While traveling solo can be an epic experience, there’s something extra special about taking on the world with the perfect travel partner by your side.
Tackling your travel dreams can be so much sweeter with someone to experience them with, but very few trips are smooth sailing the entire time. And it’s those tough times that really make or break the bond with your adventure buddy. With the right travel partner, your connection will only grow closer after every trip spent wandering foreign cities side by side.
But not just anyone can fit the bill. From ski pals to adventure pups, finding that perfect partner in adventure is a rare commodity. Even the people you like the most in your day-to-day life might make for a disastrous adventure buddy. It takes just the right kind of person (or pup or cat) to endure the ups and downs of traveling in a pair and still come out laughing.
Here’s a look at some of the qualities that make a top notch adventure buddy.
They get you out of your comfort zone.
One of the hallmarks of a good travel partner is their ability to pull you out of your comfort zone and support you as you take on experiences that might scare you a little bit. If you’re an introvert, a good travel pal might inspire you to chat up locals at a bar. If heights send a shiver down your spine, they might convince you to go on a hike that includes traversing a suspension bridge.
Dogs are particularly good travel pals when it comes to pushing the boundaries of your comfort zone. Simply taking your dog on his daily walk or scouring a city in search of dog food can yield all sorts of unexpected outcomes, from the discovery of off-the-beaten-path stores to conversations with strangers in awe of a dog in a foreign land.
They are easy to communicate with.
One thing that will be the death of an otherwise awesome connection is a lack of communication. Traveling can be exhausting, grueling, and demanding. Patience can run thin during the hard times. When frustration inevitably starts to boil up, the key is being able to talk about it with the person you’re sharing your trip with.
Whether they need a rest day or don’t want to see the museum you’ve been dying to get to, as long as each of you communicate what you want and give the other an opportunity to share their opinions with you, everything will stay out in the open rather than fester below the surface until something sends it over the edge.
Communication even comes in handy before you go. Set expectations for what you want and need out of the trip will set you up for success before your bags are packed. The best travel buddies have reasonable travel expectations and have no problem sharing what they are so you can both plan out how you’ll meet them once the adventure gets going.
They are willing to compromise.
Compromise is also an essential trait of any good adventure buddy. No two people, no matter how close they are, will ever want, feel, or think the same things 100 percent of the time. Because there are a lot of choices to be made about where to go and what to do while adventuring, compromise will be necessary. The best adventure buddies are able to engage in a healthy give and take, giving into your plans sometimes and demanding the same from you when necessary in order for everyone to have the trip that they want.
Adaptability is their middle name.
The ability to handle whatever comes their way during an adventure is imperative while adventuring because hiccups happen, no matter how much pre-planning went into it. Not only will a good travel partner be ready to adapt to the unexpected conditions and situations you find yourself in on the road, they’ll do it with a smile and make you laugh while they’re at it. That kind of comradery is priceless.
They have a similar travel style.
There are about as many ways to travel as there are adventures to be had. Some people like to go the all-inclusive route when traveling abroad while others would sooner die than stay in a resort. Even when adventuring closer to home, some explorers will take a more relaxed approach to departure times while others consider sticking to a schedule a necessary component of any trip.
The best adventure buddies have either similar travel styles (both parties agree that eating local is the only way to go) or complementary travel styles (one person is picky about accommodations while the other could care less, happily going with whatever choice their partner makes).
Whatever it is about your adventure buddy (or buddies!) that makes them so great, the best part of having a travel partner is the memories you’ll share forever. No matter how many photos you take or stories you tell, no one will ever be able to really get what you experienced the way that someone who was right there with you can.
Written by Cinnamon Janzer for RootsRated in partnership with Gregory Mountain Products.
Featured image provided by Adam Derewecki