What to Look for In a Travel Companion | Footnotes and Finds

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

What to Look for In a Travel Companion

Both me and Prabh have travelled a lot - 19 countries combined and much of that travelling has been done together or with our other 2 sisters.  We are so lucky as sisters, we not only get a long so well in everyday life but are actually each other's perfect travel companions.  Prabh being the history buff and me being a foodie means we usually split the planning along those lines. I get to plan all the food related aspects and prabh gets to plan all the important historical sites to visit.  We know each other's pace as well, usually a lotting some days to intense site seeing with intervals of amazing food. We also prefer spending the hottest part of the day -usually the middle of they day - taking a short nap or resting in our hotel room after spending the morning out. Then we get dressed up and go out for a nice evening out.

Having travelled a lot and with various people, let me tell you, half your trip experience is dependent on your company.  You really have to have the same idea and picture of what you both want the trip to be. Whether it be an exploring trip or a more of a relaxing/ lounging trip or bit of both.  So I thought I would put together a list of what makes a great travel partner, companion or buddy, a sort of checklist if you will!


Some like to spend an entire month in one country whilst others prefer to try 4 countries in one month.  Being on the same page as your travel companion thus becomes really important.  Some people love fitting in tons in one day others like to take it more leisurely.  Some people are really fit and can walk the whole day and go on those challenging hikes but some people, due to various reasons, are not able to do so. Thus, it becomes quite important that you and your travel companion are on a similar pace or have agreed to a particular pace for the trip.


I would say this is number one on the list of compatibility when it comes to your travel companion. You really need to be on the same page about budget because this affects the entire trip - from where to stay (hostels vs hotels), to what kind of transportation, what kind of meals, paying for tours or self guided tours etc.


Some of us are history buffs, others like to experience the culture of the city/place. Some may be up for more of a partying time, while others may want to explore nature or be beach bums. You need to make sure you and your travel companion have the same or similar interests with some diverging ones so you can try something new!

As long as your history buff travel companion is okay with having a beach day and you love visiting all the historical sites with your history buff.


How well do you know each other? Are you comfortable travelling with this person? Have you been in difficult situations before with this person? Can you trust this person whole heartedly? Is this trip meant to be a test for your relationship? How much time consecutively have you spent with this person before? Is this a short fun getaway? Or is this a long trip or the trip of your lifetime? According to that you have to really assess your travel buddy.  This is after all the person who is going to share the memories and experiences of this trip with you.


Some people are introverted, wanting some time alone, others are extroverted making friends along the way and the need to be with groups or going out all the time. In general it might be difficult for introverts to travel with extroverts and vice versa. So it is key to assess - before going on a trip with your friend - your personality types. These are the kind of things that can sometimes ruin friendships or swear you off from going on a trip with that friend again.  So it's better to assess: How long will this trip be for? And will you genuinely be able to stand this person everyday for that amount of time? Also travel can throw lots of curveballs at you - different environments and sleep patterns and lots of different kind of situations that you might not have been in with your travel companion before. How does one react in those kind of situations?


Some people are Type A planners, that is that they plan every little detail and stick to it. They don't like deviating from it and feel less anxious and enjoy their time more this way. Then there are others that enjoy leaving space for some spontaniety or lots of spontaniety.  That is some like to book a hotel/hostel for destination number one and leave everything else open - destinations (not knowing where they will be going next), duration (how long they will stay in one place), and accommodation. Some like organized tours and some like to venture out on their own. Thus, it is key to assess where you and your travel companion are on this, because this sure can be the cause for many arguments if you don't agree!

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  1. I love this list! I haven't done much traveling, but it doesn't take much to realize how many of these things can affect your trip experience. I'm very compatible with my sisters, but we share the same interests and budget. In the past, I've definitely run into trouble with travel companions due to pace and budget. Thanks for sharing!

    Sweet Helen Grace

  2. These are some great tips, I need a vacay

  3. So true! A great trip can be ruined by an incompatible partner.

  4. This is a great list. I have been at odds on both pace and budget with early travel buddies, and that disconnect can just kill a trip.

  5. These are all such important things to consider. I traveled around Bolivia for 2 months with one of my best friends and she started acting too much like my mother. Fortunately, it didn't ruin our friendship and she since apologised.

  6. I would definitely say that pace is the most important!



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