Updated: Oct 29, 2018
Now that you'll be traversing across the globe, you might need to pick someone to do this with. The question is: do you know who to pick? This article explains the important things to consider when selecting an ideal travel partner.
So, you’ve decided that it’s time to pursue your dreams of traveling around the world. Congrats! So long as you’re not planning on travelling solo, your next step is to choose your travel partner. To choose this partner, there are a few aspects worth your consideration.
Try to remember the following:
1. Bed Sharing and Close Quarters
I consider bed sharing to be a top priority. The person you travel with is someone with which you should be incredibly comfortable with; in all likelihood, you will be sharing a bed with them. Close quarters 24/7 can create tension among even the closest of friends or partners. Are you a blanket hog, but don’t mind sleeping on a tiny sliver of bed space? Then you’ll need to find someone who doesn’t do the same, or you’ll both end up cold.
Most of us have been in a situation where we were on a budget, but those that we were spending the evening with were not. It makes for a rather uncomfortable Friday night, to nurse one cheap cocktail while the rest of your party goes all out – and let’s not even get started on buying rounds of drinks. Consider how much you want to be spending throughout this trip. Is it worthy of all your life savings, or do you prefer to be a little more frugal? Your trip goals can help determine how much you want to spend.
3. Adventure and Travel Goals
You and your partner should be on the same page about what kind of experiences you want to have, as well as what your goals are for the trip are. Do you want to see the tourist attractions first, and then spend the evening in a café sipping wine? Or would you rather go hang-gliding over a waterfall? Are you hoping for personal growth, or do you hope to start a business based off your travel? These kinds of discussions will help determine where you want to go and what you want to spend your money on.
These are important things to consider when planning out the trip with your potential travel partner.
4. Accommodation Desires
Accommodation is where a large majority of your money will be spent during this trip, so having an agreement with your partner regarding how much you want to spend (and the level of luxury you both require) is vital to an enjoyable adventure. It’s also important to recognize the need to shop around for deals.
You might have your heart set on a particular hotel, but keep in mind that short-term lodging websites, where people can rent out their homes, can offer some great deals. It’s often even cheaper than a hostel. This isn’t to say that hostels aren’t worth your time though, as often they are one of the best ways to meet new people.
5. Sleep Schedule
Although this is an important aspect to consider, it’s not a be-all end-all. Sure, it’s a little inconvenient if you go to bed at 9:00pm and your partner wants to stay out until midnight, but it’s really all about finding a good compromise. My big Eurotrip involved me going to bed around 9:00pm to 10:00pm, but waking up early, while my travel partner went to bed around 11:00pm to 12:00am and woke up an hour or so after me. When it came to going out, we were able to pick one or two nights a week when we would stay out later and then have a lazy morning the next day.
Though it might seem inconvenient to have such different sleep schedules, it ended up working out well, because my partner was able to have some alone time when I went to bed early and I got my alone time when she slept in. As much as you might like the person you’re traveling with, some time to reconnect with yourself can be incredibly beneficial, especially if you plan on travelling for a longer period of time.
6. Taking Your Photo
Let’s be real – in this day and age, it’s very unlikely that you’re going to trek half way around the world and not put it on Instagram. Unless you plan on going off the grid during this trip, it can be useful to give your travel partner some training on your camera and on what you like in a picture. For example, I like to have full body pictures taken from a slightly higher angle. If you tell your travel partner what you want upfront, it will save you both a lot of time and keep anyone from getting upset at the amount of retakes you request.
Another method I use is to take a picture of what I want first and show it to my travel partner. This way, they know exactly how to frame the photo and I can stand and pose as I want. If you have a DSLR, be sure to get your settings ready before you hand over your camera.
Wherever your travels take you and with whomever you choose to travel with, make sure that you’re on the same page. Even if you’ll be adventuring with a significant other or a friend you’ve known for years, this list is designed to give you starting points for a discussion. These are not disagreements you want to have on the road – so grab a cup of coffee, your computer, and your travel partner and sit down to hash out the nitty-gritty. This way, your trip is bound to be one for the books… or the ’gram, as it is.