Why travel together?
We are living in a time where it is easier than ever to find someone with similar interests than yourself. Someone who you can spend some time with without wanting to find an escape route. Someone who you can perhaps travel the world with. Or at least some portion of the world.
Traveling the world with a travel buddy is easier, cheaper, and more fun than it is to travel alone. We are not saying that traveling solo is a negative thing. There are a lot of benefits to traveling solo. However, we do believe that having a travel companion is so much better.
If you follow us it is no secret that we are a travel couple and we prefer nothing else but to travel together. We feel the memories we create and share could not be replicated if we were to travel alone. However, it was not always like this for the both of us.
Growing up, when I was old enough to decide that I could start traveling, I did not have many other friends that were willing to do the same. For most of my friends it was a financial thing as no one was willing to save up for that trip with me. For others it just was not what they wanted to do with their money.
Finally in university I had a couple of friends that decided they wanted to go to Cuba and I hopped on that opportunity. No other chance to travel with anyone would come up again and in 2014 I packed my bags by myself to move to South Korea to teach English and travel solo. It was my last resort to see the world on my own. Not that I was scared to, but that I knew it would be so much better to share the memories with someone else rather than keep them to myself.
Nonetheless, I got on the plane and was off to a new country. Luckily almost immediately I was introduced to a great group of new friends all with the same interests in mind. Travel. It was like this is was the community of travelers I was looking for and they were already on the road. I just needed to join them on the road.
Then the most unexpected thing happened. I met my future wife who also shared the love of travel. And so, I would never need to travel the world solo again. I had found my travel buddy.
It can be difficult to find people within your circle at home that are willing to travel. There are a lot of things that keep them from traveling like work, responsibilities at home, and financial reasons.
Though traveling solo can be extremely rewarding, there is just so much upside to traveling with somebody else.
Things to Consider
Not every match is made to be. Though it is very easy to bond with people with a similar interest, especially with that of travel, it is a little bit more difficult to find somebody with a similar style of travel. You can quickly find yourself with somebody that is not interested in going skydiving with you or sitting at a cafe for hours on end.
Here are some things to consider when you are finding people to travel with on your next trip:
Are they financially ready for a trip?
Are they mentally ready for a trip?
Are they physically ready for a trip?
Do they have the same travel style?
Do you have more to talk about and bond over than just travel?
Yes, this is what holds so many people back from traveling. It is also something you should consider should you go traveling with somebody as you will likely be sharing the costs of at least accommodation. Getting stuck with the bill all the time will get very tiring and will hurt your wallet if you did not budget for it. Make sure that your travel partner is able to afford the costs of where you are traveling to.
Being mentally prepared for some places in the world is important. If you are traveling to the busiest places in India, are you ready for constant honking? Are you ready for those long layovers or the multiple things that will go wrong on your travels and still have a positive attitude about things.
Being mentally prepared is just as important as the next thing.
If you are an adventure seeker you may want to find somebody else with the same thirst. You want to make sure that your travel companion is just as ready for that early morning hike as you are. You do not want to have to carry them the rest of the way up the mountain.
Which also brings us to our next point.
Having the same travel style can be extremely important when traveling. Or at least having a give and take relationship where you do something that they want to do in order to do something that you want to do. There is a word for that, it just has yet to pop into my mind.
If you are wanting to just relax on a beach all day, but your travel buddy wants to go out exploring the busy streets of the capital city, then you may be looking for different things in your travels. This is totally fine just be prepared to be put out of your comfort zone half of the time as you cannot just do the things that you want to do all of the time.
The alternative is having to split up once you arrive somewhere and in that case you are pretty much just traveling solo besides crashing in the same hotel room at the end of the day.
The love of travel will get you far in your conversations. It can fill up every topic you talk about with one another for sure, but it might be useful to know that you also have something else in common so you can bond over that as well.
Find Someone to Travel With
It can be difficult to get out there and meet somebody to travel the world with you, but there are so many ways in which you can do just that these days. Here are some simple ways that you can meet travel buddies for your next trip:
Various Websites Dedicated to Finding a Travel Companion
- Working or Volunteering Abroad
There are various ways online that you can meet people to travel the world with you. Perhaps nothing is more transparent than Facebook. Facebook groups are a great way to meet people locally or abroad that you could travel with because you can also check out their Facebook profile in advance to maybe ensure yourself the type of person you may be traveling with.
There are most definitely travel groups in your nearest major city that you could join or even a travel group that is international to get started in your search for the right travel partner.
Much like using a Facebook group to find somebody you want to travel with, there are websites dedicated to finding a travel companion. A simple online search will provide a lot of results for this, but I have not used any of these nor have I heard any feedback from anyone that has so I have not shared any examples here.
Though Lonely Planet does have a popular forum with a part of it dedicated to finding travel companions that you can check out here.
A community of travelers that can connect with on another to organize home stays and cultural exchanges. This is a great way to volunteer and really immerse yourself in a culture. It is also a great way to meet like-minded travelers. Those who share the same interests and travel style as you do.
Much like we talked about with Workaway with volunteering abroad, you could also work abroad. I went the route of working in South Korea as an English teacher as I described. There are so many opportunities for you to work in another country and see another side of the world while meeting like-minded people. Like I said, once I arrived in South Korea I met a whole group of people that had the same interests of travel because they were already traveling.
Now this kind of goes against what we are saying in this post, but hear us out for a minute. You could just pack your bags and go out on your own. Just like I did. Once you are on the road, you are likely to find people that you can hit the road with. As long as you are social and willing to meet new people, these opportunities will present themselves to you while you are traveling.
Couchsurfing is a community of travelers that offer a place in their homes or organize groups in your local city and abroad. You are able to stay at their place for FREE. This is a great community to join for your travels and for meeting people who share the love of travel.
Not convinced about how to find travel companions? Here are three people who went out and found a travel companion in their own ways and their experiences, the good and the bad…
Dominika from Sunday In Wonderland
Inna, a co-founder of the Executive Thrillseeker
Nina from Nina Out and About
In the summer of 2018, I had my first experience with solo female traveling. I found a great spontaneous opportunity to visit Romania, but unfortunately, none of my friends had time to go with me those days. So I decided to travel alone, which was very exciting.
Among my travel goals was to see the Transfăgărășan Road – one of the most extraordinary roads in Europe. But it was hard to achieve it without a car. Rental only for myself was too expensive these days, so I decided to try my luck and find some travel companion to share the costs. I found Couchsurfing to be a great tool to do it.
On Couchsurfing, you can look for not only hosts but also other travelers. I used that option to contact a few people traveling in Romania at the same time. I simply told them about this amazing road and how wonderful it would be to see it. In the end, two guys answered that they were interested in joining the journey. Of course, they did not know each other. One was from France and another one from India, but living in Finland. The first one I met in the real world in Bucharest one day before our trip. The second one joined us on the road.
Of course I had some concerns before traveling with two strange guys for four days in one rented car, but I prefer to assume that people are not so bad in general. If it was me who was asking them to join my insane idea to rent a car with strangers, I felt to be in a stronger position. It was them who trusted me, so it was also them who were braver in my opinion. One of them even rented a car with his credit card before we even met. I appreciated that trust.
In the end, we had a great journey! We were discovering the charm of Transylvania together and created some great memories. We still keep in contact from time to time. Traveling with strangers is a great experience that everyone should take to learn to open their mind and heart for knowing other people and cultures.
I have participated in many volunteering projects and international exchange back when I was a student. By doing that, I met a lot of people from all over the world and even traveled with some of them. Here is a short story about how I found great travel buddies that turned out to be not so great:
I was volunteering for the program ‘Angloville’ in the Czech Republic which involved me teaching English in exchange for free accommodation and food. At that time I was traveling alone and I was happy about it. Then, among other volunteers, I met people that I thought would be cool to hang out with after the program was finished. They said they were going to Romania next and I was invited to join if I wanted. I realized that before I had only traveled with a boyfriend or alone, so traveling with a group of friends sounded like a new fun experience. And so, me and two other travelers from Canada went to Romania.
Basically, it was easy to find travel companions and pretty fast. The duration of the program was one week and during this time we managed to know each other well enough to travel together. However, I should say that it was easier as I was invited to join their travel scenario that had already existed. Later on, I noticed that whenever I’m traveling with friends, it’s pretty difficult to plan the whole trip together from scratch because everyone has their own budgets, time frames, things to do, and etc.
I didn’t have any concerns about traveling with people I just met, as I’m very easy-going and always up to any activity. The expectations I had were super positive! However, when we started traveling together, I realized that my judgment of selecting travel companions was pretty poor. They were not bad people, just not ‘my kind’ of people. Eventually, we traveled together for a week as we already had a car booked and all the arrangements made, and never spoke to each other afterward.
Even though that trip turned out to be not the way I imagined it, there are no regrets as every experience is valuable! I think whether you met the person through an app or offline, there is a chance that you found a perfect travel companion or that it’s not gonna work out – you can never know for sure. I decided for myself that the best solution would be to make a short trip before going for a long-term one.
Traveling solo started as sort of an accident. My friends simply were not available. But I wanted to travel, so I went anyway. After a while, it became my normal travel style.
Last year, I spent eight months in Europe. Eight months is a long time to be solo, even for an introvert like me. So, I started trying to find some new friends. I tried meetup groups and Couchsurfing events, but the times were restrictive and most people were only in town for a night.
I stumbled upon Workaway in May, months before I left for Europe. The website is designed for volunteer travel, but it offers ways to meet other travelers. You can sign up for Workaways with other volunteers or search for travelers near you and meetup which they have now advanced with their travel app allowing you to make more immediate connections.
My first collaborative Workaway was an accident that convinced me to do more. I signed up to teach English in Prague and was roomed with an American girl my age. By day two we were best friends. We ended up spending an additional week in Prague together and met up in Serbia months later.
I had not realized how much I wanted companionship until meeting her. After that, I started only choosing Workaways with other volunteers. Since people using Workaway tended to have similar outlooks on life, we bonded easily. I made friends from Spain to Croatia that I still speak to today.
Most Workaways I went to had at least two other volunteers that I lived and worked with. It only ever took a couple days to share our life stories and bond in our internet-less evenings.
I still spent most of my trip traveling solo since I had a planned path in my head that I wanted to follow. But having the option to find new people to chat with and share adventures was incredible. Sometimes you just need someone to chat with under a sunset. I loved having the short periods of time with my new friends, since the close quarters could have led to some fighting if we would have stayed together too long.
Using Workaway gave me a lot of freedom to make my trip my own. I was able to be free and keep to my own schedule, but also to meet new people. Traveling with some of my new friends fit into my schedule, like the girls weekend we took in Alicante. Other times, it didn’t work out.
I think my trip would not have lasted as long as it did without the companionship I found using Workaway.
As you can see, traveling with other people can be difficult especially when your interests beyond travel or travel style do not align. Finding the right person can be challenging.
However, once you have found the right person or people, you have found friends for life. Ones that you can share your memories together with forever.
There are so many benefits to traveling with a buddy, and I feel so lucky that I get to share that with my travel partner forever.
We would love to hear about your experience finding a travel companion. Leave a comment below!