With travel becoming a lot more meaningful and goal-oriented, you’re always on the hunt for that perfect holiday companion who augments the whole experience. Here’s how to choose a buddy who not only has similar travel sensibilities but also shares mutual humor and, above all, the expense
You may have often heard your loved ones saying “Chalo, do din kahin ghoom aate hain…”
Travelling is no more what it used to be – packing your bags and setting out with your entire family only to take a break from the boredom and monotony of everyday life. It’s no more about putting up at a luxurious hotel and sightseeing with a tourist guide all day. Today, holidaying is more about “travelling with a purpose”. More and more people have started believing in meaningful travel. Travel has become a very serious aspect of their lives and a lot of thought goes into planning vacations. While some people travel for self-discovery and personal growth, others travel to get over a heartbreak and make new friends. While some travel for health and wellness purposes by opting for yoga and meditation packages, many look at volunteer travel as an opportunity to contribute to the society.
As a modern traveler, you wish to fulfill your travel purpose and squeeze in as many amazing memories as you can without being constrained by any boundaries. For the same, most people either prefer to travel solo or with a like-minded traveler, doesn’t mind if she or she is just an acquaintance or a stranger. The idea of travelling with someone only because you are close to them is passe.
SHARE YOUR TRAVEL
The entire experience of travel is massively heightened by ‘sharing’. Sharing your travel with a co-traveller whose notion of travel is the same as yours is great joy. Conversely, if your companion has a different take on travel, travelling together can be extremely miserable. The most common misconception is that the better friends you are with someone, the better travel partner they make, but sometimes your chaddi buddy isn’t the perfect travel companion for you.
For many travellers, a backpacking or round-the-world trip is all about feeding their persistent sense of wanderlust. It was the same for me when I headed off to Bangkok; a much-awaited trip with my besties in June last year. Though I was all happy and cheery as I was spending all my time with the two most beloved people of my life, it was pretty much a bumpy ride. While I would want to eat like a local and experiment with authentic Thai street food, my friend would spend all day googling “Indian restaurants in Bangkok” that would serve her duplicate version of desi biryani, papad and paratha. While I would prefer to walk around and explore the night bazaar at my own pace, she would want to hop into a tuktuk, shop like a pro, return to the hotel and crash.
Different people have different travelling styles, habits, tastes, likes and dislikes. Just because you get along with someone doesn’t mean you can travel together. You are likely to face a lot of challenges on a trip – delayed flight, loss of important documents, no availability of vegetarian food, a stay in a terrible hotel etc. These test your ability to adjust, compromise and find a solution without whining about it. When two people with completely different ways of dealing with a situation come together, it can lead to arguments and discomfort, turning the holiday into a nightmare.
PICK YOUR PARTNER WISELY
It’s important to choose a partner you’re comfortable and compatible with. Some people fall into the category of laid-back travellers. Making the most of the queen-sized bed by sleeping till late in the morning or spending an entire evening lazing by the beach works perfectly for them. While the rest love to have their itineraries jam packed with activities – trekking in the morning, visiting museums and art galleries during the day followed by shopping at street bazaars. Whether you are the former or latter type, it’s best to pick someone who has the same travelling style as yours.
Is your partner a neat freak or a messy monster? Do they need less than 15 minutes or over an hour to take a shower and get ready? Do they love partying? Are they balanced or extra chatty? The person you’re travelling with need not be your twin flame, but having similar traits, habits, tastes, packing styles, interests, food preferences etc is definitely an advantage as you might be together for days, weeks or even months. Moreover, everyone loves their own space and sticking together all the time can get a bit tedious. Check if your future travel partner is okay with you spending a bit of alone time and doesn’t mind hanging out by his/herself when you simply want to read a book sitting by the window of your hotel room or go on a date with someone you met at the pub last night.
DISCUSS BUDGET MATTERS
Money can expose a great deal of differences between people and you certainly want a trip that’s not an ordeal. Discuss with your future travel partner how much you would like to spend on accommodation, transfers, activities etc before embarking on your adventure. If your partner insists on staying in a luxurious hotel, you can keep a tight budget on food and daily excursions. It’s best for each to make a list of priorities – what you are willing to spend the most and the least money on – and then see if they match. The more you’ve agreed on a rough budget, the less stress you’ll encounter on the trip.