Traveling with someone -- be it a significant other or a friend -- can teach you a lot about them. Just because you're compatible in daily life doesn't mean you'll necessarily travel well together.
That's because trips are sacred: Each person embarks on the journey with their own vision of what this once-in-a-lifetime experience will be like. And if you're traveling with someone who doesn't share your vision, things can get really messy, really quickly.
Before selecting a travel partner, ask yourself these nine questions. It'll make your trip that much sweeter.
1. What are your goals for the trip?
It's important to get on the same page about your goals for the trip. Are you hoping to wake up early and fill the day with culture and activities, or sleep in and unwind? Do you want to sit by the beach, read and sunbathe, or would you prefer to do a walking tour or take surfing lessons?
2. Is nightlife a priority?
Is one of you a morning person and the other a night owl? Make that clear before the trip. That way, you can adjust your timetables accordingly or strike a compromise.
3. Do you prefer guided tours or wandering around on your own?
Some people prefer to pay a guide for a tour of a landmark or city. But if that's not you -- you'd rather read up on the history on your own time -- discuss that before the trip. Perhaps one of you can play guide for the other, or maybe you can compromise on which tours are worth paying for and which aren't.
4. How much room are you comfortable leaving for spontaneity?
Would you rather plan out every day of the trip, or are you okay with flying by the seat of your pants? There is always room for both; just discuss how you like to do things before taking off.
5. How well do you handle stressful situations?
From tight connections and long immigration lines to bad jet lag and language barriers, are you able to keep calm in stressful situations? It doesn't matter if you've thought of everything, something will inevitably go awry. Will you be able to handle it well together?
6. How comfortable are you with being uncomfortable?
This question covers everything from traveling on a tighter-than-usual budget to getting around to trying new things. If you're traveling to a country where you don't speak the language, are you going to be comfortable navigating public transportation? Are you expecting to stay at a fancy hotel, or are you okay with a hostel?
7. How adventurous will you be with food?
You'll inevitably have to eat -- that's often one of the best parts of a trip! Depending on where you go, some people are adamant on eating like the locals and trying unusual dishes while others would rather stick to what they know. Which one are you?
8. Do you mind spending some time apart?
If the trip is on the longer side, you may want to consider splitting up for certain activities -- particularly if you want to do different things on a given day. Is that something you are OK with?
9. What are your strengths and weaknesses?
This is key. Maybe one of you is more organized and can manage the train tickets and flight itineraries, while the other is good with directions and can be in charge of getting you from place to place. The best travel buddy is someone who balances you out.
The good news is, when you find someone you're travel compatible with, you are guaranteed to share once-in-a-lifetime adventures and memories!
Would you and your friend make a good travel match? Take the quiz below to find out what kind of traveler you are, and have your friend do the same. If you match up, then you've got the green light to plan an adventure together.
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