Traveling or going on vacation with a friend for an extended period of time can be daunting. Many decisions have to be made between you and your travel buddy – who gets the window seat, who has to sleep on the top bunk, who gets to shower first (who gets all the hot water), who chooses the restaurant to dine in or place to sightsee. These menial questions can drive two people to hate each other by the end of the first night.
On Instagram I posted a photo of my travel buddy and shared with everyone how blessed I was to have such an amazing travel buddy. Many people expressed they wish they had a travel buddy like mine. I was also asked how I met the perfect travel buddy and how we managed to travel to four countries together and not get sick of each other.
I will be the first to admit that I can only take people in small doses. I enjoy my space and I hope you would to. We all need time to take in our personal discoveries from sightseeing and reflect. Not only that, after a day of hopping trains, running after taxis, taking wrong turns, and walking to the point of exhaustion everyone needs a moment to just breathe and be alone. I learned from talking to travelers that many travel buddies relationships fail because of lack of space and respect. I totally get it, and it isn’t always economical to get two hotel rooms which would help everyone. Forget economical, it’s just a waste! What is best is to find a travel buddy that respects your values, morals, ethics, and habits. Oh, and one that isn't selfish! We all have habits that can annoy one another, therefore, my best advice is to be upfront on what you tolerate and don't tolerate and keep it real with each other. It is all about respect.
I met my perfect travel buddy, Mia Knotts on Facebook through a mutual group. I knew nothing about her when I first met her face to face. Once we both landed in Seoul, S. Korea, on our bus ride, I learned the basics - age, her home town, her love life, education etc. I also learned that she was very bold and straight forward. I love that about people! I knew instantly through her honesty that we were going to be okay because I was very nervous about sharing a hotel room with her and spending almost a week with her. What was amazing was that God blessed me with the perfect travel partner because first and foremost we are both Christians and we share many of the same values about life, love, and womanhood. We have been blessed to become sisters through travel. How dope is that?
Mia and I thought we would share our travel buddies tips in hopes to help you choose the perfect travel buddy because we want you to know that sister-ship and brother-ship is important to your journey, and it will bless your life knowing you don't have to travel alone and two people can make more of impact on the world than just one.
Jae's Travel Buddy Tips
1. Rule #1 - It is imperative that my travel buddy is clean and practices good hygiene. There is NO WAY in the world I could share a space with someone that doesn't bathe, stinks, or doesn't clean. If you meet your travel buddy over social media, go through their pics. Don't be afraid to ask them to be friends on Facebook. Facebook is the truth! Do they appear well put together? Is the background of his or her selfie look a hot mess?
2. Find someone that keeps it real 100 percent and isn't afraid to tell you "no" or what they are really thinking. Although straight forward people may come off a bit blunt, there is nothing like a person that will be honest with you. Upfront honesty avoids built up anger that can blow up later. There is nothing two people or a group of people cannot work out when everyone is honest.
3. My travel buddy would have to be good with maps. I am not a map reader. (Shoutout to Google Maps when I travel solo). I don't mind my travel buddy taking control over our itinerary because I am pretty laid back. Talk about these things with your partner or you both will be screaming at each other all day long for all the wrong turns and missed shows and events you may have planned. But always remember that getting lost isn't such a bad thing. You and your travel buddy might up end finding something magical that was never on the map or you may discover something about the two of you you never knew before. God works in mysterious ways. I will be the first to tell you; Mia too.
4. Respect is everything. If I notice my travel buddy is trying to sleep or isn't feeling well, I will not be taking calls or blasting music. That is why man created headphones. Use them.
5. I can only travel with people that share similar values as me and is sensitive to culture. What I mean by that is that I avoid traveling with people that turn up their noses in front of people because food taste bad or smells, they don't speak English, or people that think the U.S is superior and think everyone should wait on them. I would never take anyone abroad with me that wasn't culture sensitive and doesn't attempt to learn a few new words such as - please, thank you, hello, etc. Knowing these words can take you a long way when visiting a country! And you never know what doors may open up for you.
6. What is most important for me in a travel buddy is finding someone that is selfless. Imagine someone that aims to put your needs or desires first and vice-versa. It would make your travel experience so much better, and it will help you grow as a person knowing you are serving your brother or sister.
Mia's Travel Buddy Tips
1.Find someone who is willing to be adventurous…its nothing worse than going to a foreign country that you may never venture to again and have to sit in the house or miss out on seeing the sights because you have a Debbie Downer not wanting to explore with you.
2.Someone who is clean….OMG I can’t imagine the horror in sharing a room with someone who is wither filthy or unsanitary. Be courteous of others and shower, and keep your space neat and tidy.
3.Someone who is flexible…having a plan is great but being able to flex the plan is even better! Plan role (a navigator, the scheduler, etc) its comes in handy and far less stressful to blame one person when you get lost! lol
4.Preferably someone you LIKE! Think about being 100’s of miles away from home, your return date 7 days a way and your travel buddy being not so buddyish!
5.Find someone that knows when to SHUT UP! Sometimes while traveling you need some unwind time or a peaceful moment, so someone who is sensitive to these times is a huge bonus!
What has your experience been like traveling with friends? Do you have any tips to add? Please share with us by posting your comment below.
Be Fly & Live on Purpose
Connect with me on Instagram
Connect with Mia on Instagram