Nature
One important thing to talk about before you even start planning your trip is what kind of traveler are you? You probably won’t enjoy your trip if it doesn’t fit with your personality, right? Be honest! First, discuss whether you’re a city person and enjoy going to museums/restaurants/doing tourist activities or like being out in the nature and enjoy hiking/camping/trekking/etc. Then, discuss some of the activities (physical/mental) you may be doing on your trip. Personally, I am hybrid I love the energy cities give off, and I find nature relaxing. However, most people are one or the other. Go somewhere within your comfort zone, if you don’t like camping which, usually involves a trip without having bathrooms accommodations, don’t be forced to go.
Vacation is a time to relax and indulge! For many people, that indulgence may be lying around in a beautiful place and doing nothing.
For others, indulgence may come in a less…innocent…form. Whether your poison is smoking, drinking, or gambling it’s important to establish boundaries. There is there nothing worse than being trapped in a car with a smoker especially if you are a non-smoker. So make sure to discuss traveling together.
Alexander Pope was right: “Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.” Often when we have the highest expectations, we suffer the greatest disappointments when our trips don’t go as planned. It is important to discuss your expectation of the trip before leaving. Examples: Are you willing to go days without showering? Are you okay with sleeping in a tent? What amount of luxury are you expecting? Are you okay with walking? Etc. Enjoy the experiences for what they are, not what you expect them to be, and you will never feel disappointed.
- Independent vs. Dependent
A little bit of you-time is an absolute essential because you’re spending more time than usual with that individual/group. So, find ways to have some you-time without making it seem like you’re ditching your travel buddy. Discuss activities/places you like to do on your trip. If there is no mutual interest, venture out and do it alone! Rather than dragging your partner around to exhibits they’re not interested in, plan out some time for yourself. I like to go for night walks whereas most people like to unwind and snooze early. Don’t forget to discuss common life skills as well – whether or not they can cook or do laundry or go grocery shopping by themselves without being babied around.
- Planner vs. Flexible
Let’s face it, everyone has different traveling styles. Some people like to plan their trips to the tee, while others are more flexible and just like to take it by day and see where the wind takes them. There is no right or wrong way to travel. If it works for you, keep on doing it. Some people are adamant about finishing everything on their itinerary, if in the case it doesn’t go as planned, they may or may not handle it well, so it’s important to discuss what traveling style fits you.
- Time Management vs. Bad Time Management
I believe that time management is the root of traveling, it helps to keep a healthy balance. Managing your time well will help to combat a full itinerary schedule, overbooked days, and unpredicted struggles. Discuss and find out what works best for you and apply them when and how you are traveling. Travel with people that keep you more on track during your travel rather than slow you down.
How to avoid resorting to cannibalism or murder when asked “Where Should We Eat?” question:
Make sure to discuss your budget factors, dietary restrictions, and food preferences before taking off; don’t wait till you’re half-way around the world to announce that you’re vegan.
- Early Bird vs. Night Owl:
Everyone’s bedtime rituals are different. Some people are early risers, some sleep late. It’s important to get on the same sleep cycle when you’re traveling. Also pack earplugs just in case!
Moral of the blog: Don’t wait until your vacation begins to discuss these things because traveling with someone new can be stressful and frustrating—but with any luck, it’s worth it! It’s best to be aware of one’s dissimilarities and issues so you can be both mindful and try to compromise on those differences before the plane takes off. Pre-screening ensures that you will mesh with the people you’re traveling with. Traveling is always more fun with beautiful people around you!
Easy, right? Now go see the world!
And remember, you can always travel alone too.
As the great American novelist Ernest Hemingway once quoted — “Never go on trips with anyone you do not love.”