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Are you planning a trip with a friend or heading on your first romantic vacation with your significant other?
If so, listen up.
Traveling together can truly make or break a relationship, so use this ultimate travel companion checklist to make sure you’re compatible before you book your flights!
1.How much time do you like to spend in museums?
Museum compatibility is crucial for a smooth trip.
If your partner want to read every word and spend all day in a museum, while you prefer to pass through quickly and check out the main exhibits, you’re going to have a bad time.
Lets be honest, spending an entire precious day of your vacation cooped up in an educational setting can lead to resentment.
On the flip side, being rushed and prodded through a museum you may have been dying to visit for years will also definitely piss you off. In an ideal world, you can avoid these problems by ensuring museum compatibility before you take your trip.
My tip: if you are not museum compatible, make sure you can at least split up for a day while one person hits the museums and the other does, well, anything else.
2. How many bathroom breaks do you need in a day of sightseeing?
Are you prepared to be constantly distracted while your partner hunts for the nearest bathroom?
Are you ready to spend half your budget paying for their public toilets?
Can you stop every hour while hiking or camping for your pal to find a secluded spot in the woods?
Or, on the other hand, are you going to be comfortable bringing up bathroom breaks again and again throughout the day at the cost of potentially annoying your steel bladdered friend?
I get it, whichever side of the coin you fall on, this is something you can’t help. But when you spend all day every day with someone else, you will both have intimate knowledge of each other’s bathroom schedules. Check with them and make sure they match up!
My tip: If you are the pee-er in the relationship, go fast when your partner is waiting and don’t dilly-dally checking your hair or outfit.
If you’re the non pee-er, try to keep your teasing to a minimum. They already have to spend time in tons of gross public bathrooms, and that’s punishment enough.
3. Are you a doer or a relaxer?
This is one of the most important areas of compatibility to ensure a great travel companion!
Doers wake up with a to do list in hand, ready to check off any and all of the tourist attractions in the city. Relaxers sleep in, believing vacation is a time to enjoy yourself, and generally don’t care if they get to all, or even some, of the tourist attractions.
Doers are out and about with their metro maps from sun up to sun down. Relaxers prefer to hit up a cafe for a long breakfast, and maybe spend all day drinking in the sun instead of learning a single thing about the country’s culture or history.
Most people fall in the middle of the scale between the two and balance the touristy days with the relaxing ones. However, if either of you fall on one extreme, you’re going to resent the other for taking over your vacation days!
My tip: If your travel companion is a major doer or relaxer and you’re not, try to set up a potential schedule of activities ahead of time. Agree to spend a day or two apart so you can both enjoy your vacation in your own way.
4. Do either of you have any specific food preferences?
Picky eaters are the worst.
I’m just going to say it, and I’m sorry.
But it’s true.
If you are traveling with someone who doesn’t want to try anything new, or is afraid of eating in any restaurant that isn’t pristine or has menus in English, you’re going to breed some resentment.
Eating is one of the best parts of traveling.
If your travel companion insists on eating at McDonalds for every meal or the overpriced tourist traps, you’re going to miss out on a major, and delicious, cultural insight in every country. Don’t travel with picky eaters!
I’m going to add this, and I know it will be contentious, but vegetarians and vegans can be the same way.
Most of them are fine, and know they chose their fate and can find something on the menu. It’s the ones who veto every restaurant after checking out the menu because it doesn’t have exactly what they want at the time that honestly have just got to go.
I’m serious about this one… check your travel companion’s food preferences before you travel together, or you may end up missing out on some amazing meals!
My tip: If you’re traveling with a picky eater, compromise will be key. Make an agreement to each choose the restaurant for every other meal, so you don’t start arguing three times a day about where to eat. Or, just don’t travel with a picky partner 🙂
5. How much do you drink?
Even though we may not want to admit it, going out and drinking definitely has consequences.
Do your drinking habits match up? Does one of you prefer to club until sunrise, while the other enjoys trying a few new beers in a craft brewery and calling it an early night?
Different drinking habits can affect a lot on a trip. First, if you’re blowing all your money on expensive cocktails in a club, you may have to knock one or two other things off your to-do list that you can no longer afford.
Also, recovery time is real. You may want to get up for a sunrise hike while your partner was planning to sleep until noon. Someone is going to be unhappy in that situation.
What are your priorities for your trip? Make sure you discuss them with your travel companion to ensurethey match up ahead of time!
My tip:If you have different drinking preferences, compromise with a night of each. Just make sure you don’t have any strenuous activities planned for the next day…
Who you travel with can make or break your vacation, and traveling together can even make or break a relationship if you’re not compatible.
Forward this to your future travel companion and make sure you match up before you take your trip!
Ready to go?
Now that your travel partner is thoroughly vetted, use Skyscanner to find the cheapest flights to your destination and then explore accommodation like unique stays on Airbnb or the top-rated hotels on Booking.com to plan the perfect trip.
I’ve been traveling full-time for three years, these are the resources that make it happen:
➤ I exclusively use Airbnb for savings and security on long-term stays in furnished apartments.
➤ I use Booking.com for short-term stays in hostels and hotels on weekend trips.
➤ Upwork allowed me to take the leap to travel full-time because they make it so easy to find freelance clients in any field.
➤ The Superstar Blogging Travel Writing Course launched my travel writing career and helped me become a contributor at sites like Cincinnati Refined and International Living, and even get published in the Boston Globe.