I love traveling alone because I get to do what I want when I want. On the other hand, I love traveling with people because they suggest things that you might not think to do, thus broadening your horizons. Traveling with another person means that you have someone to sample food with (just ask before you eat off their plate), someone to hold the camera so you can finally be in a photo, and someone to share the experience with (very important).
But you have to travel with the right people.
I’ve been on trips with people who did not share my sense of adventure and it was frustrating as heck – especially since they expected me to be the Lord-High-Master-of-All-Directions (for places I’d never been to), and every time we got lost it was my fault. It made those trips less enjoyable than they should have been.
I lucked out hardcore with my last two travel buddies. We had a lot of the same things in mind, but we also wanted to do things that the other person might not have thought of doing. I shanghaied Kristen into doing a black taxi tour in Belfast (which she ended up really liking – thank goodness); Courtney took me to Greenwich (which I really enjoyed).
One of the most important things, though, was that we were on the same page about how we travel. We all liked being early for flights, and other things (like tours and shows). I was chatting with another friend about a trip she’d taken with someone and she mentioned how frustrating it was that they weren’t of the same mind-set. It’s easier on the both of you if you have the same opinions about when to be somewhere – otherwise the Early-Person is resenting the Late-Person and vice-versa. Personally, I’d hate being 6 hours early for a flight, 3 is fine with me, but 1 hour is too little (even if it’s local). So many things can happen at an airport – especially at security/customs – so I need to know that I have extra time.
When you travel with another person there’s a lot of give and take. Sometimes you’re on the same page and sometimes you have to compromise, but as long as you decide to enjoy yourself you should be fine.
Before making plans with someone talk about your travel expectations. Be flexible on the things you can be flexible about – realize what you can’t be flexible about. Make sure you’re on the same page.
And just remember that it goes both ways – you have to be the right person to travel with. Don’t be a jerk.