Traveling more is on everyone’s wish list, but finding the perfect travel companion should be a close second. Exploring a new place is exhilarating, but with the wrong person it can be a very different experience.
Whiny and fussy travelers ruin it for everybody around them, and having different expectations of the trip can turn your dream destination into a little bit of hell. If you are considering inviting someone to come along on your next adventure (or you want to become the perfect travel companion), consider these seven traits.
A good attitude
Have you ever been out on the weekend with someone with a sour attitude? They complain about everything; the drinks aren’t good enough, the music is too loud, and they cant seem to come out of their funk. Your job becomes cheering them up rather than enjoying yourself. It is the same when traveling; Travel makes for lots of changed plans such as missed flights, late trains, and canceled hostel reservations. Having someone with a puss on the entire time will make those circumstances feel ten times worse, so choose wisely and travel with someone who has a go-with-the-flow approach, and knows how to find the humor in everything.
They don’t need baby-sitting
This is something we often neglect to consider. Going away with someone means you are likely going to be with them 24 hours a day, so you will undoubtedly need some breaks. Pick someone who doesn’t need to be tended to constantly, and is confident enough to go off on their own for a day every few days. This also includes someone who you can be completely (and peacefully), silent around. Uncomfortable silences have no place in your travels.
They are not moody
Moody people are hard to be around. They change like the weather, and can’t seem to snap out of it. If you know someone is moody, they will be that way wherever they go. Whether their mood is justified or not, that’s really not your problem when you are trying to enjoy a beautiful view in a place you’ve always wanted to see. Ditch the Debbie downer, and choose someone who has the ability to move on emotionally from those inescapable travel snags.
They have similar eating styles as you
You want to go to Africa a la Andrew Zimmern and blend into the culture and possibly hunt your lunch, but you invited along your friend who demands her yogurt to be organic. This is a formula for disaster, and probably a ruined friendship. The same happens if you are a clean eater and they want to try every burger in town. To ensure your journey is fulfilling, make sure your traveling companion has a similar eating mentality as you, and won’t cause an argument at every meal time.
They know how to take a great picture
You’ve been dreaming of Instagraming a photo of yourself on top of the Argentinian mountains with The Andes behind you with your hair looking totally cute for a whole year. You know the shot you want to get, and it’s guaranteed to get at least 100 likes. But what happens if your buddy doesn’t understand framing and chops off the top of the mountain, or worse, lets the tourist couple a few feet away photobomb your instafame moment? Most people wouldn’t think about this as an issue, but travel with someone who dislikes taking the time to take a good photo and you will quickly realize, it is very important. At the very least, have a conversation beforehand and set some ground rules.
They can lift at least 100lbs
This may not seem like a big deal until you have to carry all of your baggage plus theirs everywhere you go. Trekking around with someone who can carry their own weight and is in good physical shape will help move things along much easier, allow for longer hikes, and overall better exploring. Photo: jpinfo.com
They have a great sense of direction
Unless you have the sense of smell and direction of Tarzan himself, traveling can make anyone feel a little lost. Traveling is not the time for stubbornness and self-rightenousness, and wandering through Rome looking for the next sights with someone with a good sense of direction or who is willing to ask for directions can make life a lot easier.