It won’t be until you are standing out the front of your hotel room arguing with your best friend about whether you go watch the sunset over the beach or try and chat up those randoms you saw at the pool bar, that you will have an epiphany moment and realise that travelling with your closest friends ain’t such a great idea after all.
We are marketed into travelling in pairs, with deals for ‘couples’ lurching at every corner and the temptation to buddy up with that random friend that wants to tag along on your adventures is too easy to succumb to. We know that feeling you get, the knowing feeling that tells you that things could get complicated. You’ve never spent this long together, you both have some similar interests, but while you enjoy getting amongst the outdoors and exploring what nature has to offer, your bestie is desperate to find a fake Mimco pouch or a sink some beers at a pool bar. Inevitably a clash between itinerary plans is bound to occur at some stage and unless you are both very cool cucumbers or you are totally submissive and will agree with anything to please, conflict will arise.
So how can you choose a travel companion that will ensure a guilt free enjoyable trip for both of you?
- Be clear about what you want from your trip. If you want to lay poolside everyday and relax, tell your travel companion before you plan your trip. If you are both involved in the planning stages then you are both ensuring you are on the same page.
- Don’t be afraid to part ways. Don’t take it personally if your friend really wants to go visit a waterfall and you want to go check out a museum in the city. It is ok to be apart for the day and share your stories when you return.
- Be willing to give things a go. Even if you its not what you want to do, listen to your companion, weigh up whether it could fit into your day, is it important to them? Maybe you can do both. If they are willing to tag along with you to visit some random monkey’s then you can sacrifice an hour to check out some trendy cafe they have been obsessing over on Instagram.
- Resolve conflict before it escalates. Nothing is worse than fighting with a boyfriend or friend and being stuck together for the rest of the holiday, ticked off and wishing you could get away from them. Talk it out and resolve it, don’t stay angry with each other for longer than a couple of hours. Be willing to compromise and listen to what is frustrating them.
- Give each other space. There will be times where you just need a little space from one another. Usually when you’re close to someone it can be hard to ask for space without wanting to offend them. Offer that space, when you sense it is needed. I’m not saying find a new hotel room, just go for a walk or head down to get some coffee, leaving your companion to do their own thing for an hour or so.
- Be a cool cucumber. Remember, you are both on this trip to enjoy yourselves. You have each paid your way, counted down and waited for this moment. Be kind to your companion, even when they are driving you crazy. You have the power to maintain peace, so use it.
- Travel Solo. Seriously. Consider it. If all else fails and you don’t have the option of a chilled travel companion, just go for it. You will meet plenty of wonderful people along the way and get to enjoy your trip the way you like it.
What are your thoughts? Is travelling solo or with friends better? I would love to hear what you think. Happy adventuring! xx