Find Yourself on the Journey
Picking a Travel Partner is Hard
Numerous blogs, including one that we will be writing in the near future, cover the benefits and pitfalls of traveling solo versus in a group. While we will touch on some of these here, our primary goal today will be helping you choose the right companion(s), if any, to bring along on your next adventure. Having been “fortunate” to have traveled solo and in numerous group settings, we can tell you with certainty that all are great under certain circumstances. Matching the who with the what of a specific trip will be the most important decision you make when planning a trip.
Travel Companion Options
1. Me, Myself and I
2. Romantic Partner
5. Group of Strangers
Please click read more below :)
When to Travel Solo
Solo travel is a great way to make new friends, learn about yourself, and do things that you want to do without the need to consider anyone else. I have been solo traveling for nearly 25 years. It started out as a necessity during my time in the Coast Guard and as an archaeology student, and it became a passion. Rarely do I take an international trip that does not have a solo component to it. This has given me friends throughout the World and an outgoing, confident travel persona that serves me well when entering unfamiliar cultures and situations. However, solo travel is not for everyone.
The most important thing for a solo traveler is to love themselves. No matter how much you enjoy and practice social interactions, you will have times where you are alone with your thoughts, and if your thought are negative, so too will be your experience. This will be an issue no matter who you travel with, but it will be more acute when you are alone. So, the first thing you should do is find some time to work your shit out. Just the fact that you want to travel is a big positive about being you. How many people do you know who vacation at home or in the same place every year, and how boring must their life be? Furthermore, the more you think you are a worthwhile companion, the more others will do so, and most travelers actually chose to travel solo to have social interactions with new friends. In fact, a solo trip may be a great time to change for the better, whether this is through self-realization or even trying on a new attitude/persona that you like better for yourself.
I chose to solo travel, in many cases for one or more of the following four reasons:
Reasons I Choose to Travel Solo (When I Do)
Below: Images of me and new friends from solo trips
When to Travel as a Couple
Fortunately, I have enough travel opportunities, due to proper budgeting and ample vacation time, to travel with my wife frequently. Thus, the romantic and intimate opportunities that travel presents are an integral portion of my travels.
Choosing to travel with your partner is only one portion of this decision, however. Do you take the kids? Are their friends who would want to join you? How much do you want to spend? Is it for a special occasion?
Whether it was just Bear, or an extended family vacation, or with our group of travel friends, most of our trips are with others. Our few purely romantic trips have been for special occasions or in the early days of our relationship when spending time together as lovers was far more important than anything we would have seen or done at the destination. I suggest these trips, wholeheartedly. More pointedly, I suggest any trip with your partner includes some time for romance. Sometimes room service trumps the finest restaurants because the company is better, and the conversation often becomes pillow talk.
Below: Pictures of me and Victoria from the road
When to Take Family Trips
Therefore, I believe that traveling with your family is a must. Bear is one of my favorite travel companions. We have been to 10 countries and 43 states together. We like many of the same things and can both physically accomplish most adventures without pushing ourselves in unsafe ways, which makes me much more comfortable traveling with Bear than anyone else in my family. However, we still have some of the complications of being so closely related and some aspects of our closeness cause us to worry more than we would with a friend or group of friends. I assure you hanging off a cliff in a rockslide in Nepal was more traumatic for both of us because we were more worried about the other.
Broader, more inclusive family trips are equally rewarding. Bonding while marveling at the Fjords of Alaska and around the dinner table or a campfire is both integral to the family experience and nostalgic.
Below: Photoes fro some of my famly trips
When to Travel with Friends
An anxious friend is a cancer on vacation, as are those who see vacation differently than you. Even your best friend may ruin your trip. You should pick the right friend(s) for each trip based on the following criteria:
Good Questions for Choosing Friends to Travel With
Out of your dozens or hundreds of friends, you will be lucky to find a few that fit these questions in a way that makes them potential companions for each trip. Are these people less your friends? Probably not, although you may find the bond with your travel companions will put them into a category of their own after the trip(s).
When to Travel with a Group of Strangers
This can be a lot of fun for many of the same reasons that I find solo travel to be great. However, there are only a few instances where I would choose this option if any of the above options were viable:
Options 3 and 4 are more alike to the travelling with friends alternative above as they either include friends or likeminded people who I would like to be friends with, in all likelihood.
Conclusion: Who should you take?
I think the answer is to do them all when the situation is right. This may require that you travel more, but that is what we are trying to get you to do on this website anyway. It is our belief that a well-travelled person is almost always going to have learned lessons that make them more tolerant and well-rounded.
What is your next trip? Who are you taking and why? Where do you dream of going? Are there virtual communities that could be resources to help you make it there? These are all things you should be asking.
Ask yourself who do you want to travel with, and, more importantly, are you one of them. Nothing opens up group travel options more than being friendly and being a good travel companion yourself. Please check in every week for more helpful tips and travel blogs to inspire you to “Find Yourself on the Journey.” Pleas comment where you are going next and who is going with you.