July 30, 2015
We’re coming into the last quarter of the year, which, in our opinion, is the best time to be planning your holidays. Why? There are so many airfare and accommodation promotions going on, and most importantly, you really don’t wanna be that guy who can’t take leave from work on certain dates because your colleague has already applied for those dates.
That and all the logistical nightmares aside, another important part of travelling – if you’re not planning on going solo or in a group – is picking who you want to travel with. I’ve had disappointing experiences in my life on various trips because of very different travelling agendas and styles. When you live with someone (even for a few days), you’ll start to see things that you’d never imagine you would see. You realise some friends are just better of as that and not travel partners. Before it ends up becoming a “make-it-or-break-it” trip, talk it out.
THE “OCD” VS. THE “IT’S ORGANISED MESS”
Sharing a room and a bathroom leaves both of you susceptible to “exposing” the way you usually live at home, behind closed doors. For most neat freaks (this is an extreme version), they’ll unpack and hang everything up, putting the rest of their stuff in the drawers. Then they’ll arrange their toiletries neatly in the bathroom, leaving enough space for their partner.
If this is you (or a variation of it), you’ll probably hate the latter’s way of doing things; a minefield of “organised mess” on the floor and in the bathroom will be the death of you. You’re gonna get so annoyed by even the slightest thing, like an uncapped shampoo bottle or a comb that’s not in the right place.
Sit down and discuss both your different habits before travelling together and come to a compromise, or find someone else to travel with.
THE “HERE’S OUR PLAN TODAY” VS. “CAN WE JUST CHILL”
“So today, we’ll take the train to this place, and do this, this, this. Then we’ll take a bus up North to do that, that, that. Dinner at 6.30 will be at so-and so. After that, we’ll go back to the hotel to freshen up at 8 and then go for drinks till 2am!” Sound familiar? Well, some of us just prefer to make the best out of the entire trip by filling every possible waking moment with activities ranging from hiking, to shopping to visiting all the major monuments in the city… ALL IN ONE DAY. Rinse and repeat until the end of the trip.
If you’re more of a chillax traveller, this kind of person will drive you mental. For you, getting away from the crazy hustle in Singapore is a form of escape to just kick back and do nothing. If beaches, hotel pools, an afternoon sipping on a nice Mojito while you’re getting a tan or just lying in bed all day is more your thing, you’re going to hate your perky traveller friend who wakes up at 5am to do Yoga on the beach everyday “just to get the day started”. Pfft.
Figure out what kind of style your potential travelling partner favours beforehand so you won’t come back to Singapore with a broken friendship at the end of the trip.
THE “SNAKE BLOOD AND VODKA” VS. THE “A PLATE OF CHICKEN RICE”
Food is like a double-edged sword – it can either bring you apart, or play a very divisive role in your friendship. Funny how that one thing that we enjoy can do either one to us. While most might find it hard to stomach that shot of snake’s blood and vodka, others might prefer a little adventure when overseas, opting to avoid eating things that they can find back at home.
So really, where’s the middle ground? That’s the other thing you’ll need to figure out with your travelling partner. I’m usually easy-going when it comes to food; I’ll try anything once (but not throughout the entire trip, of course). We’d usually take turns to plan where to eat, making sure that there’s a good mix.
Also, when it comes to splitting bills, we usually take turns to pay for the entire meal, and then calculate when we’re back at the place we’re staying (it solves the problem of having two kinds of paying styles as well – those that go down to the decimal and those who just round up or down).
THE “KANCHIONG SPIDER” VS. THE “ZEN YOGI”
No matter how well you plan your trip, something is bound to go wrong. Can you imagine how it would be if both of you were the kind that would go into panic mode when lost in the middle of nowhere?
Talking about this might be tricky because if you or your friend has a big ego, you might paint a wonderful picture of yourself being in total control of the situation, should it arise. Just be honest with each other because, really, it’s better to have at least one of you who can keep calm and, well, open Google Maps without fainting.