And our series continue! Don’t forget to check out Hopeless Wanderer for next week’s final installment of our What Not to Do travelling tips blog series.
Whether this someone is your friend, sister, husband, school mate, or significant other, there are some basic relational faux-pas you want to avoid when travelling with them, so as to avoid any awkward or unpleasant moments that may spoil the trip.
Surprisingly, this is not a topic that is widely written about. I have been fortunate to not have any truly unpleasant travel companions, quite the opposite, but I do know of people who have been ditched before the trip even began, or right in the middle of it!
1. Do Not Go With Someone You Butt Heads With
It seems so obvious, but it is easy in the rush and excitement of things to think that you and your buddy have the same vision for what your trip will look like, until you arrive and the first thing you want to do is go to an art museum, and your friend wants to tan on the beach. You like getting up early, they like sleeping in. These small differences can cause a strain on the relationship, and put a major damper on your trip.
|One of my besties, Mary and our good friend Avalon! We made a perfect trio!|
Sit down, and talk about what each of you hope to get out of the trip and then figure out where to make some compromises so that you are both happy and getting what you want. Hopefully, you two are fairly alike in your travelling styles.
If you find that you are not remotely interested in the same things, or have very different travel styles, then don’t waste each others time, and opt to travel with someone else, or even solo (read about solo travelling tips here!)
2. Do Not Go Without a Plan
This is true for solo travel, but still is true for those travelling in a pair or group. Compulsive and fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants decisions can work, but at least half the time your sudden decision will get shut down by unexpected construction, lack of reservation, a forgotten travel item, lack of time, lack of for-knowledge, and simply: lack of planning.
Things like booking reservations, figuring out an itinerary, delegating certain responsibilities, figuring out together what to pack, as well as back up plans are good things to figure out and talk about with your travelling buddy. It helps avoid stress, panic, and possible rows.
3. Do Not Lose Communication
|With my Prince in the city of Paris!|
Travelling alone can be a little frightening, but losing someone or not being able to get in touch with them while you are travelling, is possibly scarier. I remember when I lost my newly wed husband just outside la Defense shopping mall in Paris. I quickly ran back to check if I dropped something, and Wayne continued on. I didn’t expect him to move so fast, but next thing I knew, I had no idea where he was! It was a stressful 8 minutes or so, because I knew he didn’t know the language and didn’t know his way around as well as I did.
If you ever plan to go separate ways, discuss it first. If you have no use of technology, plan a meeting spot and a time. Try to know where emergency Wi-Fi spots can be accessed if you lose each other or are going to miss your meeting time.
4. Do Not be Jerks
Safety and confidence can come more easily in numbers. So can opportunities to behave stupidly or execute bad ideas. Being in another country, especially one that is less privileged than the one you come from, can give you a sense of freedom to be able to do what you want. Just because you are a tourist, doesn’t mean you can get away with anything! Be respectful of the culture; if you are in Japan, don’t be obnoxiously loud, if you are in the Middle East, don’t wear short spandex shorts. So don’t fall for the ‘If my friend is doing it also, then it will be ok’ mentality. Tune in to the cultural environment, and learn something from it instead.
5. Do Not Spend Too Much Time on Social Media
Updating your Facebook status, or Instagram account once or twice a day so everyone back home knows you’re alright, and your followers can, well, follow along with your journey, is probably okay. But if you are glued to it and chatting with friends back home, you are really missing out on the point of both travelling and travelling with someone. This is a chance to build an incredible relationship with that other person and make life-long memories and to experience new things in a new place. Don’t miss out on all of that!
6. Do Not Keep to Yourselves
Do not isolate yourselves, or not venture into friendly activities with other travellers or locals. It can be easy to stick to each other, but if you are travelling for some time, it will greatly enrich and benefit your relationship and trip by breaking out of your comfort zone and possibly making some new friends along the way!
My husband and I still remember fondly the people we met in Brussels, who we then went to a popular pub with. We must have sat for a least 2 hours with them, talking and sharing about our lives and experiences, and it was one of the highlights of our honeymoon!
Do have fun!
Do you have an awesome travel buddy? Do you prefer to travel solo? What advice would you give? Let me know in the comments below!