I used to love travelling alone. I liked the freedom to choose what to do when, to be able to change the plan, to have the time to stop, read and explore, and to meet random people and end up doing random things with them. Come to think of it, I’ve met some of the greatest people traveling solo, like my husband!
As we met backpacking, I assume it’s no surprise that nowadays I prefer to travel with my husband. He is good fun! But over the years I and we have also traveled with a number of friends too. And I’ve come to the conclusion that some lovely people are dear friends but travelling together is not the best way to spend time together. And then there are those people that make all trips so much more fun. Like the couple we’ve done 3 roadtrips with so far, spending more or less 24/7 in the same room/ car without getting sick of the company.
I think the key for the fun is
1. we have every time made a separate budget, which we have compared before a trip. Automatically we have landed on similar numbers, and our spending habits as well as our expectations for comfort are pretty much the same.
I remember a friend getting excited after one of my 3 month budget backpacking trips wanting to go “together on a similar adventure” and then going on talking about a nice resort. Nothing wrong with a holiday in a resort but for me neither the price level nor the idea of staying put in one place are included in a “budget backpacking trip”.
2. We are all pretty independent as travelers. Everyone finds it ok to go separate ways for a while if there are different interests.
I’ve been a couple times in a situation where the partner wants us to stick together all the time. I assume the other person has found the idea of being alone in a new place daunting. But travelling can be tiring, most people need some time on there own anyway, and an expectation of doing everything together can make things tough eg when one is tired and the other one bored.
3. Consideration and flexibility in habits and details.
If I’ve bought margarine, my travel partner lets me have that even though the partner thinks butter is better. Live and let others live. I thought this was obvious until I found out its not.
4. Everyone has opinions on what to see or to do. But also listens to the wishes of others.
We once spent a weekend in an other city with a couple that never had any opinions on what to do. I found it harder to be considerate when they didn’t contribute at all. Them bickering a fair bit among them didn’t do wonders for the atmosphere either…
5. We like to do and see similar things.
Here are quite a few things we did when travelling around Finland. But we all also like simple and inexpensive things like spending the evening cooking together, playing mölkky or having a refreshing morning swim in a lake. Others wish to dine fine or to go to theater every night. Or to visit every museum and always have the guided tour there. All good things but I think it makes travelling together easier if you don’t have to compromise all the time.
Who do you prefer to travel with and why?
You and your husband met on a backpacking trip! That’s so romantic! I love the last pic! Good travelling companions are hard to find. Those met on the trip as total strangers make it more fun and adventurous. I have never been so daring to travel on back pack alone. I bet you have lots of stories to tell your kids.
🙂 What about you, where/how did you meet your husband? (Yes, I’m nosy, don’t feel obliged to share the whole world wide web if you don’t feel like it).
Funny about the travels though, now when working among people with mental health issues, travel stories are great. Not all of them will ever be able to travel themselves but most of them love to talk about trips e.g. on coffee breaks, it seems to help people to dream. And of course lot of them also have incredible stories to tell. It is pretty impressive to hear e.g how some have travelled the world pretty much without money in the 60’s.
Good points! I’m trying to pick my favourite but I’ll just end up repeating the list. 🙂
I’ve travelled in groups with mismatched budgets and ideas about pace and I know what you mean about people who are a bit clingy when travelling – though from here I can also sympathise with feeling daunted!
I haven’t had any really bad travel partner experiences but there are a few people I just think I should stick to hanging out with in other ways (so far the feeling has been mutual!)
These are all very good points. I especially am one of those people that needs time alone occasionally, no matter where I am. 🙂
You and your husband met while traveling? That is awesome! Have you written the story in a post? I would love to read it.
I don’t think I have written a post about “our history”, I think I have told it in some other post?
To make it short, I arrived in Madrid in the middle of the night (loooong story, shit happens) and was getting a bit desperate looking for a hostel to stay in as everything was full. I ended up in a hostel were there was place in a boys dorm, and talked myself in to it promising they’d like me 😉 My husband stayed in the same room, as neither one of us really had any plans, we traveled on together. When it was time for me to return home, he came with me because “everybody does UK” so he’d do something different (and when we met, he couldn’t even exactly place Finland on the map…brave!). That was soon 10 years ago :).
That’s a great story! How fun! Sounds like you guys were meant to be. 🙂
I certainly hope so! My closest colleague met her husband 30yearsago while interrailing in France. She is really cool and I hope I can tell a similar story in 20 years!
Have you written your story?
I did actually, it was my very first blog post. Though it’s not nearly as exciting as yours I think. 🙂
That is a great story!
Great post! I love travelling with my husband too. He is a historian so knows a lot about stuff I don’t. I take him to great food places, mkts and restaurants etc so we mix everything up and always love to find a beach, relax with a picnic and just enjoy the space we are in ad maybe see one museum/church a day 🙂
Sounds like a good mix to me!! I do enjoy good restaurants and history but the one museum/church/exhibition a day is enough for me too 🙂 oh, and markets, they just great!
You know I’ve never really given this much thought; till now! I suppose therein lies the answer. I think I don’t mind travelling with anyone, but on the flip side I am probably one of those people it is hard to travel with, because I am a bit too laid back while on holiday.
Laid back doesn’t sound to bad to me, uptight is much harder 😉
You really sound to be the kind of traveller that my husband is, while I am from the opposite spectrum! 🙂 But now that I am used to his way of traveling, I really must say my eyes opened a lot to the fun and adventure which is your/his way.
Actually I think sometimes a luxurious lazy holiday is in place too 🙂 But I guess my most memorable moments have been made on another type of trip. But mainly my point was that I think it is good that the expectations on the type of trip are similar to start of with in order to not make it unnecessary stressful. But cool that you have dared to try something new and even enjoyed it!
Finding the right travelling companion is tricky… a friend has just asked me to travel to Mongolia with her, and I’ve declined, because I know it wouldn’t go well… and I really do want us to stay friends 😉
Exactly! But Mongolia does sound quite intriguing, not the most typical holiday destination!
No… and she’s a vegetarian, which, in a place like that, is going to be a nightmare!
I grew up as a vegetarian but decided to learn to eat meat on the camino de Santiago to make life easier 🙂