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?