How to travel the world with a friend, without destroying that friendship

two women making peace sign near the golden gate bridge

Many people travel alone, but many others will travel with a family member, a partner, or a close friend. Traveling with somebody else can be a wonderful experience, heightened by having somebody to share it with. It can also lead to unwanted compromises, frustration, arguments, and the end of a relationship or friendship.

Travel the world is supposed to be enjoyable, and most of the time, it is. Here are a few tips for staying sane when traveling with others so that the journey of a lifetime isn’t one to forget.

Communicate, don’t assume

It might seem obvious, but it’s easy to assume you both want to do the same things and visit all the same places at each stop on your journey. Not communicating exactly what your hopes and expectations are of each part of your can lead to awkward silences and bad atmospheres in what could be a confined space (more on that in a moment). 

If you want to visit place A, and they don’t, they want to spend time at place B, and you hate the idea, let each other know so you can either visit separately or agree to compromise and sacrifice a bit of happiness for the other person's wellbeing.

man and woman hiking on brown and white mountain

Spend some time apart

While you chose to go on holiday with this person for a reason, you might not want to spend every second of every day with them. This can mean getting separate rooms occasionally if you are family or friends or having different downtime if you are a couple.

If one of you likes to be plugged into their music and relax or do yoga, then give them space to do that, or if one of you wants to watch the match. Whatever your particular ‘me’ time happens to be, build it into the agenda for each day.

woman holding map

Remember why you chose this person (or they chose you)

As hard as you try, there are going to be times when you disagree. The stresses of being in a completely new environment where you might not understand what is going on is going to make you focus even more on your companion, the one thing that is familiar.

This level of pressure can lead to arguments, and when it does, try to remember the disagreement is most likely caused by the situation and not the person. If you can’t laugh it off, though, you need to focus instead on why, out of everybody else on the planet, you are sharing this experience with that one person.

Disagreements are usually the result of something silly combined with a lack of sleep or some sort of home comfort (like a decent bath or shower), so perhaps a good nights sleep (possibly in different rooms) will put in perspective whatever caused the falling out.

man diving on pool