Friends on a Bridge at Twilight, Chennai, India

10 Questions to Ask Before Traveling With a Friend

Although traveling alone has it’s rewards, so does bringing along a friend. Sharing travels with a partner or loved one is usually double the fun. At least it should be.

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It’s said that it takes two to tango but we all know that there’s a double meaning there. Although travel is an exhilarating experience, it can also be stressful, expensive and quite the learning experience. It will push you out of your comfort zone, test your tolerance and open your mind to new cultures and people.

Traveling with a friend sounds like a great idea but this can quickly change if things go wrong. We’re all peculiar in our own way and react differently when faced with challenges, money issues, crazy weather, weird foods, strangers, experiences, etc.

Friends on a Bridge at Twilight, Chennai, India
Friends on a Bridge at Twilight, Chennai © Vinoth Chandar

So before you decide to fly out with a friend, here are a few questions to consider asking:

#1: Do You Shower Every Day?

I had to start with this one as I personally have an issue with poor hygiene. If you need to spend days on end with a person, you want to make sure you won’t be dealing with stinky clothes, smelly feet or bad breath. If clutter drives you nuts, something as simple as keeping a room semi-tidy can turn into a heated argument.

#2: What’s Your Daily Routine?

Eight years after meeting one of my best friends I found out that she likes to sleep in past 10 every morning. We’re all unique in the things we do at home, what we do on a daily basis. A roommate that takes a 2-hour shower every evening might get you nagging and put a damper on your plans every night. Or maybe they take a siesta every afternoon and get cranky if they don’t.

#3: How Open Minded Are You?

This one is tricky as “open-minded” is such an overused phrase. If you’re visiting an exotic country, culture shock can send someone running if they’re not tolerant to new customs and traditions. Make sure your friend won’t be rude when a stranger approaches them, or reply with an “EEWWW!” when a host starts picking at food with their hands.

friends gazing out at Paris
Friends in Paris, France © Eric Chan

#4: How Needy Are You?

Alone time is a must when traveling with a friend”¦ if you both agree on this you’re in for a good start. There is nothing worse than traveling with a needy person, someone who screams for attention or is high maintenance. If you already know that your friend is one or all of these, lay some ground rules. Agree to disagree and never be shy to speak up if the person is being annoying or constantly trying to get your attention.

#5: What’s Your Budget?

Money is a top thing to discuss before traveling with a friend. Sometimes, budgets are not the same and you need to be honest about this upfront. Talk about how you will compromise and fit each other’s needs when it comes to picking a hotel, eating out, paying for transport or even shopping.

Also, ask what they would do if they lost all their money? If their answer is “You can loan me some and I’ll pay you back when we get home”, run for the hills.

#6: Are You the Jealous Type?

Jealousy is common among friends and you need to know this will not be an issue when traveling. The last thing you need is someone pouting because you could afford an expensive dish or rolling their eyes because you’ve made more friends than they have.

#7: Can You Be Honest With Me?

Conversation is key. If you can’t talk openly to each other then you probably shouldn’t be traveling together. Talk about everything, any or all issues that could come up and make a pact that you’ll be 100% honest with each other, no matter what.

Time Alone © Guian Bolisay

#8: What Will You Do When I Decide to Go Off for the Day Alone?

I love walking a city alone. There’s nothing worse than trying to soak in a new place when someone is constantly yapping in your ear. I love traveling with company but every now and then I just need a day alone to walk around, sit and have coffee, shop a little and just chill, see what I see. If this is something you like to do, make sure your friend is not going to give you grief for wanting to do so.

#9: What Foods and Drinks Do You Like?

Where to eat? What to eat? This can be a huge dilemma even at home. Vegetarian, price range, new foods, there’s so much to being compatible in the things we like to eat or are willing to try. If you’re going to argue about what to eat every day, you’re in for a long ride.

#10: How Well Do You Know Me?

Ask your friend key questions about yourself. Write as many “what if” questions as you can think of. Present them with situations and see if they really know how you’ll react. Also, be prepared to do the same for them.

A couple extra tips:

  • Work together on a list of all the possible places to visit, things to see, attractions to stop at and foods to eat — this will make the decision process much easier when you’re on the go.
  • A great thing to do when traveling with a friend is give each other copies of your passport, medical insurance or other important documents, this can become extremely useful in case of an emergency.
  • Pack a good set of earphones or earplugs, this will allow you to have some “alone time” when surrounded by people or block out snoring or a talkative room mate!

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