The ne’er-do-as-they-sayers, non-participants, over-sleepers, the scatterbrained, those who insta-this or snap-that…. the list can go on. If you have ever travelled with others, you may have been a victim (or a perpetrator) of an unfortunate trip that could have gone better than it did.
This is not to throw shade on those who may impede on the “success” of your trip and anyone in particular. Rather, from first-hand experience, it is a quick rundown of what to look out for – in others, and perhaps in yourself as well – so that you are aware, are more mindful, and can agree towards a common goal on your ventures. All to prevent a sweet trip from turning sour.
After a week-long experience of travelling with different companions (ie. not my boyfriend, family, super close friends), I had a realization that up to this point I was quite blessed in my travels. Blessed that I had planned and travelled, for lack of a better term, with reliable individuals who wanted to meet everyone’s needs and safety, and everyone took an equal part of the work.
Because all memorable trips take perseverance.
I love the companions I had, but if I were asked to travel with them again, I would give a very clear no. I just felt we could have achieved more on the trip… if a couple of their habits changed.
Facebook it! Snap it! Insta it!
A little social media is okay – yes, you can post that little status update. You can let the world know you can afford to be a little extravagant when leaving home. But when it’s a constant occurrence everywhere you go… for goodness sakes please put it away. Give time to appreciate what’s around you – and that includes your travel companions. Are you even on a trip?
“Um, hm, should I? I really want to but I’m not sure. Hm. What do you think? Maybe we can come back later? I don’t know. This is a tough decision. Should I really? Hmmm…”
A waste of time is what you read. And I’ve done this… but I learned! (More so because my boyfriend doesn’t like it when I’m all iffy and indecisive). Which brings me to the point: yes or no should be the only responses when you’ve got to choose whether to do or buy something. Be decisive. It will save you time, which is great if you and your pals have got a busy schedule.
Bystander, or one who is always on their phone.
Which can happen any time – from not helping out with meal preparation, to sitting on the passenger side and not helping with directions (this I think is a necessary job, but that’s just me)… So please, make yourself useful in any way possible, anytime. Ask around. Participate. Agree amongst yourselves on what each of your duties will be. Your companions will be grateful.
Next day – zilch.
There are the planners who do as they planned, and planners who ne’er-do-as-they-say. Which sucks because you are often looking forward to X, Y, and Z. And most often the cause of this is…
Zzzzzzzzzz for the entire morning, maybe even afternoon.
If you have something planned, please don’t sleep in. Set up multiple alarms if need be. Give other people the permission to wake you up. Sleeping in can cancel plans (I was a victim of this) or can make you late or almost late for vital things (also was a victim of this).
Risk-taking is a normal part of every trip. But there are times when no one knows the lay of the land and the one who is all confident… may not have as much expertise. They may not let you know what they are going to do, where they are or will be, and pretty much just ignore your existence while you worry your asses over them. Where the f*ck are they? Are they alive? Mauled by a bear? Fell off a cliff? Be a risk-taker, but act safe, and be kind to your companions and don’t cause them too much anxiety than they already would have.
Smiles for everyone!
Trying to make everyone happy is not impossible, but sometimes you have to learn how and when to say no, in order to get things done and achieve that communal goal. Feeling of disappointment and resentment will come and pass – you’re supposed to be enjoying yourselves! And you will.
Expect the unexpected. Or not.
As a nurse, I’ve learned the great skills of continuous re-prioritization and critical thinking, which provided to be useful in constantly changing situations from work, to fun, to trips. Point is, when you plan, also think ahead. Be mindful of your goals, time, what’s around you, etc. Because if for some reason you need to make changes in plans, quick and clever thinking will be your saviour. Being less of a scatterbrain takes time to develop however, so work at it.
Of course, the list of “annoyances” differs with everyone, so take each of them with a grain of salt. Everyone deserves an enjoyable and successful vacation, so I hope what I have listed from my one-and-only experience (thank goodness) will be useful in some way.
What are your thoughts on travelling with people who… don’t quite fit your “style” or trip habits? Looking back, I know I should have communicated my needs and concerns, but I found it difficult to do so when (1) it was a two vs. one situation, and (2) they are my friends (not such close friends though). Have you ever encountered and/or had to travel with anyone where their behaviours took a toll on your trip, the enjoyment, the experience? (If yes, my condolences).