27 Questions to Ask Your New Travel Buddy

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Thelma & Louise
Thelma & Louise is the online community and travel resource for women who want to travel. Join us to share travel experiences, be inspired and connect with friends and travel buddies both online and in the real world.

Did you know that the average person spends 30 hours planning their summer holiday, spread over five weeks? That’s about four working days. (Which explains why we so often feel like we need another holiday to get over the holiday…)

Image by The Bull Pen on flickr

When ‘Find a travel buddy’ is added to the long holiday to-do list, that 30-hour tally gets even bigger. Finding someone to travel with is a big thing. The right travel buddy can make or break a trip, so it’s worth putting in the time and effort to make sure you find the perfect travel partner for you.

Plus, the right travel buddy can help halve those 30 hours of planning, so put this one right at the top of your to-do list.

To help make this part of planning your trip that bit easier, here are 27 questions to discuss with potential travel buddies so you can find someone you’re going to be compatible with on the road.

Image by Anton Petukhov on flickr

Basically, what you’re trying to establish is whether or not you get on each other’s nerves. Do you have similar attitudes to travel, and life? Could you handle being in each other’s company for hours, days, even weeks, on end?

Remember there are no right and wrong answers. Think of these questions as talking points. And if at all possible, try to talk them through face to face over a coffee. Or if you’re particularly sensitive to other people’s eating habits, perhaps you should arrange to meet for lunch, so you can suss any noisy eating tendencies!

  1. What is your budget?
  2. Are you a morning lark or a night owl?
  3. How adventurous are you?
  4. What makes you laugh?
  5. What quality do you most value in a travel partner?
  6. How many people are in your ideal travel group?
  7. How do you respond to stressful situations, such as late trains or losing your luggage?
  8. How much of the time would you expect us to spend together? Are you open to doing things separately?
  9. Do you like to have every day planned in full, or allow room for spontaneity? What level of spontaneity are you comfortable with?
  10. What’s at the top of your bucket list? And where do you have absolutely no interest in visiting?
  11. What are your must-dos for this trip? (You could use your answers to build a basic itinerary.)
  12. Are you a chatterbox? Are you comfortable with silences?
  13. How do you feel about social media and selfies?
  14. Do you prefer to eat in chain restaurants you know and trust, or sample local cuisine?
  15. Do you snore?
  16. Do you have any illnesses or phobias that could strike when we’re travelling, such as migraines, travel sickness or a fear of heights or flying?
  17. How comfortable do you need to be when you travel? Are you happy to rough it, or do you need an en-suite and air-con to be able to relax and enjoy yourself?
  18. Do you smoke? Drink? Take drugs?
  19. How tolerant are you? (Of other people’s beliefs, sexuality or noisy kids, for example.)
  20. What has been your favourite travel experience so far? Your least favourite?
  21. What sort of foods do you love or loathe? For example, spicy foods.
  22. What’s the most important thing for you to get out of this trip? For example, downtime, visit a particular sight, visit long-lost family…
  23. What’s the most important meal of your day, and why? Perhaps it’s breakfast because it sets you up for the adventures ahead, or dinner because it’s a chance to mull over the day’s events.
  24. What scares you?
  25. Are you happy to walk? Rent a bike? Drive?
  26. Are you an observer or a joiner-in? Would you be happiest joining in a local dance, say, or watching and clapping on the sidelines?
  27. What particular skill would you bring to our travelling team? Are you great at maths (currency conversion), a gifted linguist (deciphering menus), or someone with a knack for sniffing out local gems?

And if you’re still not sure, plan a trial minibreak to see how you get on.

But before you go grilling your travel buddies, bear in mind these thoughts from the sage women travellers of the Thelma & Louise community:
Treat the questions as a conversation guide, rather than an interview-style list, says Nina41: “Any person wishing to travel with someone would (through the course of any conversations they have prior to travelling) find most of these questions out just through getting to know you. It doesn’t have to be an interview or checklist, just a meet-up prior to travel, a conversation over lunch to see if you are compatible.”
According to Liza, have as much information to hand as possible before choosing a travel buddy, and know the areas you’re willing to compromise on: “There are always mitigating factors that make you compromise on what you prefer but it’s good to have some idea of your companion before you choose.”
But I’ll give the last word to Paraparam, who seems to have her priorities right! “For me, the only initial requirement in a stranger is a true sense of humour – the one that allows you to laugh at yourself.”

Join our community of women travellers. Thelma & Louise helps women who want to travel find travel buddies and trip inspiration. Right now, our members are currently planning hundreds of trips and meet ups all around the world.

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Thelma & Louise

Thelma & Louise

Thelma & Louise is the online community and travel resource for women who want to travel. Join us to share travel experiences, be inspired and connect with friends and travel buddies both online and in the real world.

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