I’ve traveled a lot in my life. From family vacations, and church camp every Summer when I was a kid to European Tours, safaris, and cruises as an almost-adult. I’ve also traveled with all kinds of people, and I’ve been lucky that those I’ve traveled with have been great companions. Others, I know, have not been so lucky!
If you’re not sure about how to be a good travel companion, I’m about to tell you. Also, if you’re looking for a someone to travel with, look for people with these qualities.
When you’re traveling with others, you have to remember that it’s not all about you and what you want to do. Everyone will have an opinion on where they want to eat, or the best places to sight see. So be willing to compromise!
Everyone should be able to get to do everything that they want to do, even if they don’t get to do at exactly the moment they want to. Remember that it isn’t just about the wants of one or two people.
Know how to be on your own
If there is something that you want to do, that no one else is interested in – do it on your own! There’s no rule that says when you’re traveling with a group that you have to do everything together!
On the European Tour I went on several years ago, there were many excursions my travel companions didn’t want to go on, but I did. If I had’t been willing to tackle things on my own I would’ve missed out on Buckingham Palace and a gondola ride through Venice! There was no way I was missing out on that!
Also, if you’re introverted like me, don’t be afraid to ask for some alone time. If you need to stay in one night to recharge, do it! Your companions will understand! They’ll probably be glad, because it may keep you from being a cranky companion later.
Packing light is good idea no matter what, but it also respectful to your travel companions. Think about it, if one person has more luggage than they can carry – the other’s in the group will have to help them. And while most people won’t mind at first, if you’re moving from hotel to hotel, it can become a burden. It’s hard enough looking after your own belongings let alone someone else’s stuff.
This is especially important if you’re traveling by car. There’s only so much space, and it’s disrespectful to your companions if you take up all the space with your luggage.
Clean up after yourself
Just because you’re on vacation, doesn’t mean you get to be a slob! If you’re sharing a room with others, pick up after yourself. Don’t leave your dirty clothes and towels laying around. Don’t leave your belongings spread out everywhere. It’s simple courtesy to your companions to clean up after yourself.
Be willing to share
When you’re planning your trip with your companions, look at items that you can share. Maybe one of you can bring the hairdryer, and the other can bring the hair straightener. It will save you both room in your luggage, which goes along with the packing light above.
Be willing to try things you wouldn’t normally do! Put yourself out there! When my Aunt Joeldean and I were at Olympia, our guide asked our group if anyone wanted to have a race like in the Ancient Olympics. I declined, but my Aunt jumped right in! She didn’t win, but she had so much fun! And I regretted missing out on this once if a lifetime opportunity.
I’ve learned my lesson, and now I’m always game for anything! Well, I do have my limits, so most anything! I have no desire to Karaoke, but I’m always willing to cheer for my friends when they sing! So, be willing to do things that are outside your comfort zone! That kind of attitude makes for a fun travel companion.
So, do you consider yourself to be a good travel companion? How so? What qualities do you look for when choosing who to travel with? Let me know in the comments!