Travel Tips

How To Choose A Good Travel Buddy

Choosing someone to travel with might seem easy – just pick your friends and family. But, seeing them casually and traveling with someone are completely different things. Having a travel buddy who is too much like yourself may not be the best idea. After all, you are stuck with yourself all day long anyway, do you really want that in stereo? Traveling with someone completely different to you could be a mistake as well, as you won’t share any commonalities. So, how do you choose a travel partner? Where do you find the balance? Here are a few things to consider when picking your travel buddy so you can go on a road trip or a caravan holiday without throwing each other out of the vehicle.

Travel Buddy


This can be a big flashpoint if you are not careful. Being locked out of the car because your buddy had to have a private conversation, and watching them slyly pick their nose and thinking you have not noticed is going to get annoying after a few kilometres. Personal hygiene may also be an issue. Does your travel buddy smell like a sewer or a perfume-testing lab? Do they wash their clothes? Does your travel buddy incessantly bite their nails? Or, make a coughing sound every time they are nervous? Such habits may make travelling with someone intolerable. Check out their habits now, and think about being stuck with them on an airplane or in a car for an extended amount of time.

Things in common

You may not be so thrilled about stopping off at the marble museum, and your buddy may not be so keen on stopping at every dive bar you pass. It is not as much fun if you are quietly trying to sneak up on a rare bird that you don’t see very often whilst your buddy is throwing beer cans at passing motorists. What do you and your friend do together? Do you always go to the same old coffee shop, or do you do a variety of activities together? Asking a friend to come with you to a cultural or hobby exhibit at home might be a good gauge of what you can enjoy together.

Understanding culture

Are you afraid your friend will offend or humiliate locals during your trip? If your friend has a habit of opening their big mouth or not being delicate about cultural sensitivities, then you might want to rethink the travel plans. If you are traveling to another country, make sure you both check the customs and idioms together to get a handle on what is appropriate. If you are sticking to Australia but are going to be hitting the small towns, keep your ‘city’ opinions to yourself and just try to enjoy the atmosphere and the local food and activities.


One of you is bound to have more money than the other, but if one is permanently low on funds, then eventually the other is going to become annoyed at having to pay and being restricted to cheap activities. This sort of thing can put a halt to a friendship and/or relationship if you are not careful. What to eat in these situations can especially make the holiday come undone. A bit of preplanning and talking about expectations can go a long way here. You don’t want to travel to the Aussie outback, hoping for a bush tucker tour while your buddy has brought enough 2-minute noodles for the whole bus.

Have you travelled with them on shorter trips?

Shorter trips may be viewed as a trial run. If you have been on shorter trips with that person and it all worked out pretty well, then going on a longer trip may be okay. If however, you went on a shorter trip and after two hours you got tired of the phrase, “I’m not being funny, but….” then consider another travel buddy. A friend who is perfectly comfortable in their own town doing impromptu things might act a little differently once the comfort zone is gone. Try a few days on the road together, it’s amazing what you can learn about a person when you are in a car or caravan together.

Pre-plan your itinerary

This may be a good idea if you want a trouble-free trip. It is also a good way of figuring out if your travel buddy is going to have as much fun as you. Does your travel buddy want to visit all the chicken-dip joints on the way? Or, does your travel buddy want to do a shopping cruise and hit all the high streets that you find? If you are both realistic about what stops you will make, where and what to eat and how much you plan on spending then your trip will be enjoyable for you both.

Erin Warbrook is a seasoned road-tripper and has seen many friendships change for the better after a holiday together! There is nothing like stopping at an oasis such as an Aspen Parks caravan park to recharge your batteries when on the road.

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