Whether you are traveling local or long distance, both privacy and safety are important when going somewhere alone. There are many factors to consider and sometimes the wrong choice of travel companion can lead to an unhappy trip. It always pays to be alert, to know your area and to know where you are going.
- Review possible traveling companions. Think of a few factors, such as your relationship with them, if they are of legal age, do they have a chronic illness? Do they know how to handle being in dangerous areas? Obviously traveling can be stressful,exciting,and fun. So deciding whether or not to travel with someone takes some consideration. Even someone who is a friend can become a different person while travelling.
- Think of where you are going. Is it dangerous? Foreign? Local? Luxury or economy? Do you share the same tastes? Does he or she need 4 star accommodations while a hostel is what you were thinking. Do you like the same foods? If sampling the local cuisine is your idea of travel will they be looking for the nearest McDonald’s?
- Does the person you are considering traveling with speak more than one language, do you? Of course this isn’t the basis of choosing your companion but if you have a choice of people to travel with it may be a consideration.
- Has he or she traveled to where you are going? Obviously if they have it can really be helpful if they know what to expect and can guide you along.Do they enjoy the same types of things you do? Even though you are traveling together it is OK to do things separately, for example if they want to go to a museum and you want to go to the beach go ahead you can always meet up again later! Be flexible.
- Have they traveled much and had good experiences? Some people’s travel stories are always negative, is this them? If so you might want to reconsider. Travel doesn’t need to be work! Try to match your style with theirs, if they want to start at 6:00AM and go till 9:00pm cramming in as many sights and activities in as they can while you are thinking of leisurely breakfasts and wandering around randomly might cause problems.
- Do they have habits you find annoying? If so, it will only be worse on the road. While traveling little things can be magnified, especially if you plan on sharing accommodations. Do they need the radio or TV on to sleep? Do they smoke and you don’t? Do they need AC and you want the heat on? Think of all the aspects of day to day life then apply them to a situation in an unfamiliar place.
- If traveling with limited budget, consider a talk about sharing expenses.This can be the biggest of all the considerations! Make sure you both agree on who is paying for what. As stated before if you are planning on staying in a hostel and buying food from the market to cook yourself and they think they are going to a resort it could be a deal breaker. Make sure you know how to access your money; will your ATM card work in your destination? Are you going to carry travelers checks? How do they plan to pay for things? It may be an uncomfortable discussion but it is vital to know these things.
- Travel is one of the best ways to broaden your horizons. Some people prefer to do it alone others wouldn’t think of it. If you are planning a trip for any length of time with someone you have never traveled with before stop and consider. Maybe a short local trip as a trial would be in order. Spend some time with this person before you go. The most important thing is to be flexible, calmly talk about anything that’s bothering you, don’t accuse discuss.
Plan! We have all heard the saying “If you don’t plan you plan to fail” You don’t need to map out each and every step but plan together so you know each others expectations.