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Can We Talk? How to Ensure a Great Trip with Your Travel Buddy.

Posted on Friday, February 3rd, 2023

Story by: Ken Lovering | Travel Writer

If you’re planning to be roommates, you’ll want to make sure you’re a good match ahead of time. Here’s what we mean.


Can We Talk? How to Ensure a Great Trip with Your Travel Buddy.

Maybe you’ve been here: You’re out cycling with a friend and the conversation turns to your next bicycling vacation. You know: the one you’re planning to take by yourself either by choice or by circumstance. Then one of you says those words that feel right in the moment because you’re having such a great ride:


“Let’s go together and be roomies!”


It’s not that you regret the suggestion. Far from it. The idea puts some pizzazz in your pedal and you’re buoyed by a new enthusiasm for the trip. You like this person! It’ll be fun! What could possibly go wrong?


If you know us here at VBT, you know we are far from skeptical. Yes, it’s always fun to travel with friends. But if you’re planning to be roommates, you’ll want to make sure you’re a good match ahead of time. All it takes is a conversation about your personal travel styles, habits, and temperaments. Here’s what we mean:


How far are you up for biking each day?

Having similar fitness levels can boost your relationship in many ways. There’s nothing like a good ride to share a feeling of accomplishment. But you might have different ideas about how much time you want to spend on the saddle. Whether all-day rides or shorter jaunts appeal to you, share your preferences with your travel buddy so neither of you will feel undue pressure. Fortunately, VBT offers shorter and longer riding options most every day, so you can each set your own cadence.


Do you like every minute planned? Or do you prefer spontaneity?

There’s a lot to be said for keeping to the schedule that a tour operator like VBT sets. It’s a good way to maximize your travel experience and see the sights the way a trip planner intended. Then there are the folks who’d rather go where the winds take them. They’d rather linger in a café until well past lunch or see where an off-the-map narrow road leads. The point is, when you understand each other’s styles up front, you can give each other space and time to do as you please. And that makes for a very smooth ride, indeed.


When you’re not on the bike, what would you rather be doing?

Maybe you want to check out the local ruins or rent a kayak in the nearby river. Or maybe you just want to chill by the pool with a book or a refreshing drink. You might be roomies, but it’s okay to follow your individual interests and make your vacation your own. Know what to expect from each other so there are no surprises.


Are you a late sleeper or an early riser?

On a VBT bicycling vacation, we like to get a reasonably early start. Maybe you do, too. Or maybe not. It’s your vacation, and it’s okay to skip a scheduled ride if you’d rather sleep in and enjoy a leisurely breakfast. It’s also okay to greet the sun with yoga or a vigorous walk if that’s your thing. The most amenable roommates give each other the same space that we give our guests. Each of you needs to experience your destination on your own terms.


Introvert or extrovert?

Introverts and extroverts are very different travelers. Not to generalize, but extroverts take pure delight in socializing, whether with other travelers or with locals—while introverts might prefer the company of their own thoughts. It’s not that these two personality types aren’t suitable as roommates. We all know that opposites attract, after all. But it’s wise to understand each other’s styles so you can travel with a deeper sense of mutual respect.


What’s your idea of relaxing in your room?

Maybe you end your day with a meditation. Maybe your roomie ends the day with dance music. We know this sounds like a bad sitcom plot, but the point is that habits and idiosyncrasies sometimes step into the room when we least expect them. Remember that you’re sharing more than a travel experience. You’re also sharing each other’s ways of being in the world.


Communication and compromise are key to a successful journey with a roommate. But you both also have to be clear about the things you aren’t willing to compromise, like experiences you’ve been looking forward to since you first booked your trip. Maybe there’s a museum you’re dying to visit or local cuisine you want to sample. Respect your companion’s bottom lines as much as you want them to respect yours.

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