Travel Partner – Travel is defined per the dictionary, merely as the act of moving from one place to another. Interpreted and described differently by many, understood by myself as a journey leading you from an origin to a destination. The insatiable drive and the unquenchable curiosity to discover and explore has led man to travel since time immemorial, evolving with time to become a means of escaping the mundaneness of everyday life.
In the present day, the thought of travel evokes a sense of excitement within us often followed by a flurry of questions we ask ourselves, “where to go? What to do? How do we travel?.” All requiring planning and thought-after decisions to ensure an enjoyable journey. Yet one aspect often overlooked or perhaps not given adequate consideration is your choice of a travel partner.
Traveling with a travel partner
Charles M Schulz, an American cartoonist once said “In life, it’s not where you go, but who you travel with.” Likewise, the journeys you make may be forgotten, but the memories made will last a lifetime. Understanding that the memories you make will be a reflection of the time spent with the people you are accompanied by, will allow you to appreciate the importance of travel partners.
Traveling with either a partner or a group can be extremely beneficial, whether it be safety, cost, meeting new like-minded people, or who knows maybe even finding love. Highlighted below are a few benefits:
- You will be able to take a backseat and enjoy the journey rather than be constantly burdened with making each decision. Ultimately allowing you to have a much better experience.
- Whilst traveling with friends/family over an extended period of time you will begin to learn things about each other that probably went unnoticed before, strengthening your bonds and creating a better understanding.
- In the case of joining a travel group, you will be surrounding yourself with a group of individuals from varying backgrounds and interests. Allowing you to form new friendships and gain new perspectives.
- Safety, venturing into a new country, or to environments unfamiliar to you can be rather daunting, especially by yourself. Traveling with a companion provides a sense of safety and assurance if in case you find yourself lost or in need of help.
- Cost, by traveling in numbers you will often receive discounted rates and the ability to split costs of accommodation and travel amongst each other which would otherwise have to be borne fully by yourself.
- Allowing yourself to be exposed out of your comfort zone and forced to interact with new people will provide valuable lessons for your personal growth.
Types of travel partners
With advancements in modern technology making the world a smaller place; connecting people through the development of new apps and other platforms, your choice of travel partner/s is seemingly limitless ranging from family to friends to strangers halfway across the world. With different partner/s leading to different experiences, joining a group trip through a travel agency/online forum/travel app will enable you to form new friends while maybe traveling with a friend or family will provide more of a bonding experience.
Finding a good travel partner
Discovering new travel partners will not be as easy a task as one might lead you to believe due to several reasons. There exists a wide variety of services that would help connect you with fellow travelers, yet they should all be approached with a level of caution as you will be exposing information about yourself and your plans on a public platform.
Before delving into the various methods and services available, here are a few points to keep in mind:
- Always remember to check reviews of sites and apps before signing up or revealing any information.
- Be aware of catfishing. (the process of luring a victim into believing that they are someone else using a fictional online persona)
- When setting up your account on a site/app be clear about what you’re looking for to avoid any misunderstandings.
Now that you are aware of possible dangers and precautions to be taken, listed below are the various services and options you could explore:
- Travel sites/apps – There are a plethora of sites and apps offering services to connect you with different people, with some specifically catered to women. To carry out thorough research and discover one which best suits you.
- A travel agency – They offer planned group travels to different destinations that you could sign up for. In addition to relieving you of planning and the accompanying stress, there is also a sense of security they provide as they ensure all participants are safe to travel with.
- Online forums – Public forums and groups on social media platforms exist where like-minded travelers get together and discuss future travels, allowing you to communicate and plan travels with them if you wish to. It is important to exercise caution though, as you will be interacting with strangers.
- Getting a greeter – Connect with local volunteers in your destination to show you around. You could do so by visiting The Global Greeter Network, which is a network facilitating this cause.
- Connecting through friends and family – Arguably the easiest and safest option available, you can connect with mutual friends and relatives looking for travel partners or either willing to show you around.
Picking travel partners
When picking a travel partner, you should ensure that you choose someone who can add value to your journey and possesses the same energy and enthusiasm you do, as failing to do so will more often than not result in disagreements and an overall unpleasant journey. The following are some questions worth asking yourself when making the decision:
- Do you share common interests?
The places you visit and the activities you take part in during your journey will depend on your interests. If you were to have differing interests, the travel will not be enjoyable to either person.
- Are they accommodating?
Most things in life do not go to plan, especially traveling requires a sense of flexibility in one to be able to adapt to changing plans. Therefore, it is important to ensure that your companion can deal with changing circumstances and maintain a positive outlook.
- Do they share the same energy levels?
Various people look for different types of trips depending on their energy levels and motivation. Thus making sure that both you and your companion/s are on the same page about what sort of journey it will be, is essential.
Managing your travels
Traveling with companions could result in memorable journeys, new friendships, and perspectives if properly managed. Else end in regret, strained relationships, and unpleasant memories. Thus, highlighting the paramount importance of managing your journey well, to make certain that it is a success.
Proper management will involve prior preparation, communication, and cooperation amongst everyone engaging in the journey. Discussed below are the key areas to focus on:
- Planning – Prior planning is a necessity as it allows you to secure commitments and take into consideration everyone’s needs and wants when preparing an itinerary and placing reservations for accommodation and so on. It also lets you take advantage of certain early bird discounts.
- Communication – Open communication at all times amongst everyone traveling is required, both before and during the journey. Before setting off on your travels one should make it a point for everyone to be acquainted with each other and be aware of everyone’s likes, dislikes, and any medical conditions such as allergies.
- Be aware of the financials – It is important to monitor expenses and make sure that they are fairly dealt with to avoid any tensions. At the same time, be mindful of everyone’s financial status and try to stick to pre-planned budgets.
- Delegating tasks – Share responsibilities amongst each other to ensure that everyone has time to enjoy themselves and have a positive experience. This also creates a good group dynamic and contributes to each other’s self-growth.
- Account for personal time – As fun as it is to be in each other’s company enjoying the moment, it is important to understand that everyone is different in their own right and especially introverts will require some time off to recharge their social batteries. Not every activity needs to be a group activity, take some time to go out and explore on your own.
The bottom line is, whether it may be solo or group travel. Traveling is meant to be fun, bring about joy whilst having new experiences, and broaden your horizons. Hopefully, this insight will be of value to you in planning your upcoming travels.