Many women over 60 love to travel, but don’t want to travel alone. If you’re looking for alternatives to traveling solo, perhaps you would do well to find a good travel partner.
Traveling can be a bit of a stress-test for a friendship – being in new surroundings with a different schedule, different food, and even different customs and languages can present challenges to your friendship if you’re not prepared. Some otherwise wonderful friends are not always the most ideal travel companions.
Before you embark on a long journey, it’s best to think ahead and talk in advance to make sure you and your travel partner are well suited to travel together.
Here are a few tips for how to communicate and plan to find the perfect travel partner:
Discuss Your Goals for the Trip
What do you most want to experience on this trip? Are you hoping for a relaxing visit to the beach, or a bustling sightseeing tour with an action-packed itinerary? Do you want to spend time alone, or stay together most of the time? Do you want to meet new people, or get to know each other better? Do you want to experience serenity or stimulation – do you want to retreat from civilization, or get caught up in the excitement of an urban center?
It’s best to have a sense of what kind of vacation experience you want to get, prior to embarking on the journey. Talk with your travel partner about your hopes and expectations. Even if you don’t agree on absolutely every aspect of the trip, make sure you have enough common ground and can support each other in finding your ideal vacation experiences along the way.
Choose a Good “Roommate”
It’s wonderful to have a travel partner to share the adventure with – but make sure you are compatible. Is your travel partner easy to get along with in close quarters, or do they have a lot of particular needs that make it difficult to share space together? Do you enjoy each other’s company? Can you have fun talking to each other for hours – and more importantly, perhaps, can you enjoy the silence together and share space without constantly having to entertain each other?
Talk About Your Budget
Traveling with a friend is a great way to save money on accommodation and meal expenses, but make sure that you both have the same idea of what you want this vacation to cost.
Will you be splitting the costs of the trip (hotels, restaurant meals, tours, etc.) or each paying your own way separately? Does one of you have more expensive needs than the other – will you both be happy in a no-frills hotel, or do you need a more deluxe set of accommodations?
Talking about these issues in advance can avoid any misunderstandings or hard feelings once you are on vacation.
Take a Short Trip Together First
It’s often best to take a test run with your new travel partner, to make sure you can be a good team on the road. Before you book a round-trip ticket to the far side of the world, consider taking a short weekend trip to stay at a nearby Bed and Breakfast.
Choosing the right travel partner can make your vacations even more enjoyable and often affordable. Just make sure to discuss some expectations upfront to make sure you both can get the vacation experience you were hoping for – without any misunderstandings or disappointments along the way.
Have you ever traveled with a friend? What did you learn from the experience that you can share with the rest of the community? Do you have any other senior travel tips to share? Please join the conversation.
Learn more about traveling and exploring new cultures. Watch my interview with the fabulous and inspirational Evelyn Hannon.