There’s a lot riding on this. When you pick a person to travel with, the success of your entire trip – the ultimate decider of whether this whole thing was worth all the time and effort to save for and plan it – depends upon getting this choice right.
Great travel buddies will make your holiday. They’ll help you out when times are tough, they’ll be willing drinking partners, and they’ll be happy to wait with your bags while you go to the toilet at the train station.
Bad travel buddies, meanwhile, will do the opposite of all of that. They’ll ruin your trip. They’ll be a nightmare. Basically, they’ll do all of these things…
No one wants to travel with a dead weight, the sort of person who will be relying on you for every decision, waiting for you to handle every problem. If you’re travelling with someone, get involved. Split responsibilities for planning and doing things. Carry bags. Pay for meals. Do the haggling. In short, be a good person.
When two people travel together, there tends to be a situation where one is a lot better at the local language – or a lot more willing to give it a try – than the other. This can get pretty annoying after a while, when one person has to handle every conversation, has to do all of the haggling and hassling. To make things easier, make sure you’ve learned at least a few words, and don’t be afraid to jump in and use them.
You don’t want to go to that museum, or that monument, or that sight, and you’re putting your foot down. You don’t want to stay at that hostel. You’re not eating that food. You’re not talking to that guy. Sound like fun? Obviously not. When you’re travelling with other people you’re going to have to compromise and do thinks you’re not 100 per cent keen on. That’s the way it is. Be good about it.
You need some sort of plan. Much as you might fancy being a freewheeling travel guru who lives in the moment, you need to have some sort of idea of where you’re going and what you’re going to do today. And someone’s going to have to book that stuff in. Be a decent person and get involved in that process. Book a hostel. Buy the train tickets. Lend a hand.
People notice. They notice when you don’t chuck in enough money for the dinner bill. They notice when you cry poor and don’t pay your share of the accommodation. They notice when you don’t get your round of drinks in. And no one wants to travel with that person. When you’re on the road, make sure you’re paying for your fair share.
Things are going to go wrong. You have to accept that. You have to know that the food won’t always be good, the people won’t always be friendly, the trains won’t always run on time, the hostels won’t always be like the pictures, and the beers won’t always be cold. That’s travelling. That’s life. If you’re going to whinge about it, you’re just going to make things 100 times worse.
Here’s a tip for travelling in pairs, or with a few other people: make sure you’ve got a similar amount of money to spend. Because if one person has loads of cash and wants to stay in nice hotels and eat at fancy restaurants, but the other is skint and wants to slum it in dorms and cook their own food, things are not going to go well.
OK, you’re travelling together, but that doesn’t mean you need to be joined at the hip. Want to go to that museum but no one else will join you? Then go to that freaken museum. Spend entire days on your own if you have to. Give yourself a break from the other person – and that other person a break from you. No one wants a travel buddy who’s going to stick to them like glue.
Have a fun, safe & enjoyable holiday with our guide to staying safe in Bali.
1Cover’s UK Survival Guide is packed full handy hints, tips and tricks from those in the know.