Travel friends are like pet cacti. Firstly, they possess the potential to become the most resilient and reliable companion. And secondly, they can be seriously dangerous if not selected carefully. Choose wisely in order to live a long and happy traveler’s life with your PIT – Partner In Travel.
Same-same or different? A great way to start in the search for the ultimate travel friend is to find the yin to your yang. Are you a chill-on-the-beach holiday maker? Or are you the kind of energizer bunny that makes Everest look like a Sunday stroll?
Finding a like-minded traveler will ensure that you get to do all of your favourite things more often than not. A travel itinerary is far more tantalizing to two travelers of similar interests. That having been said you often find that a happy-go-lucky Larry can comfortably rely on an organization junkie – but generally only if the taste for activities align. Find someone who likes the things you like but who also possesses traits that complement or complete you. Skills aside, stick to what you know and love. Activity ninjas ideally pair with activity ninjas as do party people and so too do sun-loungers. Same-same but different.
What does travel look like to you? Perhaps you like a gold-plated hotel lobby and a complimentary buffet breakfast. Or maybe you’re happy sharing a single mattress with the resident cat in a guesthouse and prefer to be the only tourist at the local fish market haggling with local trawlers? Make your travel style known long before you and your partner embark on your great expedition! Establish whether a two star hotel is a hard or soft limit. Perhaps a bunk bed is out of the question. Egyptian cotton may be ideal but not a necessity. Consider how much you are willing to spend on comfort. After all, the comfort budget talk is perhaps the most important conversation you will have with both yourself (yes, some self-talk and honesty is required here) and also with your PIT.
Do this before you begin to plan your trip and you will find yourself smiling at least 72%* more whilst on the road.
*subject to personal opinion
Who loves an awkward silence? To date there are zero records of any species having ever enjoyed a full-blown, piercingly silent lull in conversation*. There is a distinct difference between quiet time and uncomfortable acknowledgement of unavoidable noiselessness (yes, noiselessness is a word). Whilst in the company of your potential PIT, do you ever find yourself filling voids with empty words of little substance? Always consider your long-term compatibility with a fellow traveler. You’re in this for better or for worse so perhaps aim for better.
*based purely on assumption
While we are sometimes reluctant to admit it, practice really does make perfect. It’s not a crime to test-trial your travels and your travel buddy! Take a day trip. Go somewhere new. Try something different. Step outside of your comfort zone as a pair and see if the shoes fit. Do you complement each other or do you clash? You need to know if uneasy situations are going to cause you both to laugh or cry. Tears should perhaps be a hard limit for a day trip. And let’s be brutally honest, you also need to determine your combined strengths and ensure that your potential PIT is not completely useless across the board. Do they have awesome navigation skills? Are they unforgivably clumsy or are they capable of putting one foot in front of the other? Can they tell the time? And if you happen to find yourself a traveler with super strength and stamina, cling to them and never let go; such humans are colloquially known as the holy grail of travel companions. We can assure you that even the comfiest of RADventure Travel Packs will at some point prove too tiring (usually after you cave at duty-free or purchase that ridiculously oversized travel memento) and you will need that human by your side!