A trip will only be successful if you’re careful enough to pack light, but smart, do the homework, and know exactly what to do, (and what not to do) in a foreign land you’ll soon call “home” for a few weeks! But choose the wrong travel companion and your luxurious and paradisiac vacays will suddenly turn into a nightmare, where you’ll slowly drown in boredom, with every single excursion, or yawn-inducing activity your lame travel buddy proposes.
No one can bail you out of a bad trip, but there are many ways you can tell if the girl you just met at a party, or that friend you’ve been hanging out with forever would make an excellent companion on your next adventure. Here’s how to tell if your friend has the potential to ruin your trip or take it to the next level.
1. A MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN
If you already have a friend you consider a soulmate in your life, chances are you will get along in most scenarios during a trip. The key is to be similar in as many ways as possible, but also different enough to complement each other. This balance will come in handy during your dream trip, particularly if you’re the type of gal who needs a little push here and there from your overly charismatic and adventurous friend!
2. SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST
Adaptation saves lives—but it also saves trips and friendships. You probably will not agree with everything that’s planned, but it is key to know how to meet your companion halfway. A give-and-take attitude will help run your trip smoothly. Choose someone who can be a great compromiser and you’ll be ready to take off any minute. Salsa lessons AND hiking on the same day? It might be exhausting, but when in Rome!
3. TO DECIDE OR NOT TO DECIDE
That’s the question. Don’t you just hate it when you give your friend options and all they say is “whatever, you choose”? WHATEVER IS NOT AN OPTION! Find companions who know what they want and are not afraid to say it: it will make things so much easier.
4. AS IF IT WERE THE FIRST TIME
Choose a travel companion who enjoys local sights as much as touristy landmarks—that’s part of any trip after all! Travel like a local but allow yourself to take that selfie next to the popular Eiffel Tower so you can post it on Instagram if that’s your thing. Find someone who gets amazed at the beautiful sights, popular and unpopular, almost as if it were the first time they traveled.
5. SPONTANEITY IS THE SOUL OF WIT
If you’re anything like me, you probably plan everything out before traveling. Plane tickets, hotel rooms, even museum passes, and cheap taxi cabs. But just as in life itself, trips can get so much better if you make plans on the spot: the thrill of adventure will make you explore any city in a totally different way—go for it!
6. A RESPONSIBLE PARTY OF TWO
Or three. Or four. No matter how many people you’re traveling with, at least one of you has to be the designated person in charge—but definitely, all have to show some responsibility. If you’re splitting up, make sure to gather on time; and try to stay away from suspicious neighborhoods. Things like that will keep everyone safe and sound.
7. A FOOD SCIENTIST
If you know someone who loves to experiment with food and try new dishes, that’s a great sign you’ll enjoy every waking moment with them in that faraway land. New countries can also be explored through food; so don’t forget to pack your taste buds to go on this journey with you. Bon appetite!
8. EXPLORING ALL AVENUES
The first thing most tourists do when they arrive at their destination is to ask for a map. Though that’s recommended, it’s also fun to travel with an adventurous spirit who is curious and willing to go off the beaten path. Wandering around without a single clue is a thrill few travelers dare to enjoy! Always make sure you ask locals about the safety of certain areas, but don’t be afraid to get lost.
9. TRAVELERS JUST WANNA HAVE FUN
If someone you know is not afraid of making a fool of themselves, that’s a good sign they’ll be one hell of a good travel companion. Trips should be fun: take goofy pictures to capture pics you’ll love to go back to later, make a fool of yourself after one too many margaritas, and don’t be afraid to kiss that stranger who speaks a lick of English! A good sense of humor, a positive attitude, and good communication skills will make a huge difference during any trip.
10. DON’T JUDGE A TRAVELER BY ITS COVER
The most important part about sharing a trip with someone is allowing yourself to be the real you. People criticize enough back home; you don’t need a judge with you while you go sightseeing. Having confidence in your companion is key for feeling at home even when you’re miles away. Now sit back, relax, and enjoy the flight and that charismatic daredevil you chose to go on your trip will guide you.