Many people enjoy exploring new places and having different experiences, but not everyone is cut out for traveling. Long flights, extra expenses, an unfamiliar environment, difficulties in communicating, and not knowing what lies ahead all contribute to travel stress. While you may be equipped to handle these barriers, someone who hates to travel may not.
But travel can be a great opportunity to grow closer with friends, family, and significant others. Eliminate some of these stressors and your travel pal will loosen up and enjoy the ride. Here’s how you can turn a trip with your travel-hating partner into a more enjoyable experience for both of you.
Book Your Flights Wisely
Flights tend to be one of the most expensive parts of traveling. Prices vary based on whether or not the flight is direct, duration of layover, and departure and arrival times. While it’s tempting to book the cheapest flight (usually made up of several legs, long layovers, and inconvenient timing), this is a nightmare for someone who hates traveling.
Start the trip off on the right foot and shell out the extra $100 or so for the better flight route. This may be a shot to your budget, but it’s critical in setting in tone for the rest of the trip. The faster you can get to your end destination, the less cranky your friend will be upon arrival.
Don’t Over Plan
If you’re the type of traveler who packs as much into one day as humanly possible, you might consider readjusting your style for the sake of your travel-hating pal. Rushing from place to place on a tight time schedule will surely make your less-than-travel-happy companion feel stressed.
Easing up on your schedule will put everyone else at ease, too. Playing the domineering drill sergeant is not going to win you any points. Instead of trying to hit five different attractions in a day, cut that in half and check out two. You and your partner will likely enjoy the activity more if you give yourselves time to breathe while you’re there. Building in free time also lets you follow your and your partner's moods and emotions. Being flexible means you can accommodate your partner if they feel like going back to the hotel for a nap after lunch, or want to get a snack and rest their feet.
Accept that if you want to travel with this person, you may have to sacrifice by not seeing and doing everything your heart desires.
Spend a Little More
Humans are creatures of habit and often times people don’t like to travel because they miss the comforts of home. Being removed from everything familiar and dumped in a place without their usual conveniences can really throw some people for a loop.
While a wanderlusting backpacker would find this hard to believe, some people don’t enjoy roughing it in hostels or taking the local bus. If your travel buddy feels more secure, split the cost of a hotel room with some nice amenities. If you’re in a destination where hotels are expensive, try for a private room in a dorm.
Skip the bus and opt for a taxi or train and upgrade when reasonable. In some countries, the difference between a first class train ticket and standard ticket equates to $2-$3 dollars. Your partner will appreciate these small “splurges” that you’d usually pass up. This will inevitably help you keep the peace.
…Or Spend a Little Less
Maybe your travel buddy has the opposite concern and isn’t keen on blowing a bunch of money on a trip. In this case, switch into full thrift mode and start tweaking your budget.
Cheap travel is actually a lot easier than most people think. Depending where you are, one night in a hostel starts in the single digits. Eat on the street instead of dining in restaurants and you’ll save another bundle.
Opt out of paid transportation altogether and walk. Strolling around a new place is actually a great way to get your bearings and discover little hidden gems that you’d otherwise blow by in a car. Too far to hoof it? Hitchhiking (depending on location) is a spontaneous way to get to where you’re going as long as you’re willing to be flexible with time and company.
If you don’t want to fully cave to your travel partner’s whims and change your travel style completely, compromising is your best bet. Hotels can be pricey, but on the other end of the spectrum, youth hostel standards can be below average and lack privacy. Find the middle-of-the-road and you’ll both be happy. A reasonably-priced Airbnb with all the amenities of home in an authentic neighborhood should do the trick.
If hitchhiking or walking is out of the question, choose the “ride share” option on the Uber app. The wait is only a few minutes longer and always costs less than ordering a private ride.
Additionally, make sure your travel companion feels heard throughout all your planning. Ask them to pick the restaurant for dinner or choose some things they’d like to do or see. After that’s hashed out you can come to a mutual decision on how to divide up your time. If they want to lie on the beach but the thought of being lazy all day makes you crazy, compromise by spending the afternoon on the sand after checking out the ancient temple or Old Town shops in the morning.