Toronto Front and Church Flat Iron

Traveling with a Non Compatible Partner and How to Avoid Doing So

When it comes to picking who you want to travel with, it can be really important to be picky with your choice. Just because someone is a great friend in your daily life, doesn’t necessarily mean they will be a great one to share your adventures with.

I’ve gone with the same friend on a few recent trips and have noticed some patterns that made it a less than perfect experience.
We have a pretty good routine in our daily lives and our friendship runs along pretty smoothly. When we travel together though, I have noticed our styles are very different. Throughout both trips his main focus was about food, where as I prefer saving my money for items I can bring home, or admittance fees depending on the destination. There’s nothing wrong with that, it’s just our different styles.
Stormy Cape Cod
Now here’s where I get a bit prickly. A common theme throughout both trips was his business. He was answering business calls throughout the entire trip. It was pesky on the first trip, but on the second trip I lost my patience with it. We were doing a lovely hike up a mountain to Vermont’s highest peak, when his phone started ringing. And ringing. And ringing. When he would answer the phone, he spoke so loudly, and everyone on the trail, enjoying the peace of nature would stare at us. I started to just take off without him. Eventually he clued in and put the phone on silent for the rest of the hike. (Side note: He got angry with me one night for taking so many pictures which is what I do for my business..)

Vermont MountainsAnother issue we had on the past trip, was sleeping. When we had an agreed upon time to wake up and get ready for the road trip, he slept in an extra hour and a half. I sat around ready to take off and I can tell you that is not a fun way to start any holiday.

In the next few weeks, I will be going on another trip with a friend. Traveling with friends is still new to me, but I have high hopes for this one. We both agree on how we like to spend our time and our money, so it sounds like it will be a great experience.
London Streets

So why am I telling you all of this? I want you to avoid making the same mistake as me. I am hoping my small irritations will be able to help someone really think twice about who they invite on their next holiday to prevent head butting, or even potentially ruined friendships. (Luckily that’s not where my story ends, but I have heard of other’s unfortunate endings).

To avoid being in a circumstance where you’re feeling unhappy due to choices made by your travel partner, keep these tips in mind:

1. Make sure you have a very similar travel style. Chances are you won’t find someone who matches your ideas of fun right down to every detail, but you should be able to get close.

2. Make sure you both understand the other’s budget. Some people have a bit more money to play around with, but if you’re strapped for cash, make sure this is something your partner is okay with.

3. Have some common ground with the person. Everyone is different, but as well as wanting someone with the same travel goals as you, it’s best if you have some non travel related topics in common too. Long plane rides and quiet nights in the hotel could be boring if you don’t have much else to talk and bond over.
Toronto Front and Church Flat IronIf you have these main bases covered, you should be set for a pretty successful travel partnership. Everyone is different, so be sure to compromise if there is something they are keen to see, and hopefully you have chosen who will respect your choices as well.

What have been your experiences traveling with a partner? Any tips you’d like to share?

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  • Reply
    Stevie on the Move
    January 19, 2016 at 12:05 pm

    Oh yes! So true. That’s why I’m travelling solo since two years. But this doesn’t mean that I’m alone. I meet fellow travellers on the road and sometimes we stick together for days, weeks or even months. But the important thing is that if we get fed up of each other or don’t align anymore we just go separate ways.

  • Reply
    January 17, 2016 at 5:00 pm

    It is very hard to find the perfect traveling partner. Even if you know the person really well, when it comes to traveling everyone is different. Open communication and flexibility are extremely important. From places to visit, time to be spent on each location, meals and scheduling short trips during vacation, everything has to be discussed and negotiated. This is a great topic that can be discussed for hours. I hope you find your perfect partner for traveling. 🙂

  • Reply
    Elaine J. Masters
    November 27, 2015 at 1:02 pm

    Very important topic. I traveled for 6 months with an incompatible partner (complicated past relationship.) It boils down to flexibility and respect. Without those the trip is doomed. Spent 3 weeks on a road trip – two couples one Boomer, one Millennial – and had to surrender to the ultimate goal – getting the car to Philadelphia. There’s always something to be gained on every journey and that one had some great moments although I would’ve done things very differently. I hope your subsequent trips went more smoothly.

  • Reply
    November 26, 2015 at 2:23 pm

    Successful travel with a friend/ lover starts with an honest conversation. Lay out all you plans – the kind of experience you wanted for the trip, budget, itinerary and level of commitment to stay focus on the good side of travel. Great post… hope you’ll find a life long travel buddy;)

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