The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. What Makes a Great Travel Partner.

With over thirty countries under my belt now, I have travelled with a number of different people and each trip has been a completely unique experience.

My friend Patty, whom I met when living in Sydney, Australia, is my perfect travel partner and I consider myself lucky to have met her.  Always up for anything, be it jumping out of a plane, climbing glaciers or trekking through the jungle, Patty and I did not argue once during the months we spent travelling together.

Mui Ne, Vietnam

I like to think that I make for a very easy travel partner, although the person with whom I took a trip to Costa Rica with this past winter would beg to differ. Each person that I have travelled with has been a completely different type of traveller; no one trip has even remotely resembled the one before it.

The lesson I took away from my most recent trip is to never travel with someone who isn’t equally as excited about the prospect of going away as you are. This is in fact, a recipe for disaster.  Clarify expectations before hand, or else it can lead to serious disappointment.

After a number of major trip, I’ve really thought about what qualities make for a great travel buddy. The ones below are some of the most important to me:

  • Adventurous and up for anything!  While in Costa Rica, I found myself doing many activities alone.  All I could think was we’re here for two weeks and all you want to do is sit on your laptop or take a nap? Why leave the country in the first place if you don’t want to do anything? This is something that I will never understand. EVER. (If you ever happen to read this – you know who you are). Thankfully, we were in a country where there were plenty of English speakers and I found plenty to do on my own or with others.
  • Flexible and willing to go with the flow. I’ve always found it best to travel with a rough itinerary in mind, but one that can change as the trip progresses. If you’re dead set in your plans it can be really easy to miss out on great opportunities.
  • Patient. When you’re travelling, you’re often faced with situations where your nerves are frayed and anxiety levels are high. It’s so important to be able to approach a tedious situation (two hours to buy a bus ticket in China!) with a calm and patient attitude.  Everyone stays positive and it makes things much more manageable.
  • A good sense of humour. The ability to laugh at yourself will get you much further in life. So a prostitute in Vietnam stole your camera? Well at least you still have your passport!
  •  Low maintenance. By low maintenance I do not in ANY respect mean poor personal hygiene. Change your clothes – it stinks when you when you wear the same thing every day (Still talking about you!). Shower. Brush your teeth. But don’t spend hours in front of the mirror doing your make-up, or complain about the state of your hair.
  • Kindness. A good travel partner will hold your hair back when you puke. Anybody can get sick. It happens. A friend takes care of you in these situations. A true friend and travel partner really gets you.

Dali, China

I could go on but these were the top things that came to mind.  When travelling with a partner, make sure to pick the right person because they will have a huge impact on your trip.

Have you had the travel partner from hell or have you found your perfect travel mate?

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About AdventuressAbroad

adventure seeker.traveling lover.occasional PR professional.

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3 Comments on “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. What Makes a Great Travel Partner.”

  1. Kat Says:

    Good list. I agree with them all and I would add that I love a travel partner who doesn’t take things personally – the kind of friend that will understand if you tell them you need some quiet or alone time (especially on a bus or train) – or, even better, just figures it out!

    But every trip needs a different companion. Most important is to have similar intentions for the trip you’re about to go on.


    • AdventuressAbroad Says:

      Thanks for your comment Kat! I completely agree about having similar intentions for a trip – this is so important. From past experience I’ve realized that this can make or break the entire thing.


  2. Claire Says:

    I have had one from heaven and one from hell…I went to Greece for two weeks with a friend who literally wanted to sit in the hotel, eat Mc Donald’s and nap WHY leave the country for that? My Ex was an amazing travel partner; he just went with the flow and was up for anything it makes such a difference. Great post


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