The Pros & Cons of Travelling With a Buddy
Remember the last time you took a trip? The sights, the sounds, the people - everything about going on vacation is a treat for the senses. Travelling is an amazing way to expand your spirit’s reach both figuratively and literally, but travelling can also be stressful.
Everybody is different, but ask yourself: is that stress eliminated when you’re accompanied by a friend? A partner? A significant other? Some prefer travelling with a companion to help with decisions. Others would much rather explore their new surroundings on their own.
The summer travel season is here. So, is it better to travel with a buddy or fly solo? Let’s see.
1. Getting From A to B
No matter how long you’re gone for, travelling somewhere always involves plenty of smaller trips within your destination.
Pros: Two heads are better than one when it comes to sorting out directions to and from an airport and deciphering transit information in a foreign place.
Cons: Ever had to sit through hours of someone else’s music choice on a road trip? That’s the only downfall of getting around with a buddy, putting up with specific tastes and preferred methods of moving about.
Winner: With a Buddy! It’s always easier to collaborate on directions and methods of transportation with a friend, even if you have to sacrifice your music tastes for a bit.
2. Sights, Sounds & Food
You’ve arrived! You’ve left the airport or the hotel and you’re ready to tackle a day’s worth of adventure. “So where are we going first? The museum?” “Naw, let’s go to the beach.” “But…”
If you’ve ever travelled with a companion then you’ve heard this exchange. People always have an idea of what they’d like to do on a trip but they never bring it up until it’s actually time to choose an activity.
Pros: No matter what you decide to do, you’re sharing the experience with a friend. The memory is stronger because it has two people to tell the story.
Cons: Someone else could be calling the shots. In fact, if you really don’t like confrontation, then chances are you’ll let someone else call the shots even if you’re not on board with what they want to do. Ever gone on a ski trip with someone who insisted on “laying down first tracks?” You know what that means, right? It means beating the sun itself to the mountain. Not fun.
The Winner: Solo! Travelling by yourself means you’re completely in charge of where you want to go and when you want to go there.
3. The Downtime
The quiet parts of a trip - laying low at the beach, chilling at the hotel, sipping coffee beside the fire - are some of the most memorable elements of travelling. These are the times where we recharge and take back the energy lost to us back home in our hectic day to day lives.
Picture yourself doing nothing on a vacation. Are you alone? Does being alone make a difference?
Pros: Having someone to visit with while you spend time relaxing makes the time pass quicker.
Cons: Having someone to visit with while you spend time relaxing makes the time pass quicker!
The Winner: We have a tie! Travelling with a companion has little effect on your trip’s downtime because there are very few decisions to be made. It can have as little or as large an effect as you wish.
I’ve gone on trips where I couldn’t imagine being on my own. Partly because I’d become physically lost pretty quick without friends and partly because I’d be emotionally lost without their companionship. (Those friends will read this post, right?) On the other hand, I’ve also travelled solo and learned more about myself than I ever thought possible.
The point is that in the end it’s your time and you’re free to spend it how you wish. Taking advantage of your personal time can be a cloudy issue when you travel with a friend because they’re entitled to the same time. It then becomes about how good the two of you are at communicating and making decisions that maximize the time for both of you.
No matter how you’re travelling this summer - solo, with a buddy or with a crew - try to plan at least a little bit of your adventure in advance.
After that? Just go with the flow.