Much has been said about the benefits and advantages of travelling alone as evidenced by the innumerable online articles written about it. In fact, this website has detailed the highs and lows of solo travel and highlighted the compelling reasons why you should try it at least once in your life. However, while solo travel is indeed an incredibly rewarding experience, having a good travel buddy to experience what the world has to offer is also an excellent way to travel.
Indeed, while travelling solo allows and affords you empowering experiences that encourage you to break out of your shell, having someone to share those travel experiences with is also a good way to immortalize your travel memories. In more ways than one, sharing a travel experience with a friend, getting to try new things can be richer and more fulfilling. For many travelers with trusted travel buddies, traveling with a friend broadens your mind, deepens your connection and cultivates mutual trust. More importantly, having a travel buddy allows you to get to know each other better while simultaneously discovering each other’s strong suits and respective weaknesses. In a sense, it allows each of you to have a better insight and idea of who your travel buddy truly is as a person–whether they may be your partner, close friend, roommate or even a family member.
Bear in mind, however, that just like solo travel, having a travel buddy can have its respective high and lows. While you will never be lonely, there are times wherein you and your travel buddy will inevitably face adversity together. There may even be scenarios wherein you will get on each other’s nerves and maybe test your relationship or friendships. Indeed, it can be quite the eye opening experience, but it is certainly a very worthwhile one. So, if you have been contemplating whether to travel alone or with a companion on your next trip, the reasons listed below might help you arrive at a decision better.
Here are just some of the reasons that make having a travel buddy worth it:
1.) Two heads are better than one
There is no question that when you are by yourself, you are unstoppable. You can do whatever you set out your mind to do without regard to anyone’s preferences or decisions. In sum, you are a movement. However, it is also true that you are more of a compelling force when there are two of you together. When you and your travel buddy put your heads together and decide on things as a team, you are bound to have better results. At times, your travel buddy may even be the brains behind the operations that make your travel a more successful experience. Navigating a foreign city, looking for a good place to stay, planning the itinerary are things that become easier when you have another person helping you to figure things out. As a team, you have different strengths that help you in any and every specific situation. In this regard, you can expect fewer things to go wrong considering that you have two heads with you on the trip rather than just you alone.
2.) You take better pictures
One of the downsides of having to travel alone is having to ask strangers to take your photos, lug around a tripod or having to limit yourself to scenery shots and selfies. While to some travelers, this is an insignificant downside, this can be a major letdown to some who love peppering their social media feed with photos of their travel exploits. With that said, travelling with a buddy allows you to take better photos as there is nothing more enjoyable than doing those mini photo-shoots with your travel companion in a foreign city or in a beautiful destination. More importantly, your travel companion already knows you and would have an idea what your best angles are. So, in lieu of having to trust the unreliable photography skills of complete strangers, you have a companion who you can rely on to take good shots.
3.) Cost-sharing is a thing
Another downside of traveling alone is that you will be paying for literally everything on your trip. As there is no one to split the expenses with on a solo trip, you will find yourself in a bind if you do not budget your money accordingly. However, traipsing around the world with a travel companion allows you to save some cash. Apart from getting to split the costs, things just generally work out cheaper. You get to split the costs of everything between you two–whether that is for the lodging, activities, meals, tours or the cabs, you can always have someone to rely on for splitting costs.
4.) Never feel lonely
Traveling alone can make you rather self-aware of the fact that you are, indeed, alone. No matter how much you love your own company, there will always be a time wherein you crave the company of other people. Humans are social creatures after all, so it is only natural to crave and need social interaction. With a travel companion, it is hardly possible to feel lonely and their presence is something you will find incredibly comforting. With a travel companion, you can easily strike up a quick conversation whenever you feel like it and there is always someone to turn to should you ever need anything. In this regard, there is a sense of safety and security between you and them and in the fact that you trust each other. When you have a familiar face who is close by, you can rest easy and enjoy your adventures better.
5.) No room for homesickness
Much like never feeling lonely, traveling with a companion rarely makes you feel homesick as you have a familiar face nearby. Just having someone you know and recognize in a foreign city would be enough to make you feel like you have a piece of home traveling with you wherever you go.
6.) Safer together
You are much safer traveling with a companion than on your own. In fact, going to foreign cities and getting lost does not sound as dangerous as it is when you have someone who has your back in times of trouble. With that said, you can take comfort in the fact that you know that someone will look out for you and know that you will do the same. You can take care of each other, watch each other’s belongings and depend on each other for just about anything. More importantly, if you wish to go clubbing, not only would you both serve as each other’s wingmen/women, but you would also be able to guard each other’s drink and have someone to safely take you home should either one of you become too intoxicated.
7.) Learn and grow together
When you are by yourself on a trip, you can easily make and ditch plans as you please. You need not take anyone’s plans into account as you are by yourself and as the saying goes: You are your own boss. While that may be an enthralling idea, it is also easy to get lost in the idea of crazy adventures. Traveling with a companion keeps you grounded and balanced. More importantly, it also helps you put things in perspective and realize that not everything has to be about you. When you travel with a companion, there will be a time wherein you would both have to sacrifice and meet halfway. You make compromises and do what is deemed best for the both of you. You learn to be patient and be at peace with whatever you both have decided. You also practice humility. While it may be a bit of a drag at times, you would realize that it is not always about you and your plans all the time. It is about patience and compromise–two things that you and your companion can learn and allow you to grow together.
8.) Develop a stronger and deeper bond
Traveling with a companion allows you to forge a better bond with them. Exploring a new city, discovering sights and overcoming challenges and adversities together allow you to bring the best out of each other. More importantly, it cultivates a stronger and deeper bond between the two of you.
9.) Shared experiences and memories
There is quite nothing like seeing the world with a companion you trust. No matter where you go, the journey is always better when you share it with someone. In a sense, traveling together allows you to be yourself while simultaneously sharing yourself with someone else. You get to share the thrill, share your excitement and joy in exploring a new city. With that said, you can immortalize your memories and commit them to your memory forever. After all, reliving experiences is best done when you have someone who can relive it with you. With a travel companion, your happiness is doubled which makes it enough to say that two is indeed better than one.