Travel Partners & Travel Buddies:
Questions to Ask for a Successful Trip
By Marianne Schwab | Best Travel Deals Tips Blog
Fun and compatible travel partners and travel buddies are sometimes a missing link to a perfect vacation. Unless you’re married or in a committed relationship, finding a travel partner can be a difficult part of the travel equation. Finding someone who wants to go where you want to go, when you want to go, for how long you want to go and in the style you want to travel can be a real challenge.
I’ve traveled with friends, family and connected with new travel partners that I didn’t know very well to make a trip come together. Unless you like traveling solo (I have learned that I do not enjoy traveling alone), there are three main reasons to seek out a good travel partner: 1) Vacations are more fun when you share them with friends or family members; 2) Most vacation packages, cruises and travel deals are priced based on double occupancy; and 3) Splitting the hotel accommodations can save a lot money.
However, whether you travel with your friends or family or you’re looking to connect with a travel buddy through a travel club, I’ve put together a list of questions to ask possible travel partners. Although I don’t regret the few times I’ve connected with travel partners to save a dime here and there, I have found that having the wrong travel partner can make your dream vacation a nightmare.
These questions may seem “anal retentive” but do you want to worry about asking these questions with potential travel partners or do you want to have a great trip? It’s up to you. Many of the questions are on this list based on my own personal discovery of differences in travel style preferences. There’s nothing wrong with anyone’s preference just do everything you can to ensure choosing compatible travel partners for an enjoyable trip filled with fun memories instead of a million miserable moments. So here are the questions ask:
• What’s your travel budget?
• Who pays for what and how will you handle items like paying for cabs, etc.?
• Do you settle up at the end of the day? Split payments as you go?
[Tip: Don’t get in the habit of one person picking up the lunch tab while another gets the cab. What about tips? It may sound like petty nonsense, but this will avoid anyone being taken advantage of and know the financial arrangements prior to the trip will prevent any misunderstandings or resentments.]
Travel Attitude & Personality
• Are you a free spirit or a planner?
• Do you tend to focus on the good, the bad, or the ugly when you travel?
• Do you like museums, adventure, both?
• Are you a partier or like more quiet activities?
• Do you like to go to local night clubs and party til the cows come home or come back to the hotel and relax after dinner and turn in early?
Food & Fitness
• Are you willing to split entrées and desserts to save money and calories?
• Do you like to eat dinner early or late?
• What do you like to eat: Vegan, Health Conscious or Anything Goes?
• Do you smoke or not smoke? Would you share a room with a smoker if you’re a non-smoker?
• Do you have compatible physical activity levels and endurance?
• Can you both walk ten miles all over the city in a day or does one of you have physical limitations that means you can barely walk one mile?
• Do you wear comfortable walking shoes? [Why? If your travel partner doesn’t then you’ll be slowed down or limited in your activity.]
Sharing the Hotel Room or Cruise Cabin
• Do you like to keep a tidy room or do you like to keep a messy room since you’re on vacation?
• What kind of music do you like? Do you like the same music as your travel companion?
• Do you need to have music on in the room or will you use your headphones to listen to your mp3 player?
• Do you like to get up early to work out at the hotel gym or do you not like to exercise outside of walking on tours when you’re on vacation?
• What are your bathroom courtesy “rules”?
• Do you take a shower at night or in the morning?
• If you take a shower in the morning, who gets up the earliest to get the shower first?
• Do you like the room temperature to be hot or cold?
• Do you hate air conditioning and want to sleep with the windows open or the other way around?
• Do you like to watch TV or read a book or both when you’re unwinding in the room?
• Are you okay with the TV on while you’re trying to read, relax, or fall asleep?
• Do you make a ton of calls to other people at night in your room or do you prefer to limit talk time on your cell phone?
• Do you snore? Can you share a room with someone who snores?
• If you do snore, will you wear Breathe Right nasal strips?
• Do you like to go to bed early or late?
• Do you like to fall asleep with the TV on or hate to have any noise at all when you sleep (even a white noise fan)?
• Do you like complete darkness when you sleep or do you need a night light (for late night trips to the bathroom)?
• Do you like to get up early and take in as much as you can each day you’re on vacation or do you like to sleep in?
• Do you hit the snooze ten times before you get up or do you spring out of bed full of sunshine when the alarm goes off?
• Do you want to spend the day doing the same activities and tour or are you okay to have separate agendas during the day and maybe meet up for dinner?
• Do you like to share clothes with your roommate?
• Do you like to dress casual nice, casual sporty or sloppy?
• Do you like to talk a lot with your travel companion or do you really just need someone to share hotel expenses with?
• Finally, it has to be asked, would you ever want the room for a "hook-up" on vacation? (If you do not know someone, you must ask this question. You may assume no one would ever do this while sharing a room, but your potential travel partner might assume it would never be an issue).
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If you want to go to a destination, you can locate a travel partner in many different ways. Lots of websites will help you connect like travbuddy.com where you can sort the database based on gender, destination and age range. If you’re a woman traveling solo and looking for a travel gal pal, then check out journeywoman.com and solofriendly.com for valuable travel tips.
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