Who do you like to travel with?Posted on 29/10/2015 : 16:18:25
"Travelling is a very personal experience, but the road travelled alone can be a road travelled with less fun and meaning. You can build and share memories for the experiences you go through and learn a lot about each other. If nothing else, you have a ready-made photographer for your holiday snaps!"
Who do you travel with?
I have a strong belief that a couple who can travel together will be able to handle a lot, if not all, of what life throws at them - together. Travelling can provide lots of challenges your normal life won't, and it can really show your true character and make each other see why they (don't!) love each other. Good times and bad, it can be a truly great bonding experience.
An obvious choice. My first holiday away without family was with some school friends at around 18 years old. Post-A Levels exams, we had a fantastic time being let off the leash in a new city. Again, bonds are made, strengthened, sometimes challenged, but the proof of a friendship is often celebrated by putting miles between you and home together.
This is a photo of me and a University friend. We've lost touch in recent years, but we managed to travel together in Canada together, and when he moved to Chicago (pictured), I just had to visit!
Travelling as a family can have its challenges as well as its pleasures - we'd not go away together if it weren't for the good moments! I was very lucky to have a family able and keen to travel so much when I was younger, something I hope to emulate when I have my own children someday. Even though putting your immediate nearest and dearest in a caravan for a week can prove difficult through enforced 'togetherness', going away with your family can be wonderful. Often, as was in my case, the destination was pretty awesome - Disneyland, anyone?!
Everyone loves an 'in joke'.... In my experience, family 'in jokes' come from travelling together, many of which are still parroted years on from the event! You can also, if you're old enough, split off and do your own thing and still come 'home' to a meal and good company.
I've not had a family holiday for a long time (10 years?!), having traveled independently or with friends/partners since I was a student. We just wanted different things - and often had very different budgets! Family travel time will, hopefully, return to the table though with the advent of my own children. Holidays with our little family unit (I have been married a year already!) and holidays with future grandparents will definitely be on the cards.
This doesn't happen much, if at all, for me, but I hear there are jobs out there which involve travel?! (kidding) No doubt, this means sometimes you have a work 'buddy' accompanying you, like it or not. You're travelling together for no other reason than you work together, so it might not seem an ideal situation. Embrace this time together, work out how they tick, and it could work in your benefit, aside from the expenses being paid!
Signing up for a single traveller's tour trip or going on a themed trip (e.g. cycling holiday) will bring strangers into your travels too. This can work if you're not too confident in travelling solo, but don't have anyone who's available for the trip you're planning. I met a lot of random people when I worked in Costa Rica for Raleigh International (2012) and made some lifelong friends - including my husband! I've also made life-long friends with a girl I was thrown together with on a caving trip in New Zealand, and many more to list.
So what are my top tips for travelling with all or any of the above people?
6 Top Tips For Travelling Together
Book ahead to get seats together on the plane.It sucks when your family are dotted around the plane!
...And check-in together.My husband and I have checked in to the same flight separately before, and ended up charming neighbouring passengers to switch seats. Not ideal.
Make sure you have some 'alone' time.You WILL get sick of each other at some point! Go for a walk, open that holiday read you brought, pop to the shop... You'll have more to talk about when you get home from your jaunt, meeting new people and seeing more things on the way.
Draw up a plan of things you'd like to do while you're away.One of you might be a total beach bum, the other a culture freak. Find a good balance between both interests, and accept it's fine if you spend the day apart one day.
Don't compromise too much!!!If you go to Paris, you'll want to see the Eiffel Tower, it's a given. Don't let your traveling partner's dismissal of 'that iron monstrosity' put you off! It's ok to want different things from the trip.
If you get along with the new people you meet, swap emails.Who emails who first shouldn't matter, but what matters is you stay in touch if you want to. And don't neglect your travel companions for the newbies. It'll haunt you back home, trust.
Give each other a bit of space once you're home.Trade photos, but cool it for a bit to get yourselves re-orientated back into normal life. Then go out for a beer.
Don't fancy the idea of travelling with others at all? Prefer travelling solo? That's nothing to be ashamed of, just make sure you're getting the most out of your travelling and exploring!
Happy travels, all!