Rules for Being a Good Travel Companion

All text and photography by Tess McLennan ©

https://www.facebook.com/tessmclennan/
Oh boy, we’ve all been there: the constant whining, the loud roommates, the one who is always late when the plane is already boarded… without too much more introduction, here are my tips for being a good travel companion (and how to keep your friends long after you arrive back home!!!)

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Firstly, stop yo whining.

If you’ve planned a lengthy trip, there is a good chance you’ll be living in another person’s pocket for that amount of time, particularly if your holiday involves only two or three people. So, I beg you… please stop with the whining. The only type of whining that anybody likes on a trip, is the kind that can be poured into a glass.

Things will not always go to plan in your travels, you’ll get tired, hungry, maybe even lost… but don’t be that person who turns everything into a negative. Nobody will ever want to travel with you again, even the most patient of friends (i.e. me!).

It also helps to see the funny side of travel mishaps! People will love you more for it.

So if you feel yourself beginning to whine, ask yourself ‘is it really that bad?’. Usually, the answer will be ‘no’. Then, carry on with your day.

Travel in a larger group.

I always find travelling in larger groups seems to help lessen the irritation that comes from constant whining, personality clashes etc.… If you don’t like being around one particular person, find another!  It’s that simple. I once travelled with a 100-piece orchestra through Singapore, Malaysia and Europe, and it was bliss. Everyone enjoyed each other’s company so much, but I believe it was because we weren’t forced to co-exist with the same people every single second of the day. I can be quite quirky, and smaller groups don’t tend to work as easily for me. Each to their own.

Be considerate.

Most twenty somethings won’t be able to afford a five star hotel, with separate bedrooms and doors that close. No, you’ll most likely be staying in a place that is open plan (i.e. no walls or doors), or maybe even a youth hostel, with dormitory style bunk beds. So if you fall into the latter category, be respectful of your fellow roommates. If you must get up earlier than everyone else, don’t let your alarm go off for ten minutes before you hit the snooze button. If you go out on the town and come home a bit drunk, don’t wake up the entire room when you enter. Don’t throw your suitcase contents around the room, and try not to make the bathroom too filthy (particularly since you’ll most likely be sharing it!).

Most of these go without saying: it’s just basic common sense, and good manners really.

Also, if you go out for cupcakes, it’s good manners to bring some back for your fellow travellers. Just saying.

Take into consideration the budgets of others

Not everybody on your trip will have the same budget as you, as expected. So if the main attraction on a trip is something super expensive, it might be best to plan it well in advance (and not when you’re standing at the ticket kiosk counting your coins!). This gives the person with a smaller budget time to save a bit of extra cash for the occasion, or even plan something else do to instead at the same time.

Take time to yourself

We all need it sometimes. Solitude. Particularly while travelling, which is no exception. As said earlier, when seeing the world with your friends, you’ll be living in each other’s pockets for a extended amount of time, and that can be grating for anyone. Go for a walk, see some sights on your own, take in a little of your destination in silent contemplation. It’s very good for the soul. Obviously, nightfall is not the opportune time to decide you need some ‘alone time’, but you get the picture. Every one needs chill time now and then, so don’t apologise if you want to be alone for a little while. It’s healthy.

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On one of my more successful trips as a travel companion! 

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