How to Not Want to Smother Your Travel Partner in Their Sleep

“If I hear her clear her throat one more fucking time…”

“We are sightseeing. Why do we have to sit every ten feet. WHY DO YOU ALWAYS WANT TO SIT?”

“For what purpose do you unpack every single item in your suitcase and inspect it, to then put it right back into your suitcase the same way? WHY ARE YOU DOING THAT?”

I don’t care if it’s your nicest, never-been-in-even-the-smallest-fight friend, you’re gonna hate her/him at some point in your travels. The littlest things they do will grate on your nerves extra-rusty-grater-like.
Whenever someone spends every waking moment for an extended period of time with literally anyone, they’re gonna want to throttle them at least once.
It’s basic human nature.
It is possible to minimize and, if you’re lucky enough, eliminate becoming irrationally annoyed with your travel companion(s) with these failsafe tips:
1. Don’t be an asshole, (but if it happens, be a little understanding)
This one sounds pretty simple, but not being an asshole can be pretty hard when you’re sleep-deprived, you have traveler’s diarrhea, and/or you haven’t quite adjusted to your new cultural surroundings.

The best bet here is, if someone you know is always an asshole, don’t agree to spend six days and seven nights with them on a trip where escape is impossible.
If you or someone you know isn’t known for being an asshole, but you/they have suddenly morphed into Kanye West, blame it on the travel diarrhea. It’s not you, it’s the chapped butthole.
2. Be prepared to battle
It’s gonna happen. Prepare yourself mentally for the inevitable fact that you will annoy each other and that it will likely lead to a nasty and probably public disagreement or argument.

And then, to make up, they’ll make this face to make you laugh and wait until you notice as you are actively avoiding them while waiting for your meal at a crowded restaurant.*
When you’re expecting it that your pal’s incessant throat clearing or tendency to dominate conversations and decisions will eventually annoy you, you can be better prepared to act in a positive fashion.
However tempting, leaving your travel partner alone in the Theatre District in NYC doesn’t do wonders for a friendship. Also, you’ll feel really bad if your friend gets shanked.
3. Be more flexible
This pretty much goes along with the previous two suggestions. No one who isn’t able to adjust and be flexible is fun to travel with. Sorry. It’s fact.

If you have a hard time going with the flow, not only will you miss out on awesome travel experiences, the people traveling with you will want to send you packing.
Despite the fact that snoring and having to use the bathroom right after someone drops a Beijing Bomb is unpleasant, it’s all part of the experience when traveling and sharing a room with others. Embrace it.
4. Plan time apart
The best way to get back to semi-liking your travel friend is to not have to see their face or hear their mouth breathing for a couple of hours.
Plan some dedicated time when you can part ways for a chunk of the day. Maybe you’re into museums, but your friend is more into shopping. Perfect. You can each do what you want and get that much-needed if-i-have-to-spend-five-more-minutes-with-you-I’ll-do-murder-break.

Checked out some awesome Edinburgh back alleys. I swear I wasn’t looking for a place to dump the body.
5. Focus on what’s around you

Don’t get so in a tizzy that you forget what you planned months for and paid out the ass to see. Sure, part of why you planned the trip was to spend time with your friend, but let’s be real, an even bigger reason was to see the Eiffel Tower/Grand Canyon/Great Wall/Loch Ness.

Focus on the sights, smells, and new sensations all around you. Immerse yourself in your experience and ignore the reality that your travel companion feels the need to read to you every sign, banner, billboard, shop window, and names of businesses as you pass by.

This one was amusing, though.
6. Just get drunk
If all else fails, drink.

Bottoms up!
*I think it took a lot longer for me to eventually see his ridiculous face than he had anticipated. The entirety of the restaurant and 20 people walking by gawked and pointed before I turned to look and subsequently threw a breadstick at his stupid face.
Also, I’ve been given express permission to post his image. I’m just not sure he remembers me taking this one…

26 thoughts on “How to Not Want to Smother Your Travel Partner in Their Sleep”

  1. You gotta be forgiving to travel with someone for any extended period of time! Just please, don’t smother them… don’t want you in jail for attempted murder!

  2. Oh my goodness!! I feel like there are some crazy stories attached to these helpful tips!
    Although I do feel like if my bestest and I were to take a trip together, we’d be ok at the end of it, I also knew two girls in university who had been BFF’s for their entire lives and went to Paris together for a week over the summer and then didn’t speak to each other for 3 months after that…

  3. I used to travel with friends A LOT. And I learned there are certain balances that just don’t work.
    I have one friend who is a flippin clueless traveler. Can’t read a map. Is afraid to negotiate local public transport. Can’t break out the translation book. Can’t deal with the concierge. BUT, she’s endlessly patient with the kids, always funny, and always compassionate. I handle the rest. We traveled beautifully together(with our toddlers).

  4. I LOVE travelling with friends (even though you are right…there are always going to be moments when you annoy each other.
    I find the best way to travel with mates is in a group of four, that way you can split up and do things in different variations of your group. Plus it means you all have a far larger wardrobe if you’re happy to share clothes.
    Oh, also I can only drink 3-4 drinks in an evening, so a group of four is perfect if you are getting in a round of drinks. 😉

    1. This summer will be the first time I’ll be traveling abroad with a group of four. It won’t be close friends, but family! I’ll be updating via the blog to keep everyone in the loop about how this goes 😂😂😂
      Love the drink rounds thing!!! That’s perfect! Also, sharing the wardrobe is an awesome idea!!

      1. YES! I love the posts that include your family! This is going to be an amazing summer for your blog!

  5. I can’t stand any more than 2 hours –TOPS– with anyone without them getting on my nerves (especially if they’re a talker)…what would you recommend I do if I suddenly get a wild hair up my ass to travel with someone for a week?

    1. Eek!!! Maybe not do that?! 😂 Well, here’s my question to you: do you enjoy traveling with others? It’s OK if you don’t. If you don’t think you’d like it, travel solo!! I REALLY want to solo-it on a major trip at least once!!

  6. A cruise is a great way to travel with friends. It’s easy to adjust the alone:together ratio, and there’s always plenty of alcohol!

  7. I’m sure I’ve mentioned it somewhere, but my first actual date with now-Husband was a weeklong road trip. Talk about trial by fire, but at least we know we can travel together. Other people… nyuh. I think I’m just to set in the “it’s my vacation, so I ought to be able to do it the way I want” mindset to travel with people who don’t do it the way I do.

  8. After several trial and error attempts, I decided almost 20 years ago that I don’t travel with people. I just don’t do it.
    I like to hang with the locals in exotic locations and I’ve met few people who want to do that. I am on this trip to experience the culture and don’t want to go to malls or eat at a McDonald’s. I like to allow the trip to take me where it takes me and do not want to be enslaved to a schedule.
    Now, I am more than willing to be flexible, but I have traveled with many who are not and I am not willing to sacrifice all the time and money I have accumulated for any trip and not be able to enjoy it to the fullest.
    I probably sound like the asshole here, but my vacations and travel plans are much more enjoyable now. I just returned from Vietnam and had a blast.

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