By: Bryan Herb – Zoomvacations
Photo © Oleg Dudko |

There has been much discussion lately about the red flags someone should look out for as they start to date, and I’ve realized that there are likewise red flags to look out for in selecting a travel buddy. Traveling with a friend can be a rewarding and enriching experience, but choosing the right travel buddy is crucial to ensuring a smooth and enjoyable journey. While sharing adventures with someone can create lasting memories, it’s essential to be aware of potential red flags that may indicate compatibility issues or even pose risks to your safety. Let’s explore some common red flags to look out for when selecting a travel companion.

• Lack of Communication:
Effective communication is the cornerstone of any successful partnership, especially when it comes to travel. A potential travel buddy who is unresponsive to messages, avoids discussing travel plans, or fails to share their expectations might be a cause for concern. Clear and open communication is vital to planning and enjoying a trip together.

• Different Budgeting Habits:
Financial compatibility is crucial when traveling with someone. A travel buddy who consistently overspends, avoids budget discussions, or exhibits irresponsible financial behavior may create unnecessary stress during the trip. It’s important to establish shared expectations regarding budgeting and expenses beforehand to avoid conflicts later on.

• Divergent Interests and Travel Styles:
Having similar interests and travel styles is key to a harmonious journey. A travel buddy with vastly different preferences, such as wanting a relaxing beach vacation versus an active hiking trip, may lead to dissatisfaction and compromise. Discussing and aligning on travel goals and preferences before embarking on a trip can help mitigate potential conflicts.

• Unreliable or Flaky Behavior:
Reliability is paramount when it comes to travel companions. A person who frequently cancels plans, changes itineraries last minute, or exhibits a lack of commitment may disrupt your travel experience. Ensure your travel buddy is someone you can depend on and who shares your level of commitment to the trip.

• Poor Planning Skills:
Efficient planning is essential for a successful journey, and a travel buddy who lacks organizational skills can be a significant red flag. If your potential companion struggles with itinerary planning, accommodation bookings, or navigation, it may lead to unnecessary stress and inconvenience during the trip. Assess your travel buddy’s planning abilities before committing to travel together.

• Unwillingness to Compromise:
Flexibility and compromise are crucial elements of enjoyable travel. A travel companion who is inflexible, insists on their preferences without considering yours, or refuses to compromise may lead to conflicts and a less satisfying experience. A successful travel partnership requires both parties to be open to compromise and adapt to unexpected situations.

• Different Sleeping Habits:
If you are sharing a room with someone and one snores and the other is a light sleeper, you may both suffer from sleep deprivation during the trip. This can create irritability or even illness. Also, even if you are not sharing a room, if one of you is an early riser and the other likes to sleep in late, this may compromise your ability to share experiences during the trip.

Choosing the right travel buddy can significantly impact the overall travel experience. Recognizing and addressing red flags early on can help you avoid potential conflicts, ensure a smoother journey, and enhance the chances of creating positive and lasting memories together. Prioritize communication, shared values, and a compatible travel style to increase the likelihood of a successful and enjoyable journey together.

Bryan Herb
is co-owner of Zoom Vacations®,
a US company that creates stylish international private events and gay group vacations to the world’s hottest destinations. Learn more about them at or call 773.772.9666.
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