Traveling with others can be tricky, whether it’s with your BFF or your significant other. Choosing a compatible travel companion is an important decision that will either make or break your trip, and it will directly influence whether your holiday will be looked back on with fondness or with pain.
But have you ever asked yourself if you are a good travel companion?
Here’s how to tell whether or not you’ll be asked to go on a second trip with someone:
1. You don’t complain about everything.
Nobody wants to travel with a constant complainer. Sure, there are legitimate things to complain about, like why Sriracha sauce isn’t available in every restaurant, for example. (Seriously, WHY?)
But, things such as travel delays, being a bit sick and lost luggage are part and parcel of the travel experience.
Furthermore, most problems or setbacks that occur while traveling are out of your control, so it pays to have a sunny disposition until your lost luggage has been retrieved from the other side of the world.
Remember these words: Attitude is the difference between an ordeal and an adventure. Which would you prefer?
2. You don’t constantly compare.
The more you travel, the more you will inevitably make comparisons between the destinations you have frequented.
But, if the only words coming out of your mouth are along the lines of, “The Hermitage is so much more impressive” when wandering around the National Gallery in Britain, or “Icelandic landscapes are so much more breathtaking” when taking in the scenery of Norway (and, yes, I am guilty as charged of the latter), then you may be affecting the experiences of your travel companions.
Perhaps other locales have been more impressive or more to your taste, but an effort needs to be made to enjoy every destination for what it is. Don’t always bring up a time when something was better elsewhere.
3. You allow others to have their own experience.
Following the previous point, a good travel companion lets everyone have the travel experience they want, even if it is different from how you would normally travel. It all comes down to compromise and respect.
Judging someone for wanting to see all of the tourist attractions instead of seeking out alternative experiences, or for taking too many photos with their camera, is disrespectful. Everyone travels differently and experiences locations in their own way.
If your travel styles are so different, then perhaps it’s better to make your own way.
4. You have an opinion when needed.
There is probably nothing more annoying than being met with an “I don’t know, whatever you want” type of response when being asked for an opinion about something. It means that more time is being spent on trying to reach a decision, rather than actually doing something.
Even if you genuinely don’t care, it should make it even easier to pick an option. Conversely, at the other end of the spectrum, be careful not to be too rigid and inflexible about your opinions. It’s all a delicate balancing act.
5. You have an area of expertise.
You know how everyone has their one area of knowledge that they can contribute to during a pub trivia night? Well, it also pays to have an area of expertise when traveling.
Whether you’re a logistics legend, a walking entertainment bible or a tech wizard who is awesome at finding free WiFi, own it and have that be your contribution to the trip.
This especially comes in handy in larger group travel, and it is a great way to divvy up responsibilities to avoid having anyone feel as if they’re doing all of the hard work.
6. You’re independent.
Even though you’re traveling with someone else, this doesn’t mean you need to be permanently attached to the hip of your travel companion. Take some time out for yourself (and perhaps for the sanity of the other person) to read a book, or to go for a solo wander or run.
Having space is essential when traveling with others, especially if it’s for a longer period of time, and it helps reduce the chances of having disagreements on the road.