You know what sucks? When you love to travel, but you don’t want to do it solo, nor do you want to do it with the same person who, no matter how much you love them, is bound to piss you off after any more than three consecutive days together.
This conflicted person is absolutely me. If vacations or even relationships have taught me anything, it’s that I need my alone time. But just as a breather – I really only need 24-72 hours before I crave that company again.
I really dislike P!nk‘s music but the lyrics “go away come back go away come back” from that Leave Me Alone song really speak to me on a deeply personal level. I wish they didn’t, but they do – turns out I resonate with P!nk’s music, which is perhaps the bigger issue here.
Anyway, after a recent trip to Europe – some of which was with Busabout’s Hop-On-Hop-Off network, here’s what I learned about being travel-dependent on another and how not to lose your shit in the process.
Use commuting as private time
As any seasoned traveller knows commuting time is you time. It’s time to tuck into a book, sleep off last night’s tomfoolery or catch up with socials and it’s definitely not a time for chatting.
If there’s space for your own row on the train, plane, coach, take it.
If there’s not? Headphones are a powerful tool to keep the masses (and your bestie-turned-bane-of-your-existence) out. If you’re not planning on light reading or scrolling for your trip, sunnies also work wonders.
Are you asleep? Are you awake? Something tells me if you’ve already been a bit fiery, they’ll be too nervous to find out.
Add in group tours to lessen pressure
Only having one other person to rely on can make any situation really overwhelming. Share houses are a good example of this – if you’ve lived with just one other person before you’ll know the feeling of relying on them for all your social pursuits.
Sure, you might not have other friends willing to sacrifice the annual leave. You also can’t rely on an explosion of social friends every time you step out the door in a country other than your own. I understand this.
Thankfully when people travel they’re more open to meeting new people, and people who are in travel groups? Well honey, they’re real open-minded and in exactly the same boat as you. Big calendar events are a good time to do this – like La Tomatina, Tour De France, Oktoberfest. I did Busabout’s Oktoberfest package which helped on the making friends front, with a few added bonuses of being able to leave the tent, come back and still have somewhere to sit (seriously, their tour guides sit there all day to make that magic happen).
Lil’ day tours like Sandemans or pub crawls are also a good bet.
Schedule in strategic breaks
Too much of anyone can turn me into the worst human, which makes it really hard to identify how I genuinely feel about someone but anyway. From my own personal experience, I really start despising my travel companion about 72 hours in and this will not go away unless there is an ample break before I see them again.
When I went on my Busabout trip I realised how valuable their networks are at accommodating this. Their coaches come every 2-3 days throughout the network meaning you can fuck someone right off and meet them a few days later.
You should always plan at least 1-3 days apart. If you were competing over whether or not to go to a specific destination anyway, this is a good opportunity to go to the place you wanted to, while also getting some alone time.
Trust me, parting ways is 100% worth it and will make you appreciate each other again. The other option is damaging the friendship beyond return.
If you don’t get sick of them at all?
That’s love, folks.
This writer travelled to Germany as a guest of Germany Tourism and Busabout.Image: The Lizzie McGuire Movie