Travelstyle – 7 questions to ask before you travel with someone

Last updated on November 5th, 2016 at 10:26 pm

We all have our own travelstyle, as in the way we travel that can be different or similar to others. It’s one of those things like living with someone, you won’t know how you’d get along until you are on the road.

Travelstyle: 7 questions to ask someone before you travel together | Laugh Travel Eat
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There are lots of posts out there about “the X type of travelers you’ll meet”. Let’s forget about stereotypes for a minute (did I mention I hate the tourists vs traveler debate?), even though they do help us visualize the extremes. Because not everyone is going to confine, below are the more practical, important criteria that you should ask yourself and your travel partners before the trip to make sure you are on the same page:

P.S. remember that is no right and wrong to the answers, but personal preference.

How “chill” are you?

My friends and I along the beach at Kamenjak National Park, looking for a place to sun bath | Laugh Travel Eat
Photo from Kamenjak National Park, Croatia

Some people don’t want to waste a second when they travel, and some just want to kick back and relax. If the group of you can’t agree on an itinerary, then you might have a problem. One group will think the other is pushing them too much, turning their holiday into a boot camp. While the other group will feel sick of losing time because of the slackers, well, slacking. And trust me, trying to drag someone out of bed is not a happy morning routine for either side.

Are you a planner or spontaneous traveler?

Using google my map as travel plan | Laugh Travel Eat
My Google My Map for Central Vietnam trip – I am a planner through and through!

Not too different from the point above, some people are happy to go along with the flow and those are the best kind of friend to go on holiday with. If you are a planner. But if one of you likes to plan and the other likes to “see where the day takes them”, then you might be in for some full blown argument. Again, make sure the expectations and plans for the trip are clear prior to departure.

Planning a trip soon? I got a post for that and a free spreadsheet!

How much can you walk?

short trek to Elephant Jungle Sanctuary village after transport arrives
short trek into the elephant camp- but under 35 degrees, will everyone be ok to do it?

Similar to the question above, it’s a matter of preference as well as fitness. If you are already annoy about your travel partner’s chillax attitude, waiting for them to catch up or hearing their grumble might just send you over the edge. And the reverse is true. So make sure you have walked around together before or have an understanding of each other’s fitness level.


How adventurous are you?

Zip lining with Skyline Adventure, Chiang Mai | Laugh Travel Eat
Ziplining in Chiang Mai – what if your friend doesn’t want to go?

This applies to a plethora of things: are you adventurous in terms of sports? Or exploring? It won’t be easy to plan a trip if one wants to go zip lining but the other person is terrified of height. So manage your expectations of the trip. If a location is famous for snorkeling and diving, then you probably shouldn’t go with a friend who is scared of the water. Or if you want to hike up a national park, there’s no point in inviting your friend who doesn’t like the outdoors.


Food preference

A must have at Penang: Bah Kut Teh, perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner | Laugh Travel Eat
Bah kut teh from Penang – it is quite herby and perhaps not for everyone!

This kind of relate back to being adventurous. Some people have a picky diet, while others have food allergies. You should consider this before getting your vegan friend to go to Korean with you to only miss out on all the BBQ. Or going to India with a friend who despises spices. Pick that friend who like Thai food to go to Thailand? Now that’s a good choice!


What is your budget?

Ryan Air, Gatwick Airport, London, UK | Laugh Travel Eat
Early morning flights are cheaper…

There’s no point in going on a trip together if one of you wants to spend like the queen when the other one is frugal to the max. Make sure your budget for the trip is clear on all sides before booking anything. Always remember to use the disclaimer “Say now or forever hold your peace” on booking group accommodation or events, because there will always be someone who complains on arrival.


Do you like this person enough?

Feeling hot and sweaty at the crater of Vulcano, Aeolian island| Laugh Travel Eat
My sister wasn’t please with me complaining all the way up Vulcano in the Aeolian Islands

There will almost always be some scuffles on the road when stress runs high. The key question is whether you like your travel companion enough. Because at the end of the day, whether or not you can stand the person you travel with also depends on how much you like them as a whole.

Do you have some travel horror story? Or have you patch things up with your travel pal afterwards? Do you have a travelsyle? Let me know!

If you are not keen on finding a travel partner, then you can always travel with your sibling!


Travelstyle: 7 questions to ask someone before you travel together | Laugh Travel Eat
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Written by Nam Cheah

Hi, my name is Nam. I am 24 and spent half my life in Hong Kong and the other half in UK. I believe there's endless experience and beauty in the world and this is me chronicling how to experience the best at the best price.


  1. So true! I travel with my husband and thankfully he’s my perfect travel-partner. It’s freaky how we’re often thinking about the sabe things to do next. But we have had many a discussion before booking holidays with friends. It’s really important or things could turn into a massive nightmare.

    • It’s so good to have someone who is always on the same page! I agree with you about discussion – expectations need to lay bare!

  2. I love this!!! These are such crucial questions to ask. I went on a trip with a friend once and we came out of it fine but I was so annoyed with her by the end. She refused to eat out and buy pre-made stuff from the grocery store (which was fine by itself), but then she wouldn’t want to go see any sights during the day because she just wanted to go shopping and go to cafes. Which made no sense to me since apparently we couldn’t afford a pizza for dinner lol. It’s definitely important to know how people travel because sometimes they just don’t go well together.

    • That is interesting indeed! She’ll get on well with a friend of mine who wanted to play football with locals when we were in Barcelona – he abandoned that plan in the end since the rest of us wanted to see Gaudi’s works!

  3. YEP YEP YEP! I never realised how important it was ensuring your travel styles matched up until recently when friends started visiting me. If you’re not careful, there can definitely be some friction 🙁

    I always let whoever I’m travelling with know what my budget is like and what sort of traveller I am (AKA if I want to do something they don’t want to do, I’ll go off and do it on my own). Always important you’re not travelling with someone just because you don’t want to go alone! Great post!

    • Thanks Caroline! I am talking with my friends that I am traveling with in December and making sure that we’re all on the same boat (quite literally since it’s Thailand)! It’s definitely not something people think of before they head off!

  4. This is SO important, and people often don’t realize it until too late… myself included! I once traveled with a really close friend through Southeast Asia for one month. Let’s just say our travel types weren’t compatible at all (how could he not want to have ANY drinks there? Come on…) and ever since that trip, our friendship kind of faded out. Still friends, but there was tension. Sigh.

    • oh no 🙁 sad to hear it! haha although my friends and I often say we’ll go for a night out on trips but ended up being too tired!

  5. Totally agree that you need to quiz potential travel partners. My (former) friend abandoned me in Paris at Valentines day because she didn’t like the city and wanted to go home on day two! I stayed and became a solo traveler for over twenty years now. I have friends I can and can’t (budget issues, food issues, etc) travel with and recently traveled with my mom in separate rooms.
    We work too hard to earn time off and enjoy experiences, they shouldn’t be marred by mismatched travel personalities

    • So true! We really don’t want to have our expectations OR friendship ruined just because we didn’t hash everything out pre-trip! Again, I am so sorry to hear about your friend just abandoning you like that!

  6. Errmm yeah, been having various experiences haha With my husband it’s super easy cause we like the same things and have the same style. With friends, let’s put it this way…only some of them are like us and we learned the not-so-fun-way.
    We usually end up in issue because we don’t travel to drink, we travel to explore. Others travel to…taste the local spirits. Ahem

  7. Great article too bad I didn’t see it sooner. I had bad experience with a friend who loves to travel and adventure but her morning and evening habits in the hotel room was not so good. She had bowel movement problems. She would take a pill at night and would get up at 4:30 to 5pm to start her routine in the bathroom ( she doesn’t eat veggies nor salads so that explains it). After that she would blow dry her hair, EVERY morning, even in Thailand which it didn’t matter how your hair was due to the humidity. At night she would turn on the TV to fall asleep. We would get to the room late in the evening after a full day of site seeing and walking, and all you want is to take a shower and go to sleep. But no, she would turn the tv on and even after she was asleep I would turn it off and she would say no I’m watching it. Once I was so tired and upset and told her I’m sorry, I’m tired and you are gonna have to fall asleep like normal people do, if not count sheep lol. It’s a pity cause she is very resourceful and enjoys traveling. I tried to get separate rooms the third time we traveled together but she had just been layed off so we had to share a room. When other friends want to travel with me I’m actually scared. Ever since i travel on my own, and I’m the best companion i could have .

    • Hi Nancy,

      I am so sorry to hear about your experience! Living habits of others can be hard to get use to – my mother loves to turn the TV on every night as well and it’s almost impossible to sleep with the noise. It’s harder when they are unwilling to accommodate. Solo travel is great and I am happy to hear that you enjoy it!

  8. This is something I don’t usually think about until I’m halfway during my travels! When travelling with my boyfriend we’re usually pretty good companions until he gets really stressed when our plans are changed beyond our control, which usually creates friction. Though sometimes I think it’s good having a mix of personalities rather than being the same, if we were both as chill as me we’d probably get nowhere ahaha.

    • haha that is true! Complimentary personality is definitely the best policy. But I think it’s important to have someone that doesn’t complain overall as well!

    • It’s almost as important as trying to live together – being in a new environment together will bring out a different side of people!

  9. Soooo true!! Haha one of my best friends in so type A and I’m completely type B and spontaneous we can never travel together! It sucks for both of us! Love her to death though!

    • haha Hiking is definitely one of my favourite holiday activities too! I’ve had friends who refuse to walk anywhere and it’s a nightmare

  10. Love this article! I’m the kind of traveler who’s a planner and doesn’t wanna waste a second in any country. I’ll walk till my feet start aching haha. Luckily the group I travel with (my husband) has learnt to keep up with me, so our travels go pretty smoothly.

    • That’s great! My sister and I are exactly like that, and sometimes our friends don’t want to be as rushed so we end up spliting up

  11. Great article… although I would add another extra bullet point: How many hours a day do you sleep?
    I have been traveling with friends who would wake up at 12pm and stop for a break (something to eat every 2h!) which makes my day a 4 hours-useful-journey!

    I guess that’s why I ended up traveling alone, eating street food, waking up and sunrise and sleeping in budget hostels.

    • Good point Marina! Some people want to sleep more on holiday – although I can’t imagine wasting time on sleep when there’s a new world outside to be explode!

  12. Nice reminders! As much as I love traveling solo, it’s great to travel with others as long as you get along. I’ll definitely keep this mind for future travel companions.

  13. These are such great questions! I used to never thinking about who I traveled with and just went with any friend that was willing to spend the money to go anywhere. Biggest mistake ever because everyone has their own likes and dislikes, preferences, etc. so so so important to consider these points that you mentioned before committing to spending 24hours a day with the same individual(s). Awesome post, thanks so much for sharing!

    • Thanks for reading and I’m glad you find it useful! It definitely doesn’t occur to me to ask either, but most of my friends are pretty laid back and let me move them around (or so to speak!).

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