Adventure travel is not always for the faint of heart. It quite often involves being out of your comfort zone and pushing yourself to the limits. But one thing that shouldn’t raise your blood pressure and make you want to scream while on holidays is dealing with your travel companion.
An adventure travel companion is someone who you’ll no doubt share exciting, life-changing experiences with, and you’ll want them to be positive experiences. So, to avoid the real-life road trip dramas or soap-opera worthy catfights you should (hopefully) only ever see in the movies, here’s our top list of things to look out for when interviewing…ehem, we mean choosing an adventure travel buddy.
Do you have the same interests?
There are many different types of adventure travel and holidays – some that involve sports like cycling or whitewater rafting, some that involve jungle trekking, and some that involve animal watching, David Attenborough style. Even if a potential travel buddy loves adventure, one size definitely does not fit all. Say for example your friend loves the great outdoors, but wouldn’t be caught dead riding around on a bicycle for days at a time, while you’re so into cycling that you wear your spandex to sleep sometimes because it’s so comfy. It doesn’t exactly make for a great holiday does it? Choose an adventure buddy who doesn’t just have a sense of adventure, but a sense of adventure for the same kinds of things as you.
How much of a ‘princess’ are they?
We’ve all got a friend who can’t travel or leave their home town unless they’ve got a 5-star hotel to go to at the end of the day and a full buffet breakfast at the end of the day (for me, that friend is my dad…but more on that in a different blog post). This is fair enough – sometimes adventure holidays can involve getting down and dirty in the great outdoors all day, so sometimes a nice luxury resort to come home to and relax after extreme exploring could be a nice touch. But if someone has a luxury resort as a prerequisite for every travel destination you visit, while you’re more of a hostels and camping kinda person, arguments about where you’ll be sleeping that night will be a lot more hassle than they’re worth…
Do you have similar budgets?
Following on from the above point, some adventure tours and holidays, while definitely justified, aren’t always cheap. Before you choose an adventure buddy, make sure that you at least have similar budgets in mind, to ensure that one person wasn’t expecting a shoestring backpacking holiday while you wanted to shell out hundreds of dollars for the lifetime experience of cage diving with sharks or going on Safari. Nobody likes arguing over money, especially not with a good friend while you’re on holidays trying to have a good time. Avoid the awkwardness and agree on budgets before setting off.
How brave are they?
Want to go skydiving, but your friend is too scared to stand on a second floor balcony (or vice versa)? Yours or your friend’s fears and phobias should be something to be aware of before setting off on a crazy adventure which could see you swinging precariously from cliff tops or jumping out of planes. Phobias are a very common thing in many people, and while it’s nobody’s fault for being scared of something, it’s a good idea to be aware of any secret fears somebody has, so nobody is disappointed or feels guilty for leaving a friend behind while you partake in an activity that they have to miss out on.
At the end of the day, nobody is perfect, and getting out of your comfort zone once in a while can be a great way to make your relationship with a travel companion even stronger. And who knows – they may suddenly find that they’re cured of their phobia after deciding on a last minute whim to bungee jump after all.
If all else fails, you can always find a new travel companion by using sites like the Lonely Planet’s travellers’ forum. It’s a platform that allows travellers to post their travel itinerary online in order to find like-minded adventure seekers to join them or tag along on one or more legs of their journey. Simply log on and post a thread including your dates of travel, destination, and what you’re looking for in a travel buddy.
What do you look for in an adventure travel companion?