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Planning, Posted by Amanda
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Finding the Perfect Travel Partner

Finding the perfect travel partner can be tough. Just because you are friends with someone doesn’t mean that you will automatically be a great fit if you decide to go on vacation together.

When I decided to go to India, I knew that I needed to find someone to go with me because I was warned that it could be very challenging to visit on my own.

I reached out to many people that I knew (Ok I reached out to EVERYONE I knew) and no one was interested in going with me. It turned out that most people in my network were not attracted to a challenging trip where the possibility of getting sick and swindled was a daily threat. This is where my partner in crime and partner for this website, Amy enters.

Amy and I went to high school together but we were never friends. In fact, we probably went all 4 years with only a few words exchanged between the two of us. But of course we were friends on facebook like most complete strangers are these days. When I was just giving up the thought of India, Amy posted a picture on facebook about some cool, exotic place she just visited.

Are you sure you don't want to come to India with me?
 Ok maybe it was Spain but that was farther than most of my friends had traveled. I started to scroll through her pages and it turns out she had been to a decent number of countries. Would she be interested in going with me? It wouldn’t hurt to try so I sent her a message. Miraculously she was interested in traveling to India and thus our friendship began! Even though Amy and I were never friends before this, it turns out we had many things in common when it came to traveling so we made the perfect travel partners and are now close friends I’d like to add!

Here are some things to think about when you are looking for a travel partner.

Do you have the same interests?

Some people travel to experience different cultures, some travel to try new foods or learn new languages while others travel to relax by a pool. There is nothing wrong with any of these things but just make sure that you and your partner have similar expectations for this trip. I like to learn about history when visiting a country by taking a few tours but I also like to have days where I can relax, wonder and shop.

Camel ride in the Thar Desert with our 10-year old guide
Discuss your interests beforehand as you are planning your trip so there are no surprises once you arrive at your destination.

Do you have the same comfort levels?

Some people are fine camping during a trip while others won’t stay in anything lower than a 5-star hotel. Do you and your travel companion have the same comfort levels? If this is a shorter trip it is a good idea to book your accommodations in advance so that you don’t have to decide on something short-notice.

Travel Experience

When choosing a companion it never hurts to find someone who has a similiar amount of travel experience as yourself. You don’t want to be annoyed with someone who is in complete culture-shock by new things they are experiencing when you yourself felt the same way when you first started traveling years before.

It’s ok to have alone time

Spending 24 hours a day together can get tiring and lets be honest it’s not natural! It’s ok to plan for a few hours of alone time each day, whether that’s going off on your own to take a walk, ducking in to a café to check email or just lounging by the pool with your headphones in. Don’t be afraid to take a break from each other once in a while, you’ll get along better in the long run.

Disposable Income

You may find a travel partner that has the exact same interests as you but if your daily budget is $50 and your friend’s budget is $150 there is a great chance that you will disagree on where you’re staying, how you’re spending your time and where you’re choosing to eat. When Amy and I were in India, we found ourselves in some pretty dingy hotels. We were both not comfortable staying there but since this was the beginning of my trip I didn’t have extra money to be spending on accommodations and was willing to rough-it. Since Amy was only traveling for a month she did have the money and she did not want to rough-it (only natural this was her vacation too). We found ourselves at odds because of our different levels of disposable income. In the end Amy ended up paying for us to switch to a nicer hotel. I owe her a nice fancy dinner in a Chicago restaurant once I find a job! That is a nice travel companion but you might not always find yourself as lucky as myself so discuss this before you leave!

travel quote - penguins

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