Travel Companions: Love Them or Hate Them

“I have found out that there ain’t no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them.”
Mark Twain


We three have been friends since high school, but the thing we all agree solidified our friendship as one that will last a lifetime was a trip to Europe together, 5 years ago now. This was the trip that sparked our namesake (ask us about it sometime – we guarantee you won’t find it nearly as funny as we do), and one that we still think only happened just a little while ago. We are still amazed that between 3 girls, 32 days and 6 countries there was not one major blow up.

Since the trip, we’ve ventured out into other parts of the world both together and apart, and we haven’t always been as lucky with travel companions. We’ve learned that it’s essential to have the same sense of adventure, a similar degree of personal maintenance and pretty close budgets. Everyone is different in what they want and expect out of travel, so it’s important that you match the person or people you’re about to spend 24-7 with. When the most time you get apart is to poop, something is bound to blow up eventually if you aren’t on the same page.

Not to say there weren’t some moments of tension that come with traveling and forced closeness. Some examples are the many, many times we found ourselves rushing to catch trains and ferries, not to mention the plane back home that we missed completely (we share the blame for that one and chalk it up to a combined regret of ending our whirlwind vacation). Or the time there was a flatulent Bucabook writer – who shall remain unnamed – who showed no mercy during a very long flight.

Fart jokes aside, sometimes mistakes are made and it’s easy to point the finger when something goes wrong. But like we have said in previous posts, it is sometimes the misadventures that end up being the most fun stories to share. That’s not to say we wouldn’t have done some things differently, but understanding that some situations are out of your control especially in a foreign place makes it a lot easier to roll with the punches, and roll with your travel buddies.

Since our first trip together, we have traveled with others as well. Most of those trips have gone off without major hitches, but we have also had experiences that make us really appreciate a good travel companion. Like the time one of us traveled with those who preferred visiting Hard Rock Cafés and McDonald’s over sights like the Van Gogh museum. Or the time one of us had a friendship end when accommodations cost $40 more than anticipated.

But we’re not ones to dwell on the negative. We feel really lucky to have a few tried-and-true travel companions that are simply a blast to be with. And in fact, to celebrate 5 years of globe-trotting friendship, we’ve booked a flight for a May 2011 journey through Prague, Hungary and France together. Sometimes it’s hard imagining traveling with other friends without destroying the friendship or murdering them. But not this time! We can’t wait to come home with new memories – and new stories to share.

Whether you need to vent about a travel companion horror story, or you have some tips on traveling in Budapest, we’d love to hear from you!

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