Gullfoss Iceland

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I'm an expat whose goal is to visit every country in the world.

94 countries and counting!  

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10 Advantages of Traveling with Someone

10 Advantages of Traveling with Someone

It is well-known that I generally travel alone.  In fact, as I stated in a previous post, I have only ever traveled with someone else or in a group on three occasions.  Aside from those three occasions to date, I typically travel solo.  While traveling solo does definitely help a person improve and gain a healthy dose of self-confidence in their abilities to survive exploring a foreign country alone, there are just as many benefits of traveling with someone else, and it is something everyone should do at least once.

Here are 10 advantages of traveling with someone.

1) Explore Different Ideas

If you travel solo, you are the one who gets to make the decisions about where to go and what to do.  That is well and good, but if you travel with someone else, it is entirely possible that a travel partner can offer up new ideas on what to see and do.  This could lead to a new experience that you might not otherwise do.  It might even introduce you to a new hobby or passion.  In addition, if a travel partner offers up different ideas, it can make the trip more varied and maybe not as focused on one particular thing.  For example, instead of spending the whole holiday checking out historic sites, you and your travel companion might do a mix of museums, beaches, hiking, etc.  This can be a break from the regular routine and make the trip more interesting.  The possibilities are limitless.

Inside the Medina of Marrakech

2) Split Costs

In general, traveling is not cheap.  When you travel solo, you are most likely the one who has to foot all the bills with airline and train tickets, accommodation, and other miscellaneous expenses, such as food and souvenirs.  Depending on your travel tastes and style, this can become quite expensive if you insist on experiencing the finer aspects of traveling.  This can have a serious impact on your wallet.  However, if you travel with someone else or others, the cost can be split evenly between two or more people, so it actually becomes a bit cheaper for everyone involved, and your money can go a bit further.  This will allow you and your travel companion(s) to do more things if all costs are split.

3) Easier to Meet People

While travel can definitely expand one's horizons, it is entirely possible that a solo traveler might become overwhelmed with the new surroundings and decide to sequester themselves in their hotel room.  A solo traveler might also be more introverted and shy, so they might choose to stay away from interacting with other people.  This has the potential to ruin a trip and lead to a decrease in self-confidence since a person might think they cannot explore on their own, or they might develop a fear of interacting with others.  However, when you travel with someone else, it can be easier to strike up a conversation with others, especially if the other people are traveling as a pair.  When my father and I went to Iceland a couple years ago, we talked to people from various places, and it was quite easy to strike up conversations.

4) Easier to Solve Problems

Anyone who has traveled knows that problems of all stripes and colors can arise suddenly and without warning.  It often requires quick thinking with not much time to weigh the pros and cons of a decision.  This can be quite stressful and can even be costly.  I can think of many times when I have run into issues and had to deal with them then and there.  This is never fun to deal with, and it requires a person to think quickly.  When you travel with someone else, issues will still come up, but since there will be two people working to solve it, there is a chance it can be solved easier since two heads are better than one.

5) Safety in Numbers

There is safety in numbers.  If you travel alone, it leaves you more vulnerable and open to scams by unscrupulous types or worse.  I myself have been the victim of scams and worse at occasional times in different countries.  I am inclined to think that if I had been traveling with someone else, those occurrences would have been less likely to happen.  A solo traveler more often draws the attention of someone with less than pure intentions than travelers who are with others.  However, if you have a travel companion, you can watch out for each other easier and became harder targets for scammers.

6) Easier to Navigate

My father and I at Thorvaldseyri in Iceland

As I stated in the previous blog post on 10 Advantages of Traveling Solo, when you travel alone, you have to navigate a city or country on your own without any help except for maybe a physical map or a map app.  That in itself can be an excellent exercise in map reading, and you can learn a very valuable skill and apply it throughout the world.  In addition, you can easily discover hidden treasures by completely serendipitous circumstances.  However, when you travel with someone else, there is a smaller chance of getting hopelessly lost since two people can help each other try to find places.  It also becomes easier to backtrack to a familiar route since hopefully at least one person is perceptive to remember the way you came.

7) Strengthen Bonds and Relationships

Traveling with someone else or a significant other can really help strengthen bonds and the relationship, especially if the two people involved are intimate with each other.  Most likely, the two people will spend much more time together than what they might typically do.  This will truly show if two people can enjoy each other's company for a potentially extended period of time without having the luxury of withdrawing into their own space as might be common when they are back home.  Plus, there is nothing more wonderful than going through the ups and downs of travel with someone else and finding your relationship has become stronger because you will undoubtedly have to communicate more, and this will help two people who are in a relationship learn more about each other's likes and dislikes.  All of those things will be necessary to know if a serious relationship is to work.

View from the Janiculum Hill in Rome

8) Share Experiences

Along with strengthening bonds of a relationship or friendship, traveling with someone else allows two people to share experiences and share memories that they can reminisce and laugh about years later.  For example, if two people travel together either as friends or as lovers, they can share the experience of successfully navigating and exploring the hectic and maze-like Medina of Marrakech in Morocco with its many shops and merchants shouting and advertising their wares, taking in the sunset while sitting on the bank of the Mekong River in Laos, or admiring the cityscape of Rome with its many church domes from the top of the 124 steps leading up to the Basilica of S. Maria in Aracoeli on the Capitoline Hill, or trekking up to the church of S. Pietro in Montorio on the Janiculum Hill in order to take in the view of the Eternal City.  Even though those experiences can be done solo as well, sometimes it is better to experience them with someone else and share the memories.

9) More Tour Opportunities

Many tour companies will only run an excursion if there is a minimum number of people.  It can range anywhere from 2 to 10 depending on the length of the excursion, and where it is going.  When you travel solo, you often have to pay more money as a single participant.  It is also possible that the tour company will not run the tour for just you alone.  This has often been a particular problem for me.  Since I tend to travel alone, there have been tours in several different countries that I have been interested in, but because I was a solo traveler, I was not able to do it unless I paid double the price, or they could find someone else who also wanted to go on the tour.  I remember several of the tours I was interested in while exploring Nicaragua were like this.  However, when you travel with someone else, it is rarely a problem, so traveling with someone else allows you to go on a lot more tours and excursions than what a single traveler might be able to do.

10) Language and Communication Skills

If your travel partner happens to speak the local language or happens to be better at interacting with locals and haggling, then you're in luck.  If a travel companion speaks the local language, it can take away a lot of the stress people often have when they travel to a country with a different language than their own.  You won't have to struggle with trying to communicate or worry about sounding foolish when trying to speak the foreign language.  However, if either you or your travel partner don't speak the language, don't worry!  It can be a rather fun adventure that you will both be able to enjoy, laugh about, and share the memory together.  Plus, you might make a friend from a different culture because of it.

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10 Advantages of Traveling Solo

10 Advantages of Traveling Solo