Tuesday, February 10, 2015

27 essential travel buddy traits

Valentine's Day is coming up, and it also falls on President's Day weekend, which could mean different (happy, sad, sappy, whatever) things to different people, but what it means to most is that it's a long weekend and a reason to get out of town. I may or may not leave Los Angeles this upcoming weekend, but what I have decided (based on trial and error) is that it's important, when taking a trip, to choose a travel buddy wisely. I can honestly say that there is no feeling like the I will go anywhere with you feeling. 
Whether you're taking a romantic vacation, a girls' trip, a road trip, flying, biking, etc., the most important thing is that you're traveling with someone likeminded whose company you will enjoy as much as the trip itself. I've traveled with boys. I've traveled with girls. With grandparents, cousins, parents, my brother. I've traveled with my dog, with friends, with boyfriends, with roommates. I've traveled by myself--which I enjoy very much, actually. Whoever you're traveling with this coming weekend, make sure they have (most of) these qualities:

1. They make snack packs for the road (granola bars, gatorade, kettle corn, candy).
2. They split the gas or even out by buying you a drink or two.
3. They are laid back about going to bed/waking up whether it's early or late...
4. And don't get mad when you accidentally wake them up by turning on a light or making a little noise...
5. AND let you sleep in more than you should, because extra sleep can be good for you
6. They need coffee as much and as often as you do, and share your affinity for sweets.
7. They're willing to cross a few things off their list and a few things off yours (one for me, one for you, right?). 
8. They go with the flow, dress in something that's morning-to-night, and freshen up quickly when freshening up is an option.
9. They are spontaneous, have workable work schedules and comfortable shoes.
10. They make CDs and/or playlists for the road.
11. They know that driving and using your phone simultaneously is illegal, but don’t say a word when you slow down to take your 7238497234th sunset shot, because they know one will work for your IG and then one can be stolen for theirs. 
12. "You should totally zipline upside down and without hands," they tell you. And you live to share the story of how for some chemical/biological/bizarre reason, your brain was instructing your body to let go, but your body didn't want to listen. 
13. Sometimes they just know when it's time to forego adventure and settle in for a massage on the beach. 
14. They think that getting a few plates to split/share is better than getting their own--and they like cheese.
15. They're not afraid of a little rain, or of wearing the same socks twice.
16. They're extroverted and outgoing, but also know when to stop talking.
17. They take time to smell the ocean, and the roses (or gardenias, lilacs, jasmine) with you.
18. They have the Square Cash app so you can just shoot money from your bank account to theirs or vice versa when splitting a bill is annoying. Some people are fans of Venmo; I'm not. I don't really care to let my Facebook friends know that Alyssa paid me for "a gallon of wine and the best bread pudding ever" at a deep dish place in Echo Park. 
19. They aren't fussy. You're not traveling with two-year-olds for a reason (and if you are, that's OK, but chances are you didn't willingly choose a two-year-old travel buddy.)
20. They can agree to disagree. You want to get a sneak peek of Alvin Ailey's ballerinas rehearsing (true story flashback to 2005) and they want to go a museum? Splitting up is a-OK. 
21. They're all for bathroom breaks, and all for holding it when you're in a time crunch. 
22. They take decent (albeit strangely shadowed) pics of your butt when there is nothing else interesting worth photographing. 
23. Their idea of a nice dinner is an appetizer, a main dish and a glass or two of wine at a cool place with 3-4 Yelp stars, not an eight-course tasting menu at Daniel ($500+ not including drinks).
24. A continuation of #23: your budget matches their budget when it comes to choosing a hotel, a rental car and not-free activities.
25. They are thoughtful, generous and have a good sense of humor--meaning they are OK with poking fun at everything and everyone, including themselves.  
26. You can share clothes/a suitcase/maybe (clean) underwear.
27. Most importantly, they don't judge you. You're texting/taking mirror selfies/walking around in your underwear/having one drink too many (that you may later regret), but they carry on with their business as usual and let you figure out yours. 

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