Tips on How to Choose a Travel Buddy

Before you plan a trip with a friend, relative or partner, it is always important to pre-plan and discuss what you want to see and what you plan on visiting. Choosing a travel buddy is important because they can either make the experience very memorable or they can ruin it.

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Discussing your ideal travel itinerary is important before settling in with finding someone to go with. Most travel adventures happen like this: “OMG, there’s ‘piso fair’ right now! Do you want to book? Let’s book!” You choose the person seated closest to you and decide on going on a trip with them. Or, you initiate a trip with the person you were last messaging with. Sometimes spontaneity is good because it comes with pleasant surprises, but most times, you come back from the trip thinking that you would have been better off travelling alone.

Will it be a shopping trip? Will it include historical tours? Will it have high intensity activities such as hiking or doing extreme sports? Or will it be a relaxing getaway chilling by the beach in your hotel resort? All these things need to be discussed before initiating a trip with someone.

Some people are blessed to have found amazing travel companions, but for some of you who are having a tough time finding a buddy who travels the same way you do, here are some tips that Natasha and Natalie have come across after previous travels with other friends and also from travelling together.

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Plan, plan, plan

To be honest, Natasha and I are not the best planners, but it is very important to understand what you want to do and what you want to see. It’s difficult to select a travel buddy if one person wants to constantly chill and enjoy lounging in the resort, while the other person wants to explore. Pre-planning, even if its just in general, is very important so you don’t get frustrated with the person you are travelling with. Simple things such as saying that you want to have at least “one sight-seeing activity each day” is a good start. You can then boil down to more details once you start talking about it.

Budget

It’s going to be very frustrating going on a trip with someone if they constantly say “Oh I can’t do that, I have no money”. Understanding how much expenditure you are planning to fork out for the trip is an important discussion to have before deciding to book a trip with someone. Things like “I have a budget of PHP 10k for this trip and 60% of that I plan to use for shopping” is a good basis for discussion.

Understand each other’s personal space

Being stuck with someone for 24 hours for days or weeks, no matter how charming they may be is not easy. Be open with each other and tell the other person if you want to be on your computer to check e-mails, listen to music with your earphones on, or even go grocery shopping without having to drag them with you. Giving that little space during trips makes you appreciate the other person more.

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Deal with issues as they arise

Unexpected issues may arise while travelling – a lost passport, a scooter accident or being extremely drunk and getting into bar fights… who knows? These things may happen and may frustrate you especially if you didn’t take the time to select your travel buddy. When things start to annoy you, talk about it. Don’t brush it aside, give the other person the silent treatment and expect things to get better. Communicate your sentiments so they understand if they are starting to become a burden to you. Doesn’t it suck  being the chaperone of someone who is just so wreckless?

Don’t be too dependent

One reason why you choose a travel buddy is because you know you can rely on them for some things – creating the itinerary, speaking the local language, or even being awesome at haggling in markets. It is okay to embrace your travel buddy’s strengths, but relying on them throughout the whole trip can make them feel like they are being taken advantaged of. Step up and share your strengths as well.

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Spread the tasks

If you are visiting many places at one time, or planning different trips together, spread the responsibility between each other. One person can be planning the sight seeing tours for one city, and the other can be looking for awesome food spots in the area. Don’t expect one person to do all the work – or they will possibly not want to travel with you again.

Hang out with other people

Clinginess can be flattering but also can be a turn-off, so selecting a travel buddy who is open to meeting new people along the way is a plus. If you are stuck with someone for weeks or months, it feels good to get acquainted with other people you meet along the way rather than being constantly exclusive with just the two of you.

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Enjoy the quality time together

When travelling with a buddy, learn to enjoy every moment of it. You are only with them for a short duration of time before you go back to your daily life, so try your best to complain less and tackle misadventures rationally. Spend time learning about each other and taking great photos and videos together. Who knows, this may be your last trip together!

“As with any journey, who you travel with can be more important than your destination”

Having a travel buddy that really works is one of the best things in life. Being able to share the same experiences and talk about the journey, having a million inside jokes, and at the same time having a really good time is one for the memory bank.

Aside from the good memories you both will make together, travelling with your selected buddy will help you step out of your comfort zone together, help you learn to communicate and it also gives you the opportunity to know the person at a deeper level.

The only bad thing about having an awesome travel buddy, in my opinion, is the separation anxiety you have to go through after the trip! #Sepanx

Natasha and I made a Q&A on how to choose a travel buddy. We wrote down the questions and were not allowed to listen to each other’s answers until after the recording! Let us know what you think:

Do you have any travelling buddy experiences that you want to share with us? Leave a comment below!

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3 Comments on “Tips on How to Choose a Travel Buddy

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