It’s an age-old question; one every person has been asked anytime they announced their plans to go on a trip. “Who am I taking with me?” It’s a good question, rife with landmines and traps that must be navigated with an experienced and steady hand. Depending on who you can bring, you’ll have drastically different experiences on your trip!
Based on my experiences, you're bound to have an amazing trip if you bring these five friend-types with you:
In every circle, there is an explorer to two. These are the folks who enjoy finding the nooks and crannies that the rest of us take for granted. They will be keen on finding the exotic in the mundane and they are certainly enjoyable to bring along on all your adventures! That being said, someone who can’t enjoy a bit of the luxuries of tourism can be a bit tiresome. When you are looking for a buddy for your travels, consider someone with a sense of exploration, but who still enjoys touristy fun as well.
Personally, when I travel I tend to fall off the face of the Earth, and find being social difficult. That’s why it’s always helpful to bring someone who really understands how to become friends with people. It makes traveling so much better when you are able to talk candidly with the people you come across, learning about their experiences and getting tips from them. Most of the time, all you need is someone who is good at bridging that little gap between strangers.
Many people are keen observers, able to enter a scene and come up with questions and perspectives that wouldn’t have occurred to us on our own. Bringing a person like this along can help give your trip an inquisitive air. You may find yourself thinking about the people and culture you came across much more in-depth and for a longer period of time than you would otherwise have. It may also help make some of the more mundane or less touristy places feel a bit more vibrant and interesting.
The "All About Having Fun" Friend
There are certainly people who like enjoying themselves more than anything. For some, this might seem a bit too uncontrollable to want to travel with. However, if you are looking to completely relax, it might be worth bringing along a friend who has the uncanny ability to always find a way to have a good time.
The Best Friend, or Not
Your first thought is going to be to bring your closest friends. It’s not a bad idea! Bringing someone you are very close with is an easy way to ensure you have a fun time on your trip. That being said, trips are a great way to build relationships with some of your other friends as well. There might be a few people you know who you want to get to know better, and a trip is the perfect opportunity to put in the time it takes to make a new lasting friendship. Plus, that gives you the chance to bring in someone with one of the personality types above!
All that being said, make sure you don’t let people hijack your plans! I’ve been on trips where people I didn’t expect to go ended up coming (even a trip I planned solo that someone tagged along with), which can leave a poor taste in your mouth the rest of the time. So be kind but honest with people when you are making your plans. Don’t worry about destroying any friendships depending on who you don’t bring. Keep it simple, have fun, and it will all work out.