Friends are like shoes. Some are fab for nights out on the town. Others are motivational workout buddies. And others make for perfect travel companions.
Most of your friends aren't travel buddy material, however. You may be able to tolerate their personality quirks at home, for a few hours at a time, but those quirks get magnified 100-fold when you're in each other's company 24/7, in a foreign land.
If you're not careful, travelling with the wrong friend can ruin your trip... and your friendship.
But journeying with the right one can make all the difference in the world!
Here are 3 traits you should look for in a friend before you book an extended trip with them.
When the travelling gets tough—your flight gets cancelled; your hotel room is creepy-crawling with prehistoric bugs; a pickpocket steals your new iPhone—the key to not letting it ruin your trip is keeping your rose-colored glasses front and center.
You and your travel buddy both need to be able to find the humor and silver lining in crappy travel situations.
Staying optimistic will keep you level-headed, so you can focus your energies not on being angry or sulky for hours or days on end, but rather on mapping out alternative ways to salvage the day and make the most of the rest of your trip.
One of the joys of travelling afar is meeting people, especially people hailing from cultures different from your own.
In the laws of nature, like attracts like. Friendly people are attracted to friendly people.
If your travel companion is rude, cold, patronizing, stand-offish or an all-around people repeller, even if you're able to tolerate it, others won't. And you'll end up missing out on serendipitous opportunities to connect with locals and other travellers who may unlock your knowledge and access to cool sights and adventures along the way.
Some of our best travel memories are forged when we get out of our comfort zones and do things we'd never do in normal life.
That's why it's a HUGE plus to travel with a friend who wants to do things you never would've thought of doing, and vice-versa.
Think of it as a sort of 60-40 travel buddy rule—60% of your itinerary can be things you both love to do; while 20% should be things you really want to do; and the remaining 20%, things they really want to do.
This is the recipe for a phenomenal trip.
More than likely, you'll end up enjoying the unique things they want to do (even if, initially, you didn't think you would). And on the off-chance you don't, the silver lining is, you'll both have something to laugh about over drinks at the bar that night!
Photos: Mike Seachang