Editor’s Note: UPDATED as of October 11, 2016 for relevance and accuracy.
It is a universal truth that traveling with others is a sure-fire way to bond and discover well-hidden traits and even quirks. Being on the road is fun and exciting – but it can also be emotionally challenging.
That’s why it is important to learn how to make the most out of your trips involving other people. Here are 10 tips to help you become anyone’s perfect travel buddy.
1. Adjust to your companion’s travel style.
Each person is unique and has specific habits and paces. While one might run at the speed of light through a museum to quickly snap a selfie next to the Mona Lisa, the travel partner might want to spend hours analyzing a single painting.
It is best to discuss a travel schedule BEFORE the trip – during the planning stage.
Remember to make a Plan B. If one person needs five hours in a museum but that doesn’t fit the other’s schedule, then plan a shopping spree or sipping a cappuccino in the café down the street.
2. Agree on a general budget.
Knowing the budget in advance is the cornerstone of traveling with “buddies.” Decide if fancy, expensive restaurants are in the plans or if meals will be a quick bite on the run.
3. Chip in.
Traveling is about fun, new experiences – not counting pennies. The best travel companions don’t necessarily split the check and argue over every cent. One person should pick up one check while the other picks up the next. It all evens out in the end.
4. Clean up after yourself.
No one wants to share a room with dirty socks and shirts spread about or open toothpaste tubes on the bathroom counter. Be a good roommate.
5. Share the decisions with your travel buddy.
Teamwork is key in making decisions on where to eat, what sites to visit, how long to remain at a destination, the best time for “lights out” and much more. Don’t assume that the other traveler is a mind-reader. TripTogether.com recommends taking the time to talk about all decisions pertaining to the trip.
6. Give one another space.
Solo travelers teaming up with a travel buddy provides the opportunity to create memories. However, it is also important to have some alone time. Don’t cling. Allow one another to re-charge and to have some space.
7. Keep a cool head.
During any travel experience, there could come a time where something goes wrong. Don’t go into a rage or cast blame. Take a deep breath, count to ten, and remember the excitement of being in a new country or city. The stressful times will pass and, hopefully, a laugh will come out of the experience.
8. Don’t judge your travel buddy.
Whether the travel buddy is a loud chewer or snores, deal with the idiosyncrasies and move past them to have a memorable experience.
9. Communication is key.
Communication is a two-way process. While both travelers won’t agree on everything, come to a compromise and make sure to enjoy the sights, sounds, and tastes.
10. Have fun and lighten the mood.
The most important part of a solo traveler connecting with a travel buddy is to have a great time. Funny situations, iconic locations, historical sights, sunrises and sunsets become memories that will last a lifetime.