I love traveling with other people! However, sometimes we all don’t get along. We can get hangry and tired and want to do things our own way. If you are planning to travel with a travel partner (your significant other or your BFF), here are some tips to ensure smooth sailing.
For me, there were a few times on my trip where I butted heads with my travel partner. She is an amazing gal, but we both had completely different ways of planning our trip and how we wanted to experience Thailand. For example, I wanted to get blessed by a monk; she wanted to get tattooed by a monk. I wanted to book hostels in advance; she wanted to see what we could find when we got there. I wanted to have a bit of a structured itinerary; she wanted to see where the wind would take us.
NOTE: neither one of our ways of traveling was better than the other. They were just different. In order to ensure the best possible time for both parties, we had to figure out how to do everything we both wanted to do and still have a good time. At the end of the day, we both wanted the same thing: a life-changing, wonderful experience in Thailand. This was good.
If you find yourself in this situation with your travel buddy as you prepare to galavant across the world, here are some tips to help you eliminate tension and conflict:
1. COMMUNICATE. I cannot stress this enough. Talk it out. Let your partner know what you want to accomplish on the trip and what you’d like to see and do. Talk about your deal breakers, what you must have and what you can live without. For example, if staying at a place with wifi is super important for you because you will be blogging or doing business on the road, let your partner know this so you can both find a hostel/hotel you’re both happy with.
2. COMPROMISE. Be flexible. Give a little. You’re traveling with someone you love and you want them to have a good time too! For example, if you are dead set on planning ahead (like me), but your partner is adamant on doing things in the spur of the moment, maybe suggest to plan the first half of the trip and then let the wind take you both wherever it may blow for the second half.
3. DESIGNATE DUTIES. The worst thing you can possibly do is assume that your travel partner is going to be able to read your mind. If you are a planner like me, an easy trap to fall into is to do all the reservations and booking travel tickets yourself. Make it easier on yourself by designating duties to each person. For example, maybe you are in charge of booking all the hotels and your partner is in charge of booking all the travel tickets. Play to each other’s strengths. If your partner is great at seeking out excursions and adventures to go on, give her a list of the activities you’d like to do so she can seek out where it can be done.
4. FOCUS ON SOLUTIONS. Inevitably, plans are going to change. Weather is going to alter your course. You may get into a squabble. It happens. And it’s okay! You have a limited time that you are out on the road, so don’t waste it being in a fight. Instead of playing the blame game, find a solution for the problem at hand. For example, if you want to see a local band play, but your partner refuses to go and wants to hit the club, maybe agree for you two to go do your own separate thing that evening. Agree to meet up the next morning for breakfast or designate a place to meet up after you both are finished doing your separate activity. But find a solution that will make both of you happy. Again, your purpose is to have a wonderful trip with your travel partner. There is always a way for you both to experience what you want to experience!
5. TAKE CARE OF YOUR BODY. Eat enough protein. Drink plenty of water. Get your sleep when you need it. I don’t know about you, but when I am sleep-deprived and hungry, I never make the best decisions. I am cranky and irritable and my fuse is short. Prevent outbursts by taking care of yourself and also letting your partner know that you need food or a quick nap. Not only will your partner thank you for not chewing their head off, but you’ll also have more energy to enjoy all the exciting sights and adventures around you.
6. LEARN FROM EACH OTHER. You may know your travel partner really well, but maybe there is even more that you can learn from them. Traveling brings out a whole new wonderful side of a person, and who knows? Maybe you will learn something new about yourself! Experience together, learn together, grow together. Traveling will enrich both of your lives if you share your experiences and realizations with each other. Show that love and compassion to your partner and you will get it in return.
I hope this helps you along your journey! Do you have any tips when traveling with someone? I’d love to hear them below.
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