Travelling with another person is a huge commitment. Even if it’s your partner, roommate or best friend whom you love – travelling can test relationships.
Being on the road with someone is completely different to other ‘normal’ life situations. You would be forgiven for thinking that someone you live with will be easy to travel with. You spend a lot of time together anyway right? Wrong. In ‘normal’ non-travel related life ventures you do spend lots of time with certain people, but you also have other activities and interactions independently. You most likely go to work, catch up with family or go to the local op-shop on the weekend. Although small, these things add up. They give you SPACE.
Travelling together means you will be spending a lot more time with another person, easily with each other 24/7. For some people that’s great, but for most this isn’t the case. It’s also not healthy to spend that kind of time with one other person, it can entice a kind of co-dependent way of being.
That doesn’t mean you can’t travel with someone and still love them upon your return – of course you can! People do it ALL THE TIME. Having some simple conversations and making observations beforehand is key and will ensure you look back on your travels with fond memories and not as the trip you could have done without.
I have come up with a few pieces of advice to make travelling with others a much easier affair from the get-go. To avoid any potential blow up situations and ensure you come home with that relationship still very much intact.
Be honest with yourself. How much time can you handle with another person, do you find you need your own space every now and then to wind down, relax with your own thoughts and company (of course you do). Let your potential travel buddy know these things, it will benefit both of you in the long run.
Have a trial run
They say practice makes perfect. Try a shorter trip first if you can. Perhaps just a weekend away. You’ll learn things you wouldn’t have otherwise such as how do they react under pressure, how long they take getting ready to go out the door and oh gosh… do they snore?!
Choose someone who is adaptable and calm under pressure
Things rarely go 100% as planned while travelling (especially when there are language barriers involved). You need to have someone by your side that can roll with the punches. Plans change unexpectedly, things don’t work out and sometimes something even better comes out of it; but not knowing is all part of the ride and adventure of travelling.
Talk about expectations and budgets early on
If you’re more one for embracing a social hostel and saving your pennies for bigger splurges on activities or a really nice hotel on the last night then you’re not going to be a great match for someone looking for a more glamorous, resort filled escapade (and vice versa). Talk about these things early on to avoid any unfair compromises further down the track.
Pick someone with a similar vibe and energy level to yourself
Don’t take Sharon, your party animal friend who spends most weekends out until the sun comes up when you would much prefer a local bar with some close friends and a glass of red. We all know that’s not going to end well. How well do your styles match up? Of course being pushed out of your comfort zone can be good, getting out there more can be a lot of fun. Just make sure it’s not consistently at the expense of sleep and enjoying your destination in the daylight.