How to identify the perfect travel buddy
Last week I spent on the Spanish island Mallorca with three friends. It was a wonderful vacation, full of moments to be grateful for. Probably there’ll be several blog posts coming out of this trip 🙂
One of the things I loved most about the week was the compatibility of the group. I have been called socially adaptable and easy to travel with by several people, so I never really thought about what makes the difference for great travel buddies. But after having reflected on this last week, I now have the following tips.
I don’t mind getting up early to do stuff. I don’t specifically mind wasting away the mornings relaxing either. But there are people who are not flexible. Some people just wake up at 5 am every day. These things are good to know before you start travelling together. The four of us were the last table at breakfast every single day. And dinner. And at the bar 😉
Spontaneity vs planning
We had the vague idea of maybe getting a rental car. When we landed in Palma de Mallorca we had no idea how to get to the hotel (I only do this in Europe by the way). Only then did we decide to get one and changed our minds twice about how long we´d keep it. We had no itinerary and no idea what we were going to see or do that week. And none of us minded. We figured it out as we went along. That´s what we find more relaxing.
If you travel with somebody who likes to plan every detail ahead of time, make sure you´re okay with that. For some people that can result in stress of having to stick to a schedule.
I am all for calculated risk. No risk, no fun, right? But also, too much risk is often stressful. And who wants that on their vacation? Traveling with people who like the same amount of risk as you do makes for a restful trip.
We naturally agreed when would be a good time to get to the airport. We all naturally fastened our seat belts in the car. And we climbed some cliffs. We entered the closed off rooftop of the hotel for a better view. Some things are worth it, others are not. It was wonderful to travel with a group of people who had the same idea of risk vs. safety. Feeling safe is relaxing. Good to know in case relaxation is what you´re going for.
This one kind of goes with biological clock. We happened to do a lot of sports during this vacation. Even the hotel animation staff came over one day to ask if we´d play a match against them one day.
And so we did. It turned into 6 hours of sports. And then we stayed up until 2 or 3 in the morning playing cards. And it was great. But I know some people who wouldn´t think this a fun day. So, talk about what expectations you have of the trip if you travel with somebody you don´t know well.
Find a nice travel buddy
Surround yourself with nice people. I don´t mean nice in the sense of polite platitudes and big smiles all day long. I mean nice in the sense of they can compromise to make sure everybody is having a good time. They are even nicer to spend a lot of time around while traveling.
I am very lucky to have a travel buddy like Jannis, whom I joined on this trip. We decided something like 10 years ago that we were going to visit one cool place each year together. Since then we´ve been to Bali, New York and the Caribbean among others. Neither one of us is a high maintenance person, so we always have a good time.
It´s not that I mind travelling solo, as you know from my posts Explore Chocolate City: Zaragoza Spain and 3 Costa Brava must-see Towns for Slow Travelers. But a good travel buddy can make a trip. And you´ll always have somebody to share the memories with.
What do you consider important in a travel buddy? Comment below!