Finding the Perfect Travel Companion
I have often mentioned on this blog how my friend Joe is my perfect travel companion. Together we have been to Los Angeles, Paris, and soon London, and though I always cite that we travel together perfectly, I don’t always go into depth about how or why. The truth is that I have traveled to many destinations with other friends- New Orleans, San Fransisco, Las Vegas, Montreal, and I have traveled and had both good and just-okay experiences, luckily none have been too bad. Finding the perfect travel companion amongst your friends can be tough, it’s a unique recipe. Here are just a few of the reasons why my friend Joe and I have made the perfect traveling pair:
1.) We are die-hard tourists- I may have mentioned this one in previous posts. Joe and I travel in the same way: we both will stop at nothing to see everything. Missing any major tourist spot on a trip is, for both of us, an unspoken non-negotiable. There is not a single site that I wanted to see in Paris and missed. We will overcome jetlag, weather, and time to meet each and every objective, which leads me to my next point:
2.) We are both planners- We already have almost all of our attraction tickets bought and paid for in London, as well as a loose itinerary that we absolutely plan on following. I don’t think that both people necessarily need to be great at planning, but if I wanted to make an itinerary, and the other person just wanted to fly by the seat of their pants the whole time, it wouldn’t not make for an easy trip. If both people want to be spontaneous the entire time, that’s fine, but I have found that doing research with Joe is part of the fun! We both bring a lot to the table. I found out about and booked our tickets to the London Tower Ceremony of the Keys, and he is almost single-handedly planning our trip to Windsor Castle.
3.) Positivity and Enthusiasm- I think you need someone to match your mood. I am a very positive, enthusiastic person, and I remain that way during travel, as does my friend Joe. I have traveled with friends who were pretty unenthusiastic, and for me, a feeling gets lost from it. When I saw the Eiffel Tower glittering at night I was so overwhelmed, it was like a real life dream come true. It’s nice to look over to the person you’re sharing the experience with, and know that they are feeling the exact same thing.
4.) We are not afraid to be independent from each other- This is big. When Joe and I were in Paris, our last day had a lot of free time built in, our only objective was to get to the Champs Elysee and the Arc Du Triomphe. After visiting the Arc, I was feeling pretty sick, and it was still early in the day. At that moment, we both decided we were perfectly fine parting ways and doing our own thing. I took the subway by myself back to the hotel, and he went off and did his own thing. I was glad to go back to the hotel, I honestly felt too sick to walk around, even if it was Paris, and I was glad that I didn’t feel like I was holding Joe back. It actually worked out perfectly, Joe went to the French Tennis something or other that he had wanted to go to and knew that I wouldn’t have much interest in.
5.) Nightlife- Just have the same interest in nightlife. I have been on trips that were just to check out the nightlife, I have been on trips where my friend was totally interested and I wasn’t, and times when we both weren’t interested. When I travel overseas I am interested to a point…for me the most important part is seeing all the sites. I do not want to be too hungover to enjoy the Lourve. Be clear about your interests.
What’s the best way to find out if your friend is a suitable travel companion? In my experience, you honestly only find out when you travel with them. You will be amazed at how differently people act when traveling. I have a friend who is modestly high maintenance usually (not unlike myself) and when traveling morphs into the most adaptable, generous, low-key person.
How do you know when you’ve found the perfect travel mate?