With Valentine’s Day around the corner, it got us thinking about partners and particularly, travel companions. The right travel buddy can really impact the experience you have and even influence your opinion of the destination itself. There’s stories of best friends travelling abroad together but to come home and never speak again; or relationships really pushed to their limit. We’ve rustled up a list of qualities to look for in the perfect travel companion:
Sense of humour
When trains are delayed 15 hours or you’ve contracted conjuntivitus and a foreign Doctor has prescribed an eye patch – you need someone who will laugh it off with you. Travelling in a foreign country rarely goes to plan and besides, misshaps make for great stories.
Would you really want to sit on an overnight bus or spend the majority of each day with a boring person? Travelling with someone else means you will be in close confines for long periods of time. You need someone who you’re comfortable chatting to about anything. In saying that, you also need to be comfortable just sitting in silence.
While it’s natural to have conflicting opinions about things or places to see, it can work out for the best and force you to do interesting things you wouldn’t typically do.
If you and your travel companion do have different interests or priorities, you need to be independent enough to spend time apart. Maybe you want to go snorkelling in Dahab but your buddy wants to lie by the beach – who says you have to be together the whole time? A benefit of a group tour is that you can part ways with your mate and still be with other like-minded travellers on your tour so you’re never alone.
On an adventure holiday, you have to expect to get sand all over you or wet hair from watersports and even a little sweaty if you’re doing an acitve activity. Evidently, a perfect travel companion needs to be up for anything and not a high-maintenance individual. Sleeping on a felucca in Egypt means there’s no toilets on board and glamping in the Sahara may not have internet or wi-fi facilities – it’s the luxuries in life you need to be happy to life without for a short period.
In addition, a low-maintenance mate should be willing to try any food. The local cuisine is such a big part of any culture and while it’s reasonable if their stomach turns at the sight/smell of some out-of-the-ordinary local delicacies, it’s a great way to experience the culture and may even be considered rude to decline an offer.
You don’t want to be a Mum on a trip – cleaning up after your mate; covering their expenses; or waking them up for an early bus ride. A good travel companion should be organised enough to remember their passports, not lose their belongings and be able to get to the airport on time, to name a few. It’s also a plus if they are not navigationally challenge and can read a map!
It can be difficult to find a friend or partner with compatible travel styles and personality traits but once you find them, you won’t want to let them go.
To celebrate the best travel companions, we are running a #travelvalentine Instagram competition. Simply upload a photo of you and your travel companion, tag them and us @traveltalktours and caption your photo #travelvalentine. See Instagram for more details and to enter for your chance to win a Travel Talk trip for 2!