If you’re not up for traveling alone, and not everyone is, you want to make sure you have a suitable travel companion. Traveling with the wrong person can ruin even the most promising of trips, and choosing the right person is no small feat. I’m lucky if I can count on one hand the people that I would want to take an extended trip with. Traveling with another person means spending about 100% of your time with them, from early mornings to late nights and everything in between. It means navigating the streets of a foreign place together. It means agreeing on which places are worth venturing to, and which sights you wouldn’t mind missing. Sometimes it means deciphering another language. Often times it means the occasional sacrifice from one party to make the other one happy. Having a great travel partner is crucial to enjoying your trip, so without further ado, my list of five traits for the perfect travel companion;
1. Someone who cares about your well-being.
Your travel partner should be someone who genuinely cares about you, and your safety and happiness. Being safe is an important part of exploring a new place, and having someone to watch your back is an added layer of protection. In addition, you want someone who wants you to be happy. If you’ve been dying to see a particular attraction, and your friend is less than thrilled about it, they should go anyway, because they know it’s important to you. You would do the same for them, right?
2. Someone you can talk to, but also sit in silence with.
Traveling can often mean long bus/plane/train/boat rides, or even long walks. You want to be with someone you can hold a significant conversation with. If you can comfortably talk about nearly anything, you’ll never run out of things to say. In that same right, you should be able to sit in silence, without any trace of awkwardness. Travel can be exhausting, and every now and again you may just want to sit and take it all in together.
3. Someone who is laid back, and isn’t picky!
This is a big one for me. In general, I’m a very laid back person. It takes a lot to disappoint me, especially when I’m traveling. Nothing will ruin a trip faster than someone who picks apart every detail of your trip, and then complains about it.
“This hotel isn’t clean enough.”
“This restaurant is too expensive.”
“This bus ride is so boring.”
The perfect travel partner will go with the flow. They will take the experience for what it is, and find the positives in even the toughest situations. You’re traveling! You’re seeing the world. You have an opportunity that many people only dream about. Don’t let anyone ruin it with an uptight attitude. Pick a travel partner that will smile with you through even the worst conditions.
4. Someone who will take your photo.
This one is a little more on the superficial side, but I value it all the same. One of my favorite parts of a trip is getting home and looking over all of the beautiful photos I took, and I generally enjoy being in a few of them. If there is one thing I appreciate in a travel partner, it’s someone who doesn’t mind snapping my embarrassing touristy photos, and of course, someone who will shamelessly jump in on a selfie with me.
5. Someone you can have fun with!
This is probably the most important trait in a travel buddy. You have to be able to have fun together. You both should be up for taking the occasional risk, or doing something crazy. Making a last minute decision to sky-dive, randomly getting off the train in an adorable unplanned town, or making a spontaneous change in your itinerary can lead to some of the best memories of your life. Travel is all about the experience, and wherever you go, it should be a fun one. The perfect travel partner will look at an exciting new adventure and say “Let’s just do it, man!”.
So, there you have it! These are the five traits that are most important to me while choosing a travel companion. Of course there are many more, but if you can look at your best friend/significant other/family member and easily check off each of these traits, you may just have the perfect person to explore the world with. Don’t take this person for granted! They can be hard to come by and absolutely lovely to have by your side. Go ahead, take a look around and grab your perfect travel partner, and once you do, get going!