What to Do When Your Travel Companion is A Dud.

We've all heard the stories, traveling with a friend will either make your friendship, or destroy it altogether. You've ignored the warnings & gone on an international trip with a friend... who turns out to be a complete nightmare. So, what do you do?

I've unfortunately had a bit of experience in this arena. From a life changing trip to France as a teenager, where my trip buddy only wanted to shop (seriously, she wanted to skip the Louvre!) to my recent excursion to Mexico City with a former friend who did absolutely zero research about the place (she thought CDMX had a beach... it's landlocked) I've dealt with all kinds of bad travel buddies & still managed to have an amazing time!

Haters gonna hate! Have fun with or without your travel buddy. (Silly selfies are probably a good start).


Without further ado, my five tips for how to salvage a trip when your travel buddy is crap.

1: Stick to your guns.
What are the sights you want to see? Make sure you hit those babies. Don't compromise on the things you want to do just because your buddy is too lazy to walk 10 blocks; your friend is welcome to stay at the hotel. You'll be even more angry if you miss out on the things you really wanted to do by compromising with someone who's plainly not interested in the same things you are. If your friend refuses to do anything alone (my experience in Mexico City) do what you want & let them tag along.

2: Don't over talk it.
There comes a point when talking about an issue just isn't going to solve it. If you've discovered your friend is an "obnoxious American" when abroad, there's probably no amount of conversation that can resolve that issue. I am not usually one to avoid conflict, but when you're on a trip with a short amount of time to do the things you want I don't think it's worth it to spend precious hours arguing.

3: Have a plan B, C, & D.
Don't rely on your buddy for reservations, plans, or transport. Have back-ups for your back-ups so that you can be totally self sufficient if need be. Know how to get yourself around without your friend's assistance. During my teenaged France trip I ended up just abandoning my buddy in the Galleries Lafayette because I wasn't interested in spending an entire day in a glorified mall. I had my own map (this way pre-cellphone) & plans for where I wanted to go. She was happy to shop in peace.

4: Go with the flow.
This ties with number 2. But if it's easier & will create less conflict to just go along with nightmare friend's desire do it. Don't skip the things you want to do, but be flexible with the details. In my recent trip to Mexico City my friend was very dramatic about the subway system (which I thought was quite lovely albeit crowded). She wanted to take Uber everywhere (& wanted me to pay for it). It was easier to just pop open the Uber app than to argue about it, & we still got where I wanted to go, so there was no point in arguing over it.

5: Don't let them get you down!
You're on this awesome trip which you've planned, if you're like me, for months. Don't let their drama drag you down. Go 100% zen on their ass & enjoy yourself! If you're in a hostel, make friends with other travelers & go on adventures in the surrounding areas. Refuse to let their doom & gloom attitude spoil your trip!

When you're exploring tourist sites there's always someone willing to snap your photo, no travel buddy required.

Have you ever had a nightmare travel companion? What did you do to save your trip?

Comments