You’ve decided you’re going to travel for three months and instead of traveling solo, you’ve decided you want to travel with a partner. Who’s it going to be and what are the most important things to take into consideration?
Make sure you both share the same thoughts when it comes to your budget. The best of friends can have very different opinions on money, and the road is not the best place to find out what those differences are. Make sure you discuss comfort vs cost. If you are on a strict budget and are willing to forego comfort for more travel time and your partner is more interested in comfort and more expensive food then you are going to have major problems when traveling together.
What are your expectations of the trip? Are you planning on waking up early to spend the day sightseeing, or sleeping in and lounging on the beach? Are you ready to explore the unknown or do you prefer to keep to where the guidebook tells you to go? Are you staying in hotels, hostels, couchsurfing or camping? Are you staying flexible or adhering to a precise plan? None of these is any better or worse than another, but they’re all things you should discuss with your potential travel partner BEFORE you leave.
Differences in personality and attitude can have a profound effect on the trip. You want to find a travel partner who you like, who has a personality that meshes with your own and is relaxed and laid back. The issues you’ll face while traveling are hard enough without adding in a bad attitude or someone who easily loses their temper. An open mind, patience, flexibility and genuine curiosity about the world are all ideal character traits to seek out in your travel partner.
HOW DO I FIND THIS TRAVEL PARTNER?
So, now that you know what to look for, how do you find the perfect travel partner? Assuming you’ve already gone through friends and family, there are many other ways to locate possible travelers. We live in the age of the internet, and there is an overabundance of people online wanting to travel.
Classified sites like craigslist are a great place to start, or seek out the chat forums for things you are interested in, such as photography or archeology. Social networks, such as facebook, are another great place to look. There are even social networks specific to travel such as Couchsurfing.org where, even if you aren’t interested in couchsurfing, you can find many travel related forums.
You can also opt to start solo with the goal of meeting someone(s) along the way to latch onto and travel with. Hostels are the best place to seek out and meet other travelers. It’s fairly easy to meet people on the road and join up for the next destination. Short, guided tours are another good way to meet a lot of other travelers at once, many of whom will continue to travel after the tour.
Have you traveled with a partner? How’d you two meet and how’d the trip go?