Finding the Right Travel Partner

A travel partner can either make or break any trip, so it’s important to choose the right one before you embark on your next adventure. Many choose to do solo travel and it might be something I’ll try someday, but for now I love traveling with the GF. One of the reasons I love traveling with her is because she’s always up for anything. For example, in Paris I told her, “Today we’re going to wake up early, change hotels, get on a train to Versailles, spend 4-5 hours there, then get back to the hotel, change, and go to the Champs-Élysées at night.” I feel like a good percentage of people would just tell me to chill out and refuse to partake in that packed itinerary. However, she sucked it up, went with me, and at the end of the day we both had sore feet. I don’t know about her but for me the struggles are all part of the journey and having her there struggling with me makes everything exponentially more enjoyable. I think I’m the type of person that NEEDs a travel companion to fully appreciate the experience. So if you’re like me but don’t know who to bring with you on your next trip, here are some very simple suggestions:

  1. Make sure you can tolerate the person you’re traveling with.
    • I know this sounds obvious but this should be #1 on everyone’s list! Sure you might have fun going clubbing with a certain person or you’ve been on a short camping trip with him/her and a few other people, but that does NOT mean that you can spend hours on a plane together or days sharing a hotel room with them. So make sure that you’ve spent some significant one-on-one time with this person before you travel with them.

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      GF and I share a love for the Harry Potter movies. So we checked out the Studios when we were in London!
  2. Pick a partner with the same (or similar) choice of destinations.
    • Another obvious suggestion. Everyone has dream destinations and chances are that you and your partner have different ones. So always keep their wishes in mind when you pick a place to travel to. Make sure to have a conversation about it and be truthful with one another. You don’t want your travel partner to end up hating their time on vacation and conversely, you also don’t want to be in that position.
  3. Not only travel with someone you’re tolerant of, but travel with someone you want to share an experience with.
    • For me, my travel consists of hundreds of memorable moments and although it would be nice to share them with a good friend, I would much rather share them with my GF so we could talk about them and reference them for the rest of our lives! Maybe pick your college roommate or best friend, someone you know you’ll always be in touch with. And skip the girlfriend of 3 months.
  4. Pick someone who has done a lot for you.
    • I’m still young and poor but when I finally graduate I want to take my mom to Alaska. She’s mentioned several times that that’s where she wants to go next. The whole reason I love traveling is because of my mom and dad. By the time I was 14, I had been to Rome, Venice, Paris, London, Brussels, Berlin, Hawaii, Toronto, New York, Los Angeles, and probably many more places that I don’t remember. Being able to give even a little back would feel incredible and I think that if you chose someone that’s given you so much, then you would walk away with much more than photos and souvenirs.

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      Share the responsibilities! You and your travel partner will have a better time.
  5. Lastly, pick someone who will pull their own weight.
    • Whether it’s financially or helping with luggage, make sure your travel partner won’t leave you high and dry. The GF and I are very new-age, so we like to split things up. For example, she used her AA miles to help get me to Europe and in return I used my IHG and Hhonors points to “pay” for our hotels. Luckily, I found a girl who is independent and is willing to help me bear some of the burdens of life and travel (BTW it’s our 6-year anniversary today!). If you know someone who has never done their own dishes, who rarely returns phone calls, or who needs constant attention, then leave them at home. The world is so beautiful and having to take care of another human being 24/7 will dampen your travel experience big time. (unless you’re with your kids of course!)

Obvious statements? Sure. But that does not make them any less true. If you currently don’t have a significant other that you have been with for a long time, then there are still plenty of other options out there so don’t put your travel on hold. Before you pick someone, though, make sure to run down this list to see if they meet the criteria. If all else fails, get out of your comfort zone and travel solo (maybe I should take my own advice). Thanks for reading and happy travels!

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