Compatibility in a travel companion is key for trips such as backpacking. Since certain trips do not come with a set itinerary and leave room for improvisation it is important to pick your travel companion(s) wisely. You will be spending a lot of time with this person in a lot of unfamiliar places and situations so you will want to know what you are getting into in advance.
Good Sense of Direction
Someone who can read a map and has a good general sense of direction can be really helpful when travelling. If you plan on using public transit abroad keeping your orientation can be very difficult, so this is an invaluable trait for a companion if you are directionally challenged.
Going on vacation with a spontaneous spirit means that there will be unexpected encounters and experiences. Leaving some aspect of your trip up to chance means that your experiences will be rich and varied.
Great Sense of Humour
The company you keep changes how you can view a situation. If you happen to be waiting for a plane, train or automobile and you can make the experience fun instead of tiresome then you will have better memories and encounters with other travellers.
We all have a friend who only has enough to cover their portion of the bill at a restaurant, but a vacation is a lot more fun when you do not have to count pennies and split bills perfectly. Getting a round of drinks or sharing travel essentials when one person runs out is really what it’s all about.
They are Open-minded about Food
Having a wide-ranging palette and an adventurous attitude about food means that you get to truly have a unique experience when you travel. Try stopping to get some street food or trying the local cuisine. Life is only lived once and familiar food from home is best eaten when you get home.
Knowing what kind of money your travel companion is willing to spend on food, accommodations and shopping can shape the type of trip you have. Have a conversation beforehand to make sure your expectations align.
Travelling with someone who is outgoing and approachable is ideal as other traveller’s may sometime approach you, share rides with you or pass on useful information. It is also much easier to ask for directions or speak to locals when you keep the company of someone who has an affable personality.
When travelling to a country where English is not the first language it is good to travel with someone who wants to learn some native phrases and who has learned and observes the local customs. This will mean you will be warmly received wherever you go.