I love travelling alone, and one of the biggest reasons for that, is because I find it hard to tell anyone off. I usually “suck it up” to avoid being harsh, but truth is, it comes at a high price on personal relationships. So I have made up a list of “How to be the perfect travel companion” by trying to sum up some of my one mistakes and mistakes of those that have had the courage to travel with me 😀
Never go on trips with anyone you do not love.
– Ernest Hemmingway
1. Be appreciative
The best thing in travelling is experiencing new cultures, and sometimes, these may not be up to our standards. Yes, some restrooms will be ridiculous and some foods will be strange. Please, do not complain – learn to appreciate and embrace what is at your disposal! If you’d like everything to be like it is at home then… go home.
2. Be independent
I have had people mad at me because I went grocery shopping alone. I have also had people that completely stopped talking to me because I left a club before them. Up to this date I’m not really sure what was wrong with me going shopping alone or leaving a club earlier but… hey! I like my independence 🙂
3. Be savvy
The biggest advantage of a travel companion may be saving up. Shopping for food together, renting a car, splitting bills. If you are travelling with someone the same gender you may even consider sharing things like shampoo, toiletries and other cosmetic items as well. Sharing is caring <3
4. Be organised
At some point you’ll probably going to cook something together. Organise tasks and meals: one can cook and one can do the washing up, plan in advance and split the bills. Don’t wait for someone else to do something first, especially if you are travelling with someone much experienced than you – travelling does not come with a hierarchy: having travelled to more countries does not mean one must “delegate” tasks. A good travel companion takes initiative, regardless! Don’t be shy! (why should one be shy?!)
5. Be honest
We all have good and bad days. It’s ok to “lose it” every now and then, but it is much better to talk about it rather then keep it in and then just “explode”. If something is not right you better solve it while it is only a minor thing, rather than raving it up until it’s a pointless / nonsense argument. This is something I am terrible at, I have a hard time telling it right in the beginning, and I regret it all the time. So this is my biggest advise to you, considering my own mistakes… 😉
6. Be Thankful
Did your travel partner deal with the bookings, got you a special deal that you wouldn’t get on your own, shared a prize or as invited you to come along her work trip? Then, be thankful. It may be nice to show some gratitude: ask your travel partner for a meal on you, surprise with a little treat, or simple, say “thank you” – which comes at no price, but may cost you a lot more if you do not recognise the opportunity.
7. Be Humble
Don’t go out on a trip showing of how much better you or your things are. Avoid bragging about your personal issues: your job, your things, your life, your house… Unless the conversation leads that way. Don’t splash out your fancy clothing or accessories, especially if you are travelling on a community / location that is socially or financially challenging.
8. Be Respectful
Respect is a thing that tends to be less looked after on more liberal societies. When travelling, respect the local culture. Dress appropriately, talk appropriately, don’t ever let your travel partners down by disrespecting local rules and local culture. Look after yourself and respect the ones around you.
9. Be Responsible
Take special attention with alcohol, drugs, flirts… The worst thing that can happen to you is getting in trouble in a foreign country, even worse is dragging your travel partners on a trip to hell just because you got in trouble. So, enjoy yourself, but keep it cool: mind your limits!
10. Be Happy!
Let loose, relax, enjoy! Travelling is an enriching experience. Has Tim Cahill once said: “A journey is best measured in friends, rather than miles.”