Backpacking is often associated with solo travel and rightly so as a majority of us started backpacking by ourselves.
It doesn’t, however, have to be.
Traveling with a buddy helps you be safer, stronger, and more economically sound as the costs are now divided into two. Picking the wrong travel buddy, however, could have you resenting your travel buddy and even the trip that you spend so many days planning and collecting for.
So how do I select a good travel buddy you ask? Read on.
Making sure you both agree on the travel budget is very important as differences in the spending capabilities have a massive impact on the number of activities you can do together.
Remember you do not want to be on a modest budget whilst your backpacking buddy is pinching pennies.
Your interests have to align in order to ensure the trip goes smoothly and you both have fun.
You do not want to be the mismatched couple with one spending all the money on partying while the other is more interested in soaking foreign cultured up.
That being said, it would be tough to find someone with the exact same interests, so a majority would suffice.
3. They have to be INDEPENDENT
We cannot stress this enough.
It is good to be able to take part and enjoy the same activity but your travel buddy should be autonomous enough to be apart from you in certain instances.
You sometime will not be able to share the same room, there might not be enough seats on the bus or you simply might need some distance.
4. They have to be able to keep pace
You might be able to lug a 30 kg backpack on our back for hours at a stretch, but can you travel buddy do the same?
Such considerations are important as they might make a trip that you intend on making the best of rather slow.
5. They have to be open
Traveling is a liberating experience and one has to be open to all experiences in order to soak it in.
Though we are in no means encouraging risky behavior, your travel partner has to be able to say yes to adventures instead of sticking to what is considered safe and done by the hundreds of thousands of backpackers before you.
6. They have to be good company
With many days and months of traveling in front of you, your backpacking buddy needs to be able to communicate. This is important when stuck in an overcrowded bus for 8 hours, a 14-hour plane ride or a smelly ride in the back of a truck carrying pigs.
7. They have to be able to handle the pressure
Traveling is fun but unexpected situations do arise.
In such situations, it is vital that your partner is able to keep cool and think in a level-headed manner on how to proceed.
8. They have to be flexible
Sticking to a rigid itinerary and a strict timetable never made for a good adventure story.
Your backpacking body, therefore, should be flexible and open for changes during your time on the road.