How to choose a great travel buddy

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Traveling can bring two people together like nothing else can. Read on to discover how to find a great travel buddy for your next trip.

Traveling can bring two people together like nothing else can, but that doesn’t mean your significant other or best friend is necessarily the ideal travel buddy for you. Before you book that flight, read on to discover how to find a great travel buddy for your next trip.

Take inventory of your travel style

Be honest. Do you enjoy relaxing on the beach and wandering through towns? Or are you more of the type who wants to see as much as possible as quickly as possible? Do you go with the flow or is your itinerary planned down to the minute? Do you splurge on vacation or stretch your dollars as far as possible? Before you can find a great travel buddy, you’ll need to have a clear understanding of the type of traveler you are.

Travel buddies (Image: Friar's Balsam)
Travel buddies (Image: Friar’s Balsam)

Find someone with a similar travel style

If you enjoy sightseeing and being constantly on the go, you probably won’t enjoy traveling with someone who likes to kick back on the beach or spend hours chatting up locals at a neighborhood cafe. Instead, look for someone with a similar travel style. This will help ensure you have similar expectations for the trip.

Talk about budget

Money can be a tricky subject, but it’s better to discuss finances before you leave than during the trip. You’ll need to discuss the budget you’re willing to stick to and how you’ll fit the trip into that budget. Hopefully, you and your travel buddy will be on the same page when it comes to the types of hotels, restaurants and transportation you’ll be spending your money on. You should also discuss how you will pay. Will you both pool your money into a joint fund for the trip? Will one of you pay for flights while the other covers hotels and food? Who will carry cash for tipping and incidentals? Discuss it before you go.

Set some rules

Setting ground rules before you leave helps you and your travel buddy know what to expect from each other. For example, if you will absolutely not tolerate your travel buddy bringing guests back to your hotel room, speak up before you book your trip. Or if you know you’ll be checking out some of the local drinks during your trip, you might want to have a rule that neither of you will leave the bar at the end of the night without the other.

Travel buddies (Image: Gonmi)
Travel buddies (Image: Gonmi)

Go on a short test trip

You’re not going to survive a week backpacking through Southeast Asia if you can’t enjoy an afternoon together in a local city. Test the travel buddy waters by taking a day trip or weekend getaway together to a nearby destination. This will help you uncover annoying habits or other travel buddy deal breakers (like heavy snoring, meltdowns at the slightest change of plans or refusal to tip) before you commit to a longer trip.

(Main image: Robert Swier)

How to choose a great travel buddy was last modified: June 26th, 2019 by Marissa Willman
Author: Marissa Willman (786 posts)

Marissa Willman earned a bachelor's degree in journalism before downsizing her life into two suitcases for a teaching gig in South Korea. Seoul was her home base for two years of wanderlusting throughout six countries in Asia. In 2011, Marissa swapped teaching for travel writing and now calls Southern California home.