If you are an introvert like me, traveling with another person or in a group can be taxing. Perhaps I am putting it mildly, but in the past two years, I’ve found that I enjoy vacations less when I am traveling with one or more persons. When I was younger and could only dream of travel, the biggest reason why I avoided traveling with someone who wasn’t a significant other had to do with finance. Back in my early 20s, traveling required more money and planning; sadly, many of my friends back then weren’t as dedicated. Cheap and easy trips such as a weekend getaway would turn into friends, leaving me with the restaurant tab or promising to repay me for flipping the bill. It was an uncomfortable situation to be in, so I avoided it. Then there are the friends who ditched me for cheap thrills, have overly negative attitudes, procrastinated on travel, or even worse, they become so unbearable that I wanted the trip to end. It took some time to come to the realization that I dislike traveling with others. When this awareness hit me, it came at me like a brick to the head while on a trip with an ex-boyfriend.
I am starting to think that traveling with another person should be the ultimate test of a relationship or friendship. Personalities are put on full display and tested in a way that can either create stronger bonds are dissolve them. People can really get on your nerves when you are stuck in a hotel room with them or trying to enjoy the same activities. While other times they can become the people you want to love and cherish, but for me, that hasn’t been the case. Being the highly sensitive introvert that I am, I tend to internalize a lot of shit! My natural pattern of behavior is to try to ignore things that bother or makes me uncomfortable while traveling because I know that all trips have an end date. I would recommend addressing the problems as it’s always best when it comes to personality clashes.
One thing I cannot do without is my 30 minutes to an hour of alone time each day. Most of the trips I have taken with others between 2017, and now, I never got any alone time to soak in the magnificence of my free time or regain my energy. After my group trips, I always end up having to take time off just to recover. It seems like no matter how I mentally prepare not to have alone time, I still find it hard to accept and end up feeling mentally and physically drained. Vacationing with people who never want to be alone or want to go off and do their own thing is a killer. What I have learned here is never to share rooms if you do not have to, get your own space away from the madness.
Too Much Compromise
Yes, I am guilty of always trying to be too accommodating to the point where I have negotiated myself out of the best rooms, seats on planes, or the best views just so I can let a travel buddy who has a slightly dominant or annoying personality have it. I detest the complaining, so I generally let them have their way to a point. When there is no equal amount of compromise, this can truly put a damper on a trip and this is when the talk should happen.
Budgeting the Fun out of Life
Money can be an issue, and my thought on this is, “if you cannot afford it, then don’t even entertain it!” Planning a trip with someone or a group can be hectic as some people can afford to spend more on hotels and flights, while others prefer to budget to the extreme. I think everyone can agree that we want to spend less but still have a good time. A few years ago, a friend wanted to take a trip to the Caribbean for 5 days. Knowing that I was from the Caribbean, and we were very close, she naturally wanted me to go with her. She talked me into going on this grand vacation, so I dove in and started planning. She wanted to spend less than $800 for the flights and hotel. We decided that since the place she picked wasn’t what I wanted, that I would stay at a hotel in the same area. She didn’t want to pay a little extra to stay at a nicer hotel, and I didn’t feel like it was wise to volunteer to pay the difference. She agreed that it was okay for us to stay in separate hotels. She ended up hating her hotel and continuously complained about the flight. From then on, the trip was very uncomfortable as all she attempted to do was party, barhop, and complain all while gaslighting me. There were some memorable moments on this trip, but I know to never do that again.
Complainers, Debbie Downers, Negative Nancy and Nick!
Complainers and the friends who drag the mood down or continuously look for the negative in everything are the worse. Absolutely no one wants to travel with these types of people. Then there are friends with the sharp tongues; always ready to point out your flaws, blame you for scheduling conflicts, or continuously try to make themselves seem more superior than you. These are the people I would go on a vacation with once and never talk to again or keep all conversations light and to the point after. There is no getting around any of these people, its either you fight it out and makeup while on the trip or totally abandon them. My personality leans more towards sucking it up and never making plans with that person again.
After looking at each situation carefully and hearing other horror stories of travel with various personalities, I have concluded that for long trips, it’s best to go it alone or find someone with a similar personality. While there are so many benefits to traveling with another person or with a group such as; not being alone, security, doing more daring things, comfort, and venturing further into the unknown. I just haven’t found that person or group I feel comfortable enough to do it with, without stressing, being put in bad situations or dealing with drama. I found that while I have great memories and might wander off and do activities I might never do solo, I often walk away from a group trip having some bad memories while solo travel only seems to bring back more positive ones.