Loud chewing and other things that will drive you crazy about your travel companion.

Most of us have at some point wondered – should I travel with a friend?

As far as travelling goes I have trialled most options. I have roamed alone, found myself on a boozy tour with 35 others and made trips with friends in varying numbers. Every option has pros and cons so it really depends on you, your friends, where you are going and what you want to get out of the trip.

Here are five questions to ask yourself before you decide.

How much time have you spent together in the past?

Travelling is not like your regular routine. At home when work commitments and general life admin take a front seat, it probably feels like you and your ‘bestie’ spend ‘all of your time together!’. But how much time is that really? A few hours every Saturday? Travelling is different. You will be with this person morning, noon and night and this can test even the most laid-back among us. You may not have noticed before that your travel companion is the worlds loudest chewer or that they are incapable of moving at anything above snails pace. Trust me, these are the things that grate.

How well do I know this person?

I am quick to consider someone a new friend. But when selecting a travel companion, I am cautious. You need to trust the person you are with – they are your only try ally on the road. As travel companions your actions impact each other so if they turn out to be a compulsive liar, unreasonably demanding or someone with a knack for poor decisions – this will become your problem.

What do I want to get out of this trip?

Do you have any ‘non-negotiables’ or ‘must sees’ for this trip? How will you feel if you have to compromise any of this? Travelling with a partner equals give and take so you may need to accommodate your partner somewhere along the way. While you might be wildly passionate about visiting the taxidermy duck museum, it doesn’t mean that your partner will be too. If you can handle missing a few things (or if you are both independent enough to go your separate ways at times during the trip) then by all means, partner up. If however you planned this trip since Barbie dolls were a key part of your social life, then it might be better to go it alone.

How do you deal with issues?

If you are setting off for any length of time, then be aware that as nerves fray, tensions build. You may not always agree on everything – but provided you can communicate and move forward, this doesn’t have to ruin your trip. How open and honest are you with each other? How successfully have you navigated issues in the past? If the answer is not well, then you might need to reconsider (or set some ground rules before you go).

Will I cope by myself?

Travelling alone is tremendously rewarding. It takes you on a path of self discovery and forces you to meet and make friends with countless people with whom you might normally pass by. But there is potential for loneliness. How independent are you? Are you confident enough to make friends easily?


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