Traits of a Good Travel Buddy

Traits of a Good Travel Buddy
Gema Sánchez Cuevas

Written and verified by the psychologist Gema Sánchez Cuevas.

Last update: 28 July, 2022

Going on a trip is a wonderful experience in almost any circumstance. Alone or with company, with money or without, near or far. When you travel, you interrupt your routine and you experience something new. It’s like putting your heart into “adventure mode.” Travel is stimulating and has many benefits. Having a travel buddy can make it even better.

If you think about your ideal trip, isn’t it always better to be able to share it with someone? A travel buddy multiplies your possibilities. They offer you the chance to immediately share your findings and impressions of wherever you are visiting.

“When climbing a huge mountain, no one leaves their friend to reach the summit alone.”


However, you can’t travel with just anyone and except a pleasant trip. Some travel buddies are a nightmare and ruin what could be incredible moments. Others enrich your experience. So how can you identify a good travel buddy? Here are five tips to help you.

A good travel buddy is supportive

The word “companion” implicitly contains the idea of solidarity and support. “To accompany” is to be there for the other person. Being empathetic and receptive to how the other person is and how they act. Being willing to help and happily setting aside personal interests to do so.

person with a travel buddy

A supportive companion does more than make your trip pleasant. They increase your confidence and make it easier for you to be adventurous and discover new things. They are a valuable resource when things get difficult. A selfish travel buddy, on the other hand, takes away from your journey.

Flexibility and independence

Going to a new and unknown place exposes you to surprises. For example, you planned to go to the beach, but the day is cloudy and it starts to rain with no sign of stopping. So, you have to change your plan. Or you might just find something more interesting to do that wasn’t in your plans. If your travel buddy isn’t flexible, you might disagree over these types of changes. 

No one wants to be someone else’s babysitter. That’s why it’s important that your travel buddy is independent. Just because you are traveling together doesn’t mean you have to do everything together. If your companion is independent and able to adapt, that will be a huge weight off your shoulders.

You should have similar budgets

Unless you have extra money to deal with any expense, we advise you to travel with someone who has a similar budget. Otherwise, you might have disagreements, or one person will have to make sacrifices for the other. That isn’t always pleasant.

friends travelling

It is ideal for the two of you to be able to share expenses and split everything evenly. Unless, of course, you have some other agreement. It doesn’t have to be an exact mathematical equation, but it’s healthy for both people to shoulder the costs in a fair way. It’s good to be on the same page about this before the trip.

Similar interests, or at least not opposite interests

This is really important if you want everything to go as it should. In other words, for it to go well! Your likes and interests have to be similar. And if they aren’t, make sure that they aren’t completely opposite. Otherwise, the journey could turn into a nightmare for one or both of you.

When lifestyles and interests are very different, tension and conflict will happen every day. As much as you try to adapt to the likes and dislikes of the other person, you are sure to get tired of that. You don’t have to agree on every little thing, but it’s important not to disagree on everything either.

You should have a similar energy and rhythm

Sometimes, travel buddies don’t have the same expectations about the pace of the trip. Some people prefer to sleep late and not make too many plans. Others want to take advantage of every last moment, even if they get tired or don’t sleep much.

travel buddies

It’s important to agree with your travel buddy about schedules. Forcing the other person to be more active or more passive can be very uncomfortable. You should know how tired you get from travel, so it’s good if your travel buddy has a similar rhythm. That way, you complement and support each other instead of clashing.

We all have our strengths and weaknesses. There is no perfect travel buddy. Or at least, there won’t be if you aren’t patient at times. There will always be something you disagree about, but if you discuss the points in this article with your travel buddy before you leave, you can be on the same page and enjoy your trip. If you are too different, maybe it would be best to do a solo-trip or find more “compatible” people to travel with.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.