How to Find the Perfect Travel Companion
While many people enjoy solo travel for its ability to reward you with a journey of self-discovery, others would rather share their travel experiences with someone else. You may be fearful to travel by yourself, especially when travelling internationally where a foreign language is spoken, or you may just be looking to share the many travel-related costs that can add up with another in order to make travel more affordable.
Some of us may be lucky enough to have a spouse, partner, or close friend who we thoroughly enjoy travelling with, but this may not always be an option. And just because someone is family or a close friend, doesn’t always equate to them being a great travel partner. The goal is finding a travel partner who is best suited to your own personal travel style.
To help you find your next travel partner, we’ve gathered up some of our top ways you can seek out companionship on your next holiday. There are many ways to avoid having to travel solo, but the key is to choose the most perfect travel companion possible so as to avoid stress and frustration that can quickly lead to a miserable holiday.
Look to Websites and Apps
There are countless websites and apps that are designed to help solo travellers wanting to link-up. Often times, joining one of these travel-related social networking websites or apps is free and only requires you to create an online profile. You’ll often put in your age, travel interests, and possibly future travel dates and destinations that you have planned. The online systems then do their best to hook-up travellers whom they deem compatible or you may be free to reach out to potential prospects yourself.
Agreeing to travel with someone you’ve never met in person does carry its risks. There is always the potential that you could fall victim to catfishing, a person pretending to be someone they are not. Failing to notice red flags or not researching someone well enough could put you in a vulnerable position when travelling. There are websites that provide more safety assurances, requesting its members to become verified so you can feel more confident you will be travelling with the person you connected with online.
Searching and joining various Facebook groups is another great tool for finding other travellers looking for a travel companion. You may be able to get more detailed background information about a person this way and maybe even get references from others who have travelled with a specific person whom you are considering travelling with.
Travelling with a Partner or Close Friend
While having sex with strangers may be fun for some travellers, it can be just as exhilarating travelling romantically with your spouse or partner. Travelling is a great way to rekindle your relationship since it allows you to spend time away from the stresses of work and everyday life, whether you choose to escape to a tropical island or just take a break to a popular city.
The benefit of travelling with a spouse or close friend is that you know their personality very well. You are usually more certain of how they will react to various situations. They know your embarrassing habits and restrictions like food allergies which will allow you to be yourself while travelling, and they can better assist you if you need help.
Travelling with friends and family only usually fails if you struggle to communicate effectively with your partner or friend. Travel can be very stressful at times and travelling with someone you constantly argue with can prove to be a poor choice for a travel partner. If you’re in a solid relationship built on trust and good communication skills on the other hand, travelling with someone you are really close to can be the most rewarding travel you can experience.
Friends of Family and Friends
Because your family and friends know you best, let them help you pick the best travel buddy when they themselves cannot accompany you on your travels. Your family and friends may have contacts through places like their work that could prove to be ideal travel mates.
Although your friend’s or family member’s friend may be a stranger to you, it is a more reliable and safer option than simply choosing a random stranger or someone you just met online to travel with. Having trust in your family and friends means you should be able to trust their recommendations and they will hopefully always be concerned with your safety and enjoyment.
Meet People Along the Way
If you don’t have any luck talking someone into travelling with you, there’s still the possibility of meeting a travel partner while you’re actually travelling. It’s easy to connect with other solo travellers in popular tourist destinations. If you do choose to go this route, it’s always wise to meet up with other solo travellers in public places until you deem them trustworthy. Keeping your own personal accommodation that you can safely return to each night allows you to have some personal freedom.
If you do meet up with a fellow solo traveller, don’t feel like you have to spend your entire trip with them. While you may share some similar interests, it’s rare that you both would have had a similar planned itinerary. You never want to sacrifice your own travel enjoyment simply to have a bit of companionship. You should also never feel pressured into engaging in activities that are recommended by your new found travel friend which you aren’t comfortable with. And don’t be afraid to meet up with a new person each day as opposed to one single travel companion for the entire duration of your trip.
Engage in Social Activities
A great way to meet up with other solo travellers while travelling is to engage in social activities. Some good options are joining a free city-walking-tour, attending a yoga class, or booking tickets to a concert. Plan social activities which you’re truly interested in, as this will allow you to meet others with similar interests as you. It’s never a bad idea to learn a bit of the local language, if different from yours, as this allows you to better connect with others. Other social activities that may be to your liking include taking art or cooking classes, both of which are often offered worldwide.
Stay in Hostels
You are guaranteed to meet other travellers by choosing to stay in a hostel, especially if you’re opting for a shared room and not a private one. You can often choose whether you want to stay in a mixed-sex shared room or a same-sex shared room. Hostels are especially a great way for younger solo travellers to meet up and possibly tour a city together. The only drawback of staying in a hostel is that you don’t get to choose who you share a room with if you’re travelling solo. You may find you get along really well with your roommates or it could end up being a nightmare.
You should always be cautious of telling your hostel roommates too much personal information and details of your itinerary. As nice as they may seem, you should also secure all your belongings in a locker or with the front desk when you go out. Be open and courteous to all your roommates but never let your guard down.
Get Connected by your Cruise or Tour Company
If you’re planning a cruise or organized tour, you can often request that the company pair you up with another solo traveller. This allows you to avoid the single supplement fee and possibly have a great experience with a fellow traveller. Group tours are often made up of several solo travellers or couples, allowing everyone to enjoy the company of others during the tour.
Bonus Tips for Travelling with a Companion
* If travelling with someone else, make sure you have a discussion about what each of you wants out of the trip. A holiday shouldn’t be focused solely on one person’s interests. You need to compromise so you both can enjoy your travels.
* Discuss your budget with your travel partner. If they are not your spouse or partner, you may not be knowledgeable about their finances. You don’t want to end up travelling with someone that expects to be staying in 5-star hotels and eating at fine-dining restaurants if you cannot afford it as well. Similarly, you don’t want to force someone else to spend beyond their means.
* Ideally, you should only travel with someone that you trust 100%. You should at the very least have a back-up plan in place in case your travel partner breaks your trust or is proving to be a terrible travel companion. You should also always leave a copy of your planned itinerary including travel dates with a trusted family member or friend back home in case an emergency does happen while you’re travelling.