Solo Travel vs Traveling With Friends


Traveling with friend can be awesome. You love your friends because you get along, you trust them and you can look out for each other. In a perfect world we would all have our first choice friend come along with us on our next trip.

But then life happens. They’re not available because of work, family, health, obligations, etc. It’s inevitable. That’s what happens in the adult world. People usually aren’t sitting around with nothing going on, while waiting for a friend to invite them on a trip.

However, if it does work out, here are some general pointers:

You should still grant each other some personal space.

We all need personal space, even from our favorite people. Having personal space allows us to clear our minds, get into our own world for a while and take care of private business. Sometimes we have bills to pay. Sometimes we need to call our parents or significant other. Sometimes we just need an hour long self satisfaction session.

Even if there’s no particular reason, give each other space. Men need it. Women need it. We all need it. Having those precious moments in the morning to be mindless while we chomp away at some form of breakfast food is necessary to us all.

Focus on each others strengths.

If one friend is a better planner, let him/her plan! Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. By identifying those things and allowing them to run their course, you’ll be stronger as a traveling unit. Since you’re friends, you probably already know which one of you is better at negotiating better deals. Similarly, maybe one person is better at driving in hellish traffic. Allow your strengths to work for you and everyone will have a better time.

Have eachothers back.

Sometimes friends get angry at eachother. But getting pissy and angry doesn’t help. Granted, if your friend is being a complete asshole, call them out on it. But don’t hold grudges and allow a little flexibility in your understanding.

This also goes for general safety. If one friend encounters troubles, make a solid effort to pull them out of the shitty situation. Sometimes it takes fast/smart thinking to do this, especially if a dangerous situation escalates quickly. However, good communication and going with your gut feeling can prevent undesirable situations from arising in the first place.

Be each others support systems.

I carry the map, you lead the way sort of deal. Is your friend sick? Go to the store and buy some damn Robitussin for him/her. The worst thing you can do is bail on the situation and go have fun while your good friend is hurling in the unruly restaurant bathroom. Small deeds say a lot. Be a bro. Be a friend.

When traveling with friends won’t work out:

Look at the bright side – you face less resistance when you travel alone. Traveling with friends can create issues, namely deadweight. One person will want to do something different…and now you have a conundrum. Both people will not be happy, so someone needs to take one for the team. This type of stuff is exactly what divides friendships on trips. Additionally, hookups and relationship stuff also causes friendship troubles on trips, but we’ll save that for another article.

Traveling solo is incredible. While it might feel uncomfortable at first to go on an adventure alone, you will probably learn quickly that your assumptions are off base. Here are the main reasons you will love solo travel:

  • It is tremendously easy to make friends with other solo travelers, men and women, doing the same exact thing. You thought you were the only person to go solo traveling? You are dead wrong.
  • You call the shots. Want to try another city? Go for it. Want to sleep all day? Sure.Want to get drunk and act a fool? Not suggested, but you’re in the captains seat.
  • You will learn who you are. Travelling solo forces you answer questions about yourself that you would probably never have asked inthe first place. What do I really want to do? What’s important to me and only me on this trip? Do I care more about hiking, museums, ruins, restaurants or partying?

When I plan trips, I always plan them for me first and then invite friends to tag along. Only a couple times have people met up with me, because usually they have their own stuff going on. Or maybe I’m just not that cool. But in either event, I’m not concerned because I love what I do. I have made awesome friends on every trip I’ve gone on. Whether you’re social or not, you’re bound to run elbows with some awesome people. It’s inevitable because everyone loves life when they’re traveling.

Happy Travels! 🙂