There’s no denying the fact that we absolutely love traveling together. So much so that we’ve built an entire blog dedicated to the fact that we love traveling together! However, we do not spend all of our days while traveling laughing and smiling and agreeing on absolutely everything – we fight, we get annoyed with each other, and we definitely disagree (like, all the time). When this happens, instead of staying mad at each other the entire trip, we work through it. And, over time, we have developed solutions for the more recurring issues – those that stem from the fact that we have different travel styles.
This does not just apply to the two of us traveling with each other, but rather anybody traveling with anybody else.
From family and friends to significant others to coworkers – we are often put in situations (voluntarily, even) when we travel with someone different to us. We love this – in fact, Kelly encourages it in an article she wrote for Girls vs. Globe. But we also acknowledge that traveling with someone different is not always smooth sailing.
Each individual’s travel style is molded from a mix of the following elements (and more):
- Personal ideas of what travel means and consists of
- Personal likes and dislikes, interests, priorities, values
- Personality type
- Daily routines
- Previous experience traveling & frequency of travel
Our Travel Styles
The two of us live together. We’re married. So many aspects of our life are intertwined. But we still have different travel styles! Here are a few examples which have previously gotten in the way of a happy go-go, ‘OMG life is perfect’ holiday:
- Sean likes to get to the airport well in advance of his flight – just in case something happens. Kelly is used to four years of JetBlue flights from Boston Logan to Washington Dulles that she has settled into the idea of getting to the airport at the last minute.
- Kelly likes to wander…slowly. She will allow enough time to get to a destination while stopping to check out shops and take photos along the way. Sean could have three hours to get to a destination only 30 minutes away and will still walk fast. He can’t help it. Kelly is always about 10 meters behind.
- Sean prefers informative museums – history, military, etc. Kelly prefers art museums. As a result, Kelly moves quickly through museums, looking at things and gaining a general understanding. Sean, on the other hand, likes to read every detail. Kelly probably could have made it through the American Wars exhibit at the American History Museum in DC 4 times before Sean made it through once; instead, Sean had to be pulled out early.
- Kelly is a true blogger – she always has A Pair of Passports on her mind. She will be looking for the perfect camera angle, dragging Sean to places she wants to write about, and forcing Sean to take tons of pictures. Sean is a goofball. He will often make a funny face and ruin our shot at the perfect picture.
Managing Different Travel Styles
The examples above are only a few of the situations in which our travel styles differ. We spent a year and a half traveling together every chance we had before getting married. That’s proof that we’ve worked through the travel difference enough to still want to travel as a couple, still love each other, and still want to spend our lives together. Here’s how we did it:
Determine the things that everybody wants to do
This is the easiest way to ensure you can spend as many happy moments together as possible. What do you all want to do? This applies to any group of people – from couples, to family groups of 8! Find the common interests, build them into your itinerary, and then work the rest around that. If you are only traveling for a short period of time, and you all want to go to the same 6 tourist attractions, that could end up filling up your whole weekend. Then, you don’t even have to face the opportunity for disagreements! Set out the common ground first, and the rest will likely fall into place.
Agree to do something normal somewhere new
Chances are you are traveling with someone you have an existing relationship with, be that a friendship, romantic involvement, or family ties. Chances are that you also have some sort of activity that you love doing with this person. It could be meeting up for a glass of wine, going to an art museum and discussing the work after, or getting absolutely smashed at a sporting event. Take that activity, find it’s equivalent in your travel destination, and do it! This not only gives you and your travel buddy something to do together, but also may put you both at ease. You’ll get back to a sense of normalcy with each other that you can sometimes lose while traveling, which will put you on a positive track to finish out the trip strong.
We try to have a “date night” in every city we go to. We find a restaurant, order a bottle of wine, and sit for hours chatting as if we were in London. This allows us to relax for an evening, live like we are locals, and try out a local restaurant.
Find a tour that has a bit for everyone
We were browsing excursions available at one of the hotels in Costa Rica that we are considering for our honeymoon, and they have some that squeeze so many activities into one day! There was horseback riding and zip lining, visiting a city and hiking, and even ATVing and white water rafting. This made us realize that tours come in all shapes and sizes – and some of them even consist of crazy combinations! Find a tour that either covers multiple interests, or one interest that you have in common.
For us, wine tasting is an obvious one. If we spend a whole day wine tasting together, neither one of us will be upset that we had to sacrifice a different excursion that the other one didn’t want to do.
If you are traveling for an extended period of time and have a list of activities you have been waiting to do, go do them! Your travel buddy could use the time away from you to do something on their own, too. This gives you the opportunity to spend some (healthy) time away from each other, which is essential for a long trip. The best part is you can catch up at the end of the day and swap stories.
Remember, your best memories will come from who you are with, not what you are doing!
Learn to adapt to each other! Wouldn’t you rather spend your trip with your travel companion and have memories to laugh about for years than spend it alone? Doing something you wouldn’t typically want to do, with somebody you love, is completely different from just doing something you wouldn’t typically want to do. Give your travel buddy a chance – they might be really excited about a particular activity and you should find out why. It’s likely they will then do something for you in return.
Don’t sweat the small stuff!
So what if you spend an extra hour of your life waiting at the airport? With your trip on your mind, it’s not like you were going to do something valuable in that time anyway! And who cares if your friend double checks a map before you go anywhere, even though you know the directions? It gives them peace of mind and also serves as a double check to ensure you are getting where you are going. There are little annoyances that we face everyday in our lives. It’s not worth getting upset over them and risking an entire trip. Learn to accept them, and if they are really getting on your nerves, be honest. If it’s something really tiny, it’s likely your travel buddy doesn’t even realize they’re doing it – or that it could possibly be bothering you!
When in doubt, safety wins
It’s hard to think about safety when you are enjoying your time at a nightclub in Ibiza and your friend says they want to go home. But, it’s also very important to think about safety. If a decision is on the table about whether or not to go explore a questionable neighborhood, whether it’s worth taking a taxi home late at night, and whether or not you two should split up and go home separately so one person can stay out later, let safety decide. An extra couple of hours dancing isn’t going to make up for the worry of getting home and realizing your friend isn’t there. The friend who left also isn’t going to get a wink of sleep until you are home safely. You came into this trip together, so make sure you leave that way, too!
Now go find your travel buddy!
Traveling with someone else is a great experience. They can comfort you when you are homesick, laugh with you, and even take your photo! Above all, though, creating travel memories with someone you care about is an experience that cannot be topped. From Kelly’s girls trip to Barcelona and Sean’s boys trip to Barbados to our numerous family trips and our trips with each other, we have incredibly fond memories of our travels. Some of those memories come from things we saw or did, but most of them come from the people that we were with. Those funny moments, group photos, and incredible conversations are what matter at the end of a trip. So go out, find a travel buddy, and get traveling – just remember to use our tips above to stay sane!
For more guidance on how to survive traveling with someone, check out 10 things not to do when traveling as a couple – most of the tips apply to traveling with friends or family, as well!
p.s. We did not touch on budget (and the burden one can sometimes bring) on this post because that opens up a whole different can of worms. We promise to put out something about that soon, though! In the meantime, Adoration4Adventure has some great budgeting tips to tie you over!
Do you have any tips for traveling with someone with a different travel style?
Please share them in the comments below!
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