When you are a solo traveller, or it is your first time travelling somewhere and you do not have a known friend or companion to travel with you, getting a travel buddy might be your next best option. A travel buddy can be described as a stranger that you link up and travel with because you have a common destination. Travel buddies can be the determining factor as to whether your trip will be worthwhile or negatively memorable. Caution is advised when choosing one and the following are things to look for and consider when making your decision.
Travel buddies can be acquired through various platforms. You can be introduced to each other via a mutual friend, gained from social media groups or found midway your trip. There is no specific rulebook as to which kinds of travel buddies are better than the rest. However, a travel buddy you have seen in person is better than one you met online. Physical reach eliminates a lot of doubt and makes accountability easier.
Travel buddies are supposed to be companions during your trip. Finding a travel buddy with similar goals as you makes it easier and more fun. For example, having similar destinations during your trip, similar activity interests and even similar stay-lengths makes it easier to go through the trip without avoidable complications.
Your travel friend should always have a similar budget to yours otherwise, one person will end up being a burden to the other. Aligning yourself with a travel buddy that spends more than you can make you feel left out and uncomfortable. It may also give the travel companion the obligation to pay for you, which might be both unfair and strenuous to them. The opposite is also true.
Although you cannot judge a person based only by their gender, it is always advisable to pair up with someone of the same sex when there is only the two of you. There have been many success stories of people of different genders travelling together and becoming lifelong friends. However, there have also been many cases of travel buddies ending up taking advantage of each other. From robbing them to physically assaulting them. Mixed genders are otherwise okay especially if you are in a large group.
Again, this should not be the sole principle of choosing a traveling companion. However, a very huge age difference can make it difficult to fully enjoy the trip. For example, if you travel with someone thirty years older or younger, your interests might keep clashing. At the end of the trip, you might end up not having had enjoyed at all. A 0-10 year age difference is a good range for when choosing a travel buddy.
Always trust your instincts when pairing up with a travel companion. Just like making friends, a travel companion should mesh well with your character and traits. When you have constant doubts and reservations about someone, then they might not be the best candidate with whom to travel.