Mike wrote about the top ten traits of a good traveling companion, and yesterday I suggested the types of travel partners you should avoid. But there are some little-known traits of great traveling companions. These might not make or break a trip, but they can make the whole experience much more pleasurable. Here are a few of them:
- All the bugs bite them instead of you. I’m totally that person, and let me tell you, people loooove sharing a hotel room with me. I wake up swollen, blotchy and itchy, and whoever I’m with wakes up smooth-skinned and well-rested. Life isn’t fair.
- They’re good with languages. Some of us have skills and some of us don’t. If you don’t, hang with someone who does; you’ll find your travels much easier. Body language counts.
- They’re hard bargainers, so you don’t have to be. Besides getting you sweet deals, they’ll look like the bad guy as they fight for that one-baht knockoff. Reap the benefits without looking like an a$$hole.
- They can eat and drink whatever they want. You’ll be certain to have the bathroom when you’ll need it, and you will also be more likely to sample unfamiliar cuisine.
- They walk your pace. This trait is key — I’m a fast walker and my BFF is slow. We both get frustrated. Go shopping with your potential partner before your trip — if they plow through the mall like a lineman about to make a tackle while you stroll along, sidetracked by any shiny object, have a heart-to-heart about the realities of exploring a city together.