Who do you travel with? How did you meet your travel partner? The answer probably depends on your situation, age, interests and personality. Maybe you travel with your wife, boyfriend, mom, lifelong buddy, furry friend, or a Meetup connection.
A friend recently asked me “How do you pick who you travel with, especially for short weekend trips?”. After thinking about it for a few seconds (as would any introvert), I responded that I pair friends with travel interests. For example, I love outdoor activities like backpacking, trail running, mountain biking, hiking, kayaking, ecotourism and the list goes on. I also enjoy exploring new cities, couchsurfing, and hostels. Most of my travel friends belong on one side of the spectrum or the other. I wouldn’t choose a friend who loves hostels and hates the outdoors to go on a backpack trip with me. While this sounds like a no brainer, its critical to having a successful trip. It is easier than you think to push a trip on a friend, regardless of their interests. General intuition will guide you in the right direction and help to answer the question, “Does this person truly want to do this trip?”. It’s like Jim Collins’ book on corporations called Good to Great, you need to get the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus and the right people in the right seats.
Aside from mutual hobbies and interests, think about the combination of personalities and how you interact with your friend. You may have heard of the Myers Briggs personality test. While perhaps too intrusive to discuss openly, the Myers Briggs test is a great example of how different personalities mesh together. I prefer to pick travel partners who are adventurous, at least somewhat flexible, financially aware and understand the importance of sustainable tourism.
Keep in mind, group travel is more sustainable and typically a safer way to fulfill your wanderlust. Solo travel (and hostels) are fun too, but sharing experiences with friends (or meeting new pals along the way) lends itself to creating memorable relationships.
Stretch Tourism wishes you the best of luck selecting your travel partner(s).
As always, travel light, travel right.