What to Consider When Traveling With Someone New

Careful consideration typically goes into decisions such as choosing roommates, business partners, significant others, and even carpool buddies, yet when it comes to traveling with someone new we often throw all of that prepared-ness out the window. I'm here to tell you that that level of planning and communicating definitely deserves to be implemented when deciding to travel with someone, for the sake of your relationship, the trip, and both of your sanities.


Structuring a budget for your trip is absolutely essential, whether you're traveling with someone or not. While the subject of money can be a bit awkward, especially when it comes to traveling with someone you've never traveled with before, working out the nitty-gritty details of your budget and theirs will make the actual trip so much more enjoyable in the long-run, and save you both a lot of headaches. 

Be upfront about your budget with your travel partner ahead of time, and compromise accordingly along the way. You may not want to spend the money to stay at a 5-star hotel, but they might want to be in a specific neighborhood - find a cheaper AirBnb that fits both criteria. Maybe one of you is exclusively taking over driving duties on the way, so the other pays for more gasoline fill-ups or snacks at rest stops. While it may feel in some scenarios that you're paying more for things that aren't exactly a necessity or fit into your budget, realize that your travel partner is also doing the same for you - where it's reasonable to do so, let it go. Enjoy your vacation, after all! 


Here's the thing, standing in the security line at the airport is not the time to announce you're now a vegan. Tell your travel partner ahead of time what your dietary restrictions are if there are any, and what you're preferences around meals are. Some like to completely immerse themselves in the culture of wherever they're staying while others gravitate to what's familiar and comfortable - while there's no right or wrong here, simply understand your new travel buddy might have different preferences on style, price, or time of day they like to eat.

For example, I know I get hungry generally every 2-3 hours - while it's unreasonable of me to ask my friend to stop, sit down, and buy food or a drink with me in the middle of our jam-packed travel day, I will carry granola bars or a piece of fruit on-hand to curb my appetite but not slow down our itinerary. As much as you can, plan your food stops ahead of time (even if that means simply the morning of), so you both are able to enjoy the restaurants of your choosing.

bagel, breakfast, salmon, breakfast plate, coffee, bahamas, fiji water, island breakfast

Alone Time

As an introvert, the idea of spending every waking moment with someone tied to my hip, especially on a vacation, sounds like a nightmare. Even with my boyfriend, I need time to decompress and just have a quiet moment alone to regroup. While you may not relate to that exactly, recognize that your new travel partner might. Or perhaps you do feel that way and you just need a simple second to breathe - don't be afraid to say it. Traveling with someone at all is a huge undertaking, especially with someone new, so don't limit yourself by not setting boundaries when it's necessary.

While they're showering and getting ready in the morning, walk to the coffee shop and grab breakfast to bring back for both of you. Maybe you really want to check out the art gallery down the street but she wants to walk through the park - agree to separate and meet up in an hour. You can catch each other up on what went on while you were apart! To enjoy your travels it doesn't mean you are obligated to do every little thing together - and let's be honest, it'll take a lot of stress off of you both to find time alone.


Like alone time, bedtime rituals are just as sacred and important to discuss with your travel partner. Establish ahead of time what you're preferred sleeping arrangements are (ie. do you need a separate bed in a separate room or are you cool with sharing a king?), when you like to start winding down as opposed to when lights are finally off, and when you like to wake up.

Does one of you like complete, black-out darkness while they sleep? Maybe you sleep with the windows open, but they prefer A/C. Figure out where you can both compromise with each other for the sake of the trip. If spending time watching TV helps you relax before finally nodding off, but your friend prefers to read in bed, offer to stream Netflix on your phone with earbuds in as to not disturb her. 

island, island life, white home, palm trees, island home, blue shutters, travel, vacation


Planning the accommodations is a huge part of the trip itself, so make sure you can agree on the location, price, and style of your digs before embarking on a trip with your new friend. Some are more adventurous and perfectly happy spending multiple nights in hostels or small motels along the highway, while others refuse to sleep anywhere than in a posh hotel with plenty of amenities and privacy. Again, while there's no right or wrong here (personally, I think it depends on the location) when you're in the planning stages of the trip be sure to voice your must-haves for room and board so that you're not stuck wishing you'd never agreed to an AirBnb in the ghetto (true story, I accidentally roped my boyfriend on a trip like that on our first vacation together, and God love him, he stayed with me). 

You learn a lot about someone while traveling with them, and not all of it will thrill you. Be open to communication before, during, and after your travels together, and remember to compromise. With a little preparation, you and your friend are sure to make amazing memories together, and your friendship will grow stronger!

Worst-case, you can always travel alone, too! ;) 

12 Tips for Better Travel


This post contains affiliate links and I am eligible to earn a profit from purchases through the links labeled "Buy on Amazon". 

Whether you travel enough to earn a designated seat on a plane (I don't think that's a thing, but wouldn't that be cool?) or you haven't taken a trip in years, adopting these 12 travel hacks will help you be better prepared, less stressed, and an overall savvier traveler! 

1. Pack an Extra Change of Clothes In Your Carry-On

I originally learned this handy trick from my boyfriend's sister on our most recent trip together, and I'm amazed I'd never thought of it before! Simply pack a spare outfit in your carry-on - yes, a whole outfit. Though it's not likely, delayed luggage does happen no matter how good the airline is, and while you can and should ask your airline what they offer as far as compensation or emergency toiletry/travel kits, having a spare set of clothes to change into while you wait will make it a bit more bearable. Traveling from a colder climate to a warmer one? Pack a pair of shorts or a dress to change into once you hit the destination airport - it's way easier than rummaging through your luggage in the middle of the airport, lemme tell ya. 


2. Carry an Empty Water Bottle

Since airports don't allow you to bring a bottle of water through TSA checkpoints, take an empty bottle (or an eco-friendly collapsible bottle) with you to the airport to fill up after you get through security. Once in your terminal, food and drink prices are incredibly inflated, so this handy trick will definitely save you a few extra dollars!


3. Pack Early

Do not wait until the last minute...seriously. Get your suitcase out of storage a week ahead of time and put it somewhere where you'll see it every time you get dressed or do laundry, then you can slowly start the packing process over the week, leaving toiletries and last-minute laundry items last. This will give you time to think more about what you really need and don't need (I'll admit, I'm an over-packer), and you'll be less likely to forget something important since you're not scrambling to get everything together in the final hour. 


4. Carry Copies of Your Passport & Important Documents

This includes screenshots, printed copies, and emailed copies - whatever works for you. If you were to misplace an important document during the travel day, you at least have a back-up you can use in the meantime while you work on getting a replacement. 


5. Pack Earplugs, an Eye Mask, & a Neck Pillow

Whether you're facing a long flight or a long drive (as a passenger, obviously), having small creature comforts like these seem insignificant until you're forced to bunch up your hoodie on the side of the window (or worse, you're in an aisle seat), wishing the baby in the adjacent aisle would stop screaming long enough to let you drift into a not so restful sleep. If you're not directly in charge of navigating or actual transportation, do yourself a favor and catch some z's so you're well rested when you arrive. 


6. Use Luggage Organizers

If you're traveling long distances or for a long period of time, organization is key to keeping your head on straight and not loose valuables. I used to always carry extra shopping bags while traveling to stash dirty clothes or my shoes within the rest of my belongings, but then I discovered these babies already exist on the market (there goes another SharkTank idea out the window), and my life is changed for the better. While I don't use every single compartment, keeping specific outfits or jewelry separate makes for an easier time living out of a suitcase, and a better overall travel experience. 


7. Download Google Maps for Offline

When traveling Wifi signals can be spotty, especially if you're traveling internationally. Having a reliable GPS (because these days who actually uses paper maps?) could make or break your overall trip experience. Google Maps offers a feature that allows you to download maps of the area you're in or going to, that way when you don't have Wifi or Data you are still able to navigate as you would normally. I know...mind, blown.


8. Leave Early

Get everywhere you need to be very early. Travel days are stressful enough on their own, you don't need a long security line or a missed flight adding to it. Give yourself plenty of buffer time in case of traffic, flight delays, or God-forbid you forgot something after you left the house. This also goes for once you're at your destination - since you'll most likely be in an unfamiliar place, allow yourself time to get lost and run into obstacles because they will happen. Worst-case scenario, you're early and you can enjoy a bit of free time. 


9. Keep a Travel Journal

While I'm all about documenting my trips with photos and videos, there's something really personal and intentional about carrying a travel journal, too. Research shows that relying only on photos to remember things can actually have a negative impact on how well you remember them. The idea is that since you're counting on the camera to record the event, you're not fully experiencing it for yourself with all of your senses, therefore, your memory of it is dulled. I've traveled with both a journal and without, and I can honestly say I enjoy having the written recap just as much as I do photos. If you're not much of a writer, try a quick voice recording overviewing what you did that day, to help support the awesome photos you're taking. I guarantee you'll remember and appreciate the trip so much more. 


10. Pack a Portable Phone Charger

We all know how surprisingly fast our phone batteries are drained, especially when we're relying on it for a GPS or frequent Google Searches, so these little guys are an absolute life-saver while traveling. Especially if you're flying, finding reliable outlets can be a challenge, so having a couple of portable chargers will ensure you're never out of juice! While there are tons of models on the market to choose from, I particularly like having one with included cables for iPhones and MicroUSB.  


11. Use Memberships or Discount Sites

Organizations and businesses such as AAA, Costco, AARP, and Student Advantage offer all kinds of travel discounts just for being a member. Definitely check their offers before booking to see if you can get discounts on flights, hotels, or even activities in the city you're traveling to. I also personally love browsing Groupon and Living Social to see what discounts I can find for restaurants or activities before my trips. 


12. Book Flights Strategically 

Overall the best time to book a flight is roughly 70 days in advance. Though that depends on the season, too, overall anywhere between 3 weeks and 4 months in advance is considered the "Prime Booking Window" and is when you'll find the best fares. It's also pretty well-researched that Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the cheapest days to fly, whereas weekends are much more expensive. Choosing to travel during "peak season" (which will vary depending on where you go, likely), will raise your costs for not only the travel but also your stay. Typically booking trips right before or after "peak season" will save significant costs and still allow you to have an awesome adventure.

Protip: research flights in a private browser to reset your cookies - this will allow you to research the same route multiple times (just make sure you open a new private browser each time) without the sites catching on and inflating your prices because of your repeat traffic. 


What is your favorite travel tip? Leave a comment below!