How To

What to look for in a backpacking travel partner

Making sure you gel with your backpacker buddy is the key to happy travel – get it right and your adventures will flow! Amazing experiences are even better shared and travelling with a partner helps cut travel and accommodation costs.

Whether it’s a friend, someone cool you met travelling or a like-minded person from online, read our tips to see if you’re right for each other.

Budget buddies

Money is the biggest cause of relationship woes – don’t let it ruin your adventure. Establish what is ‘cheap’ and ‘expensive’ for you both and find somebody with a similar budget to you. If you want to sleep under the stars with a Pot Noodle and they want room service and a feather bed, you won’t be buddies for long. Get an idea of how much you’re both happy to spend on accommodation, food, nights out and attractions. There’s nothing worse than travelling with someone who’s skint.

Fortunately our hostels in London and Brighton are fitted with large kitchens and dining areas so you’re likely to come across fellow frugal travellers if you take advantage of the complimentary cooking space.

– Talking about money can be awkward, so get it out of the way early on

– If a mate is careless with cash, consider whether they’ll be a good travel partner

Stay safe

Travelling in a pair should mean looking out for each other and being more adventurous. For example, be prepared to save each other from exotic bugs or unwanted attention! It should not mean having to explain your partner to the police or feeling uncomfortable around them. If you’re choosing a travel partner online, meet them in a public place and get to know them before arranging your dream trip. Most backpackers are awesome, but stay savvy and trust your gut.

– Consider a friend-of-a-friend – you can ask questions about them

– Check out would-be partners online and see if they seem right for you

Rhythm blues

That annoying habit your partner has? Imagine it amplified by weeks of travelling. A good travel buddy will exist harmoniously with you and compliment your own travel ‘rhythm’. You’re basically living together, so be honest about your personal habits. Stay specific, “I am easy-going and laid back” might not translate as “I get up at 3pm” to your partner. Fur will fly if you have wildly different attitudes to how clean your room should be or how long you can party until (and who with).

– Be open with each other, set rules and make sure you have The Talk

– Spend a ‘test’ weekend together and see if you drive each other crazy

Kindred spirits

Congratulations – you’ve found another person who wants to see every temple in India! Pin down why your partner is travelling and what they want to see and do. If you have similar interests it’ll be easier to plan an itinerary so you’re both happy and satisfied. Your fascination with museums could be a nightmare to a party animal and vice versa, so find someone who you have lots in common with. Make sure you’re both prepared to compromise – nobody likes being bossed about.

At our Peak District and Lake District hostels, you’ll be sure to find plenty of likeminded hikers and outdoor enthusiasts who will no doubt be looking for other travellers to plan routes with.

– Decide your must-see landmarks, activities and attractions between you

– Opposites CAN attract, just make sure you inspire and support each other

Finding a partner

Feel more confident in finding your perfect travel partner? Chances are you’ll already know whether an existing friend can stand the intensity of backpacking together. How about getting in touch with someone who you got on with while solo travelling or a friend you made on a group trip?

We get some fab people staying at YHA hostels – you might meet your new best friend peeling spuds in a self-catering kitchen or being the life and soul of the pub crawl! Book a stay at YHA BrightonYHA London Oxford Street or YHA Manchester and hunt down someone amazing.

If you’re looking online, websites like TravBuddy and Travel Buddies make it easy to find a partner and see their travel plans. You can filter thousands of people by their dream locations, when they want to travel and what kind of activities they want to do. Not to mention a handy social media-style profile of their interests, age and gender.

Start a conversation about your dream backpacker journey and see who’s got the same wanderlust as you. Good luck and happy travelling.

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