Not everyone is mentally or physically ready to travel by themselves – and just because you can, doesn’t mean you have to. Maybe you’re not quite ready to go by yourself, or perhaps your beau/friend doesn’t have the time off and you do? If you find yourself hoping for a travel partner but aren’t sure who, I’m here to tell you there are many ways to find good travel buddies. I’ve tried several things that have worked but I am partial to one method in particular.
How did I get a four continent friend? I just asked! Sometimes that’s all you have to do. Ask.
Years ago, I was single and wanting to travel more. I didn’t really want to do it all alone and some of my friends just didn’t have that much vacation outside of family time. I had just met someone on a volunteer board, and I heard she liked to travel, so one day I asked her, “Would you want to do a trip together?” Then we started talking more and more. Soon we had planned our first adventure: a European road trip! After that, we toured a three Southeast Asian countries during two different trips and most recently we met up in Africa for a safari.
I think it’s awesome to find a few good travel companions that you can call up whenever you feel the urge for a girls trip, but before traveling with someone on an extended trip far away from home, I suggest talking about your travel styles. If one of you is an early riser and the other a night owl, you might be exploring on your own or having sleep issues if you are sharing a room. Are you both adventurous and like to explore or do you like to read by the pool? To me, these are very different travel styles so you’ll want to know what you are signing up for before you book your tickets.
Not all friends make good travel companions. If you have an instinct or a feeling that your trip might be impacted by personality differences or travel styles I suggest listening to that instinct. There was one time when I didn’t listen to my gut and I lost a friend because of it. We had very different expectations of each other for the trip that were not communicated ahead of time and we ended up parting ways really early in the trip, both having hard feelings about it.
Consider going online If you don’t know anyone that’s ready to travel with you. There are plenty of websites that allow you to connect with fellow travelers, even sites just for women! If that’s not your style, how about joining some online or in person travel groups, or going to a travel conference? There are plenty of people to meet that love travel just as much as you, I’m sure of it because I’m in some of those communities.
If you’re not comfortable going online to meet people, you could also join a tour group or try traveling by yourself. If you’re traveling solo you can also meet people on the road. I once met a person in a tourist office. She was asking about all the same places I wanted to wander to so I just asked her if she wouldn’t mind the company. You just never know when you’ll make another great connection. Most of the time it starts with just putting yourself out there and being willing to ask.
Wouldn’t it be fun if more of us had four continent friends?
About the author:
Melissa D. Jones is a designer, marketer, artist, traveler, photographer, foodie and creative entrepreneur. She runs her own business, extracting inspiration and elements from around the world to help women entrepreneurs and businesses achieve brilliant design. Living for travel, adventure and new experiences she’s photographed her way around 40 countries (and counting!) and wrote all her travel knowledge into a book Women with Wanderlust: A Guide to Roaming. Find her on Instagram and Twitter @rouxroamer