Many of us like to share a holiday and travel experience with a significant other, family or friends. Not only do we travel the world together, there are all those lovely shared memories to look back on and reminisce together. And the added bonus of paying per couple or halving the cost when sharing a room – always a good thing.
There are also a number of us solo travellers out there who go it alone on their adventures. We meet up with new people along the way to share our experiences and make new friends around the world (very handy for when you go back to a destination). They also have to put up with the dreaded additional “single supplements” on any cruise or tour, or end up paying the same room rate as a couple. And that’s not cool!!
For anyone wanting to share a journey and avoid those extra “singles” costs – what to do? Find a travel buddy of course! Make a new friend before you go on your big trip (even a little trip or a cruise!). As you travel along, you get a different perspective on life, another point of view of what’s in front of you. Plus, you get to learn about each other while exploring a new place together. What a great way to begin a lifelong friendship with someone.
Here are a few tips that might just save you money and to help find someone great to share your next adventure. We start with…
New Online Friends
You just have to look at your Facebook page to start your search for a travel buddy. Who do you know that is already a friend, and wants to travel? Your network has their network and they have their networks. Why not try a friend of a friend of a friend’s brother who is ready to go?
Or get searching for online groups that chat about all things cruise and travel. There are loads out there and all interested in setting out in the big wide world. Start by joining a few online groups, get chatting about cruising and travel, sharing your stories, responding to theirs, and hey presto! you have a number of travel buddies ripe for the picking.
You could also try those websites that are dedicated to finding and matching travel companions.
Note: It is always a good idea to use standard safety practices with any new friends you have met online!
Join a Gym
Get out there and mingle amongst the peeps in your area. Join a gym or a hobby group – photography, sports, walking, hiking, sailing, rotary, SES, knitting, fishing etc. Look around you at work or wherever you are – get chatting, you never know who will be interested in travelling.
If you want to travel with a group, and still want to fly, cruise or tour solo then a group tour is definitely the way to go. Not only is it safer to travel together in a group, there is already a planned itinerary that pretty much ensures your comfort, transport and takes you to experience a destination’s sights and highlights.
And all the peeps on the tour are potential candidates for your next travel buddy!
There’s that horrible word again. It seems to pop up and penalise anyone who is single and wants to travel far and wide. You will see it everywhere. It is a fact of life that tour groups and cruiselines need to cover their costs and most work on a twin share basis. Which means that we singles have to pay more if you want your own room. Or we can find someone to share.
Often an organised tour or cruise supplier will offer the option to share with someone of the same gender, and will waive the single supp – even if you end up in a room of your own. I once travelled through Spain, Portugal & Morocco (stunning BTW) where I was the only single gal. I scored a King Bed room all to myself most of the way through. I say most of the way because the newly married couple who I made friends with, happened to mention they had slept in two SINGLE beds up until then. We quickly made the swap from then on in, to their obvious delight – hey, I volunteered, I can sleep anywhere – no probs!
Keep an eye out for great offers with NO single supplements, reduced single supps, or cruiselines with single cabins available. Ask your Cruise Megastore Cruise & Travel Specialist about single cabins onboard European river cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Cunard and more. Take advantage of any specials you find and get out there and go!
Your Travel Buddy Checklist
Come on, what are your most annoying habits? Snoring, scratching, hogging the bathroom in the morning, sleeping naked… OK now your positive characteristics – good sense of humour, up for anything (at least once), food preferences, widely travelled, well read, online whizz, research a destination before you go, a planner… Why? Because you need to make your Travel Buddy Checklist.
It’s easier to make a list of your positive/negative characteristics, then you have a checklist for a potential travel buddy to match up to. Your Checklist can include: energy level, ability to walk distances, any allergies, food preferences, sense of humour, sleep time, party time, early riser, tolerance levels, etc – you could even add political, music and religion if they are a must, although it can lead to interesting discussions along the way.
While you are not joined at the hip, you are travelling together and people with similar interests should make better companions – Cyclers, Walkers & Hikers make a good match, find heaven relaxing with a cocktail onboard a Tropical Cruise, are Adventure Junkies taking on the wild, Shutterbugs hooking up with Photographers may learn a few things along the way, Foodies who’ll try anything – there’s nothing worse than someone who insists on eating in a hotel in a foreign land when all you want to do is go out, eat street-food and try the crunchy grilled spider skewers! If you love some thing, find a Travel Buddy with the same or a complimentary passion – it makes for a better experience all round.
Above all, be honest. With them and yourself. You will be with this person for a number of days, living with them day and night, so you need to share the good, the bad and the ugly. Don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions. Be clear about what each of your expectations are when travelling and in a travel buddy. It’s a fast track to knowing someone. Psst: works well for potential life partners too!
Good luck finding your new travel buddy for your next adventure. When you’re both ready, visit us online at Cruise Megastore and find your own savings or simply give us a call on 1300 657 948
Do you have a good/bad travel buddy experience to share? Email us at email@example.com
Written by Jackie Hamilton