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Traveling solo is an excellent option to explore destinations at your own pace, in your own time. But when you have a travel buddy, things can become much more enjoyable.
Having said that, finding someone you could travel with is not always easy. Your loved ones may not share your interests or be available when you are free.
So, what is the best way to find a good travel companion? In this article, we share our top tips and tricks.
Why Travel With a Companion?
A travel partner will not just keep you company. Seasoned travelers could share interesting insights and tips and introduce you to new activities to enhance your overall travel experience. They might have destination-specific knowledge that could help you explore little-known places, events, traditions, and cuisine.
You also get to split expenses, such as accommodation costs—undoubtedly an important factor when you are on a budget.
Besides, having someone to share the ups and downs of exploring unfamiliar territory is a tremendous comfort. And with the right person, it could be fulfilling and fun, too.
Top Tips to Find the Ideal Travel Partner
Partnering with someone compatible is a must to ensure you enjoy your travel adventures. Here’s what you should know.
1. Find Someone With Similar Interests
Traveling is easier when you have shared interests with your travel buddy, especially when it comes to recreational activities, food, lifestyle preferences, and the like.
If your companion wants to book a separate room when you are looking to cut expenses with shared accommodation, you could both find it difficult to compromise and agree on a solution that fits your needs. Similarly, when they opt to take a cab while you want to explore a laid-back town on foot, frustration and bitterness could slowly start to brew.
Of course, you will not find anyone who shares your exact likes, wants, and preferences. The idea is to find someone you have as much as possible in common with so you could minimize disagreements.
To find like-minded individuals you can travel with,
- Consider friends, family members, and coworkers with compatible interests.
- Reach out to people in special-interest groups on social media.
- Join a local class or community related to the activities you would like to explore during your travels. For instance, if you plan to go hiking, find a local hiking group to meet others who enjoy it.
- Use an online platform, such as Meetup, to find locals who could join you and help explore travel hotspots in a particular destination.
- Browse online communities on travel services platforms such as CouchSurfing to find those who share similar interests.
- Check with tour companies about solo travelers you could partner with.
2. Get to Know Them Better
This is essential for two critical reasons. One is your safety.
Traveling with strangers involves considerable risks. You could be particularly vulnerable when you are on your own exploring unfamiliar destinations with someone you hardly know. This is when you are most susceptible to scams and even physical dangers.
To identify red flags;
- Check the potential travel partner’s online presence. If you find little to no information, tread with caution.
- Run a reverse search on Nuwber using their contact number. This platform will retrieve a variety of information—from their age and marital status to location history and work background—to help you verify what you already know about them. Any discrepancies could mean they are trying to mislead you.
- Find people who may know them well, either personally or professionally. Such contacts could be useful sources to obtain first-hand references.
The other reason for doing some initial research on a potential travel companion relates to ensuring compatibility.
For this, check their social media activities, including posts, likes, shares, and comments. These could provide an excellent starting point to learn more about their personal interests and travel experiences.
3. Discuss Your Travel Goals
Once you become familiar with the relevant person and have learned sufficient information about them, have a transparent dialogue about your travel goals and intentions.
Let them know what type of activities and places you enjoy exploring and your style of travel. For instance, you might enjoy camping and homestays over hotels and prefer local street food over restaurant dining.
Don’t forget to share your prior travel experiences and what you enjoyed most about them.
If your travel goals and preferences align with theirs, you might have found your perfect travel partner.
4. Plan Together
This is an important step in creating an itinerary that works for both of you.
The fact is, despite the overall similarities in interests, people could have specific conditions or needs others should be aware of and accommodate when traveling together. For instance, some are scared of heights and may, therefore, want to avoid activities that involve high places.
Similarly, your chosen travel partner could have dietary preferences and health conditions that require special arrangements.
When planning a trip together, you will get to know all these and can create an itinerary that suits you both.
Remember to respect their interests and opinions, too, without just focusing on your own needs.
5. Arrange a Few Shorter Initial Trips
Before you set off on a longer trip with your new travel companion, it is always best to plan for a few shorter ones. It could be a day outing to explore a nearby hiking trail or an overnight camping trip.
This will enable you to test the water and determine to what extent you and your travel partner are compatible.
Safety Measures to Take When Traveling With a Companion
Here are a few extra tips for a safe journey when exploring destinations with a new travel buddy.
- Avoid taking valuables, such as jewelry, during your travel expeditions.
- Keep your belongings, including travel documents, safe with appropriate locking mechanisms.
- Avoid divulging too much personal information that could jeopardize your safety when misused.
- Share your travel partner’s details with your loved ones.
- Inform a close friend about your itinerary and update them about your whereabouts as you travel.
- Stick to public locations and avoid late-night outings, at least during the initial trips.
Having someone who shares similar interests can make your travel experience both enjoyable and meaningful.
However, finding a good travel partner is a process you should not rush. If you can’t identify a compatible companion within your immediate social and professional circles, you can still identify like-minded people using a variety of methods.
Remember, though, that these are essentially strangers you would know little about. So, getting to know them better is important for your safety. It will also help minimize disagreements and frustration later on.
Once you have done the initial checks and screenings, discuss your travel goals, intentions, and preferences with them and ask them about theirs. If you think they are a good fit, work together to come up with an itinerary that meets the requirements of both of you. Don’t forget to arrange a few day-long excursions before planning a longer travel expedition.