Please sign in to post.

Pick your travel partners carefully!

This is just a comment. I thought we were friends with the same style. How wrong I was. Do be sure you have spent a night or two with this person to see if they snore (or if it bothers you), spend huge amounts of time in the bathroom, need to have their hand held the whole trip, etc, etc.

Posted by
7444 posts

Oh, how sad! Hope you have some good memories to outweigh those in the long run!

Posted by
3259 posts

Absolutely. This is why solo travel is so great! No stress, pure joy!

Posted by
1596 posts

Too true.

Traveling together almost ruined a good friendship for DH and I and a very dear couple, and it sounds like you were sharing a room which we obviously were not!

Its not enough to have the frank conversations about expectations prior to booking; some people are not self aware.

And we had enjoyed many weekends away together in the years before"the big trip".

Happily things are much better between the four of us these days but it took awhile.

Posted by
7050 posts

In the spirit of fairness, you should ask her to post her own list. It's rare that one person is a saint while the other has all the issues.

Posted by
681 posts

Amen to that Agnes. I traveled with someone a few times that bitterly complained about my snoring...she was also a snorer. She indicated that she never got a wink of sleep, funny that I could hear her snore. Anyways, I ended up sleeping on the bathroom floor in Paris due to listening her complain. You take the good with the bad.

Posted by
1175 posts

We never travel with friends. Instead we meet them in Paris or London, or wherever the destination is. We meet up most days and go our separate ways, usually meeting for dinner and sharing our adventures. We seldom stay at the same hotel, enjoying that bit of distance as well. Some are early risers, some sleep in, some like a long lunch, some like grabbing a street food sandwich. Each couple truly enjoys that sort of quasi-togetherness and the planned-for distance as well. Works for us.... and our friends.

Posted by
8293 posts

Well, as they say, you never really know someone until you have travelled with them. Expensive way to find out, though. And a bit sad.

Posted by
1097 posts

My husband, the extrovert, always suggests traveling with friends or family. I adamantly refuse. The only way I'd consider it is if we're all part of a tour and I am not responsible for their happiness. I am the planner and I don't need anyone second-guessing my plans when it's my dime.

Posted by
1068 posts

I learned my lesson with a good friend. After 2 successful trips we had a clash. Fortunately, we are close enough to have weathered the storm. But the lesson I learned was a bit different. I do have a couple of people I travel with on rare occasion. We got started out with short "National" trips.... a few days in NOLA or the Grand Canyon. After seeing how they traveled and that we have similar interests, we took the plunge. Worked out so far. But "testing the waters" made a big difference.

Posted by
8051 posts

Well, as they say, you never really know someone until you have travelled with them. Expensive way to find out, though. And a bit sad.

The OP was not traveling to get to know the person though.

It is funny. I have traveled with two people that have complained about my snoring during a trip. But they had trouble sleeping issues already and they did not know that I could here them snore but it never bothered me to same degree.

Posted by
420 posts

We vacation when the same friends often and we have a wonderful arrangement. We do whatever we want. If we can meet up and do something together, awesome. If not, no worries. We always get together for dinner. We really miss them when we vacation without them. My sister also travels with us as well and she's great. She's happy with whatever we do. I just have to tell her what time to be ready.

Posted by
293 posts

Let me assure everyone that I, indeed, of course, am totally blameless: but I traveled one time as a group of 3 young women; the other two of them called their friendship quits in Paris....

Married to the same man: 38 years
Twins graduating highschool, moving into college in August

Travelling solo to VIENNA, SALZBURG, HEIDELBERG, FREIBURG/STAUFEN, STRASBOURG and BASEL?? In the golden glow of late September? ... Priceless!!

Posted by
2713 posts

Traveling is often stressful but that aside, who really knows what that other person will be like on a trip until you've done it? We were with 2 couples this summer in Portugal who have traveled together once or twice a year for many years, and it's worked. In France a few years ago there were two couples, one of which had been on many RS tours and could not wait to introduce their good friends to a tour. Well, the newbie male partner complained about everything-the guide, the food, the hotels, you name it. I could see how badly couple #1 felt as this went on.

Posted by
2 posts

Thank you all for your posts and they have led me to examine my complicity in this experience.

Posted by
1068 posts

Agree with the different views of traveling with people. While I only have 2 people I can travel with (and a bunch I know I can't!!), there are friends who take the same tour I do and we'll spend several days together pre or post tour--sometimes together, sometimes doing our own thing, but in our own rooms etc. That has worked very well. I've also run into lots of folks on tours who have "travel partners" with may successful trips between them. I think it is just finding the right person/situation.

Posted by
8615 posts

Yet one more reason, and I have thousands, I am thankful for my sister! We have different travel styles, but we compromise and think about each other's needs when traveling. It is fun to travel with my life long friend and very precious sister.

Posted by
8627 posts

Just assume that anyone >50 is going to snore.

Posted by
2904 posts

Interesting thread. My friend and I leave in two weeks on our "great adventure". We've stayed overnight with each other many times but have not shared a room. We have been up front about our differences.

She told me she snores, I'm taking earplugs. I like museums, she doesn't. She is content to sit at a café and people watch, I want to be a little more active. We both are aware of our physical limitations, different but similar. We both want to shop but not drag each other to stores we're not interested in; we've talked about what's on our shopping lists (but my hubby nixed the Lippizan horse). We eat different things, have different sleep habits. I think the key to travelling with someone is to know as much up front as possible and adjust your expectations accordingly.
We know we'll have a great tour. She will keep me from being grouchy. I'll keep her energized.

Posted by
1019 posts

I have travelled with sister, several different friends but my best companion is my husband!!

Good luck to all.

Posted by
14580 posts

The snoring can very well be an issue. I've run across that in a few of the night train routes sitting in the general seating train (Grossraumwagen). The snorers (obviously, more than one) happened to fall asleep before I could, we all boarded at the same location, ie, at the start of the ride. In the end it didn't bother me.

Traveling together in Europe means both (all participating ) having the same travel style, or having a high level of forbearance of each others' quirks. I don't travel with friends (guys) who are "high maintenance" or to the creature comforts " spoiled " since I know they would not enjoy, last, or keep up. These friends don't have the same travel style.

They do my travel style, basically, (ranging from the budget to the occasional splurge), or I don't consider them for the trip,...ie, taking trains, no rental car, doing tons of walking in cities, no hiking, using public transportation in cities, basically no taxis or Uber, staying relatively close or close to train stations, taking night trains, 2 or 3 star hotel/Pensionen accommodations, maybe a 4-5 star for the occasional splurge , or even a hostel, depending, willingness to split up and meet up later in the day due to different interests and priorities.

Posted by
440 posts

Apart from family trips when younger and now with my partner and son i have travelled solo and it is the way to go. If you meet someone and travel for a bit together if they start to annoy you or vice versa you can go your separate ways and nobody will be upset for long.

Posted by
2127 posts

When one finds someone with whom they are "travel compatible," it is, indeed, a very special person. Now add to that special finding, someone with whom you can "room," and that adds another entire level of compatibility, which becomes even harder. Add to that the stress, exhaustion, and expectations/disappointments of a long trip across the globe, and those factors also can also impact tolerance levels.

Some of our very, very best friends are not people with whom I would consider us "travel compatible." Love the people, enjoy them as friends, but our body clocks, energy level, travel interests, etc. likely would not click. The only time I would see it working is on a small ship cruise, with the front end understanding of: everyone select your own activities (shore excursions or private activities) when in port, everyone select your own dining times/venues...tired? do room service. Maybe just plan to have dinner together on days at sea, or maybe even most nights. But, don't make ANYTHING a command performance. That type travel arrangement will work with dear friends....everyone has some space and a "break" from one another. On an upcoming trip, my spouse and I will be doing different activities on two of our days. I don't want him to miss doing/seeing something he wants to do/see, but I have absolutely no interest whatsoever (going in the war tunnels in Vietnam and seeing the weaponry, etc.) I could not watch the entire Ken Burns special on Vietnam without waking up processing the horror.

I admit it: on most trips, I have my mini-meltdown period....exhaustion sets in or something big happens that disappoints me....or my spouse wants me to just keep going (and I'm pretty much an energizer bunny when I travel), but I might just want to sit for an hour or two instead of climbing the second mountain of the day. 4+ decades of knowing each other, I can just say: NO....remember, I told you I might need a day that I don't go/go/go for 14 hours straight....look him in the eye, and he'll "get it." There was the time flying into Atlanta on an overseas flight late at night...plane was late, we were going to have to stay overnight in Atlanta, because we would miss our connection home....exhausted and ready to come home,.....we'll, my spouse jammed his elbow into me when he did not like that I was taking up some of the arm rest. I wish I had contact info for the people who were sitting in front of us, so I could tell them that despite being on the verge of divorce (I was set on getting my own hotel room), everything worked out after a good night's sleep (in one room), and an entire new set of rules re: arm rests for those times we don't luck up with business class upgrades. Stuff happens, and it took every bit of our marriage vows to get thru that experience. Retrospectively, it is hilarious now.....an armrest dispute? What a small thing -- but it was the pinnacle of exhaustion. It's often the tiny thing that can disrupt calm....the same with friendships.

I don't have children, but one of my sisters told her adult children not to marry anyone until they have traveled internationally with that person. No matter how well you think you know someone, you likely really do not know them until you see them (and how they treat others...flight crew, hotel workers, tour guides included) in stressful, long travel situations. Good advice. When we were young, we would say the same thing, but the advice was to wallpaper a bathroom together...LOL.

I also have the saying that what attracts us to another person can be the exact same thing that may grate on one's nerves later. We may like someone because they are fun, initiators, the life of the party...............BUT, okay, enough...time to go to sleep...or give me some space.

For others reading: Travel with your friend (maybe, if they are otherwise travel compatible), just have separate rooms. Yes, it will cost more, but a lost friendship can cost even MORE!

Posted by
1117 posts

Couldn't agree more with most of what has been said in this thread!

I have recently been on a five-day hike with some friends, and they initially planned to stay at very simple hostel-type lodgings. I would not have gone with them under those circumstances. Not because I need a luxury room but because I need some privacy. If money is an issue, I'd rather stay in a tent than share a room even with a good friend!

IMO, separate rooms are a must once you have outgrown the hostel age and arrived at the snoring age.

So this is not about blaming the other person for whatever bad habits they may have. It's about mutually incompatible habits. My snoring and my quirks are going to get on the other person's nerves just as much as their snoring and their quirks are going to get on my nerves.

Good solid agreements ahead of time also are important for longer trips in particular. Especially among good friends, you tend to feel like you are obliged to do everything together for fear of making the other person(s) feel unwelcome. That's nonsense of course, but how to put it in a way that won't hurt their feelings?

I've heard of people traveling together who made the prior agreement to do something together every other day only. That basically sounds like a good idea to me, but I wonder if they ended up keeping such a rigid agreement that might not really make sense at all points of their trip.

Posted by
1332 posts

Reading this thread makes me smile when I look back at some of my odd travel experiences with friends when I was younger. Traveling to San Diego? Great city, but they wanted to sit around in their underwear and watch trash tv in the hotel room rather than getting out and exploring or visiting the beach. Taking a road trip? I really don't need loud club music on the radio at 6 am when I'm just waking up and having a coffee. I don't care if you're a sleeper, but I came within inches of needing the bucket of cold water to wake someone up when we absolutely had to be out of the hotel by the noon check out time and I didn't have an extra $200 to be billed for another night.

Now, I travel solo. I've let friends stay the night in my hotel room if it's been a late night and I've met up with friends for a day or so of traveling together. But, being single and traveling solo is my style for now.

Posted by
5697 posts

"If the check-in person says breakfast is served 6:30 to 10, HE hears 6:30 and I hear 10"
That took some compromises.

Posted by
8293 posts

Once, a long time ago, my sister and I were asked by a mutual friend if we would like to share with her the loan of a friend's house in rural France. We couldn't say "yes" fast enough. It was a gorgeous old farm house, beautifully furnished and close to an interesting town, St. Something-or-Other. Our mutual friend was an ex-Nun and as soon as we arrived at the farm house she changed into Mother Superior, allocating rooms and chores, listing house rules, etc. To further ruin the vacation, her sulky and troubled 19 year old son arrived one day, to our surprise and dismay, for a week, and played his guitar (badly) day and night. The friendship did not survive. Valuable lesson learned. Too bad because I was really fond of her.

Posted by
1117 posts

"If the check-in person says breakfast is served 6:30 to 10, HE hears
6:30 and I hear 10" That took some compromises.

LOL :-)

I can relate to that, though it's vice versa in our case. I find it very hard to make him understand that 10:00 is not the time to be there but the time when they clean up the last leftovers from the breakfast buffet. And he finds it very hard to calm my fears that the other guests will have finished off the buffet by 7:00. :-)