Getting the opportunity to travel somewhere new is often an experience unlike any other. You are immersed in a culture unlike your own, often met with beautiful scenery you couldn’t ever dream up on your own, and overall you just get the feeling that you were able to escape your ordinary life for just a little bit and try something new.
But while traveling can appear glamorous on the outside (or more often than not, in the form of a filtered Instagram feed), it can also be stressful. You’re met with new challenges in a place you’ve likely never been, sometimes with different languages, cultures and time zones to deal with—which is why it is so important to choose wisely when deciding who you want to travel with.
So before you book that flight and start packing your bags, read on to see what exactly you should be looking for in a travel companion:
1. Someone who has similar interests
What’s the first thing you decide when planning a trip? Where to go, of course! So it only seems natural that you’ll want to pick a person who has similar interests as you when it comes to traveling; i.e. you wouldn’t bring someone who is afraid of heights on a mountain climbing trip, would you? And that goes beyond just choosing your destination. You’ll want to consider whether this person will want to do similar excursions as you, otherwise, you won’t get what you want out of your trip.
2. Someone who is also a bit different from you
As counterintuitive as this sounds, it’s never fun to travel with someone who is too similar to you. For example, if you’re really bad at making decisions, you don’t exactly want to bring another indecisive personality into the mix. The perfect balance is to choose a partner who has similar interests as you but also brings different personality traits into the mix. When that happens, each personality has its moment to “shine” during the trip. For example, if you’re an introvert, having a partner who is more of an extrovert can be beneficial when having to ask for directions or learn the best lunch spot. But the introvert may come in handy in terms of being empathetic to unfamiliar cultures and finding patience in frustrating moments.
3. Someone who knows how to respect boundaries
One of the most vital qualities to look for in a travel buddy is someone who has a good sense of your boundaries and how to respect them. If you’re more of an independent type who needs some time to yourself once in a while, this person will be understanding and know to give you your space. Without that respect, the entire trip could be tense and uncomfortable.
4. Someone you consider trustworthy
You wouldn’t want to end up on a trip where someone ditches you for an attractive native or wanders off on their own without telling you, would you? Only travel with people you fully and completely trust will have your back, and most importantly, will never leave you stranded. Safety should always be a priority, so make sure your partner is someone you can trust.