After a long time of drawing, your barkada getaway is finally coming to fruition! Your flights are booked, hotels are reserved, and tours are scheduled. You’ve planned the itinerary to make way for everyone’s requests, and you’re now sure that this will be your best trip ever! But… your nega travel buddy believes otherwise.
Most of us are well-acquainted with at least one negatron. Sometimes, they’re a family member; sometimes, they’re a colleague. Other times, they’re a friend. And when worse comes to worst, they’re a travel buddy.
One would think that travelling is a way to release stress — to detoxify yourself from all the bad elements in life. But when you’re travelling with a nega travel buddy, your trip is almost always doomed to be spoiled.
Of course, no one wants this to happen. So, what do you do when you have a nega travel buddy with you? Here are some tips.
Also read: The Six Types of Travel Buddies From Hell
1. Set realistic expectations
If you already know that you’ll be travelling with a nega travel buddy, you should align your expectations with reality as soon as possible. Prepare your heart for disappointments and allow your trip to have setbacks. Also, don’t pressure yourself into creating a trip that your nega travel buddy will love. Sometimes, you just have to accept that you can’t please him or her no matter what you do. So, expect the worst, even while hoping for the best.
2. Communicate before the trip
To deal with your non-negotiables in a trip, it’s best that you communicate your expectations with your travel buddy. Maybe they’re a negatron when it comes to trip budgeting. If so, talk about your allotted budget beforehand. Meanwhile, if they’re more critical about comfort, then give them a heads up about any possible inconveniences. If you’ve already had bad experiences with this nega travel buddy, then you might need to settle some possible solutions before the problems even arise.
3. Learn to compromise
Of course, it isn’t fair for you to be the only one willing to adjust for your nega travel buddy. So, voice out your preferences and concerns, too. If you have differences in travel styles or personalities, let them know as soon as possible. You should both learn to compromise for each other as much as possible. Find the middle ground; look for shared interests. Who knows? You might even bond over a cool new experience!
4. Agree to disagree
If no one is willing to sacrifice their preferences, then maybe it’s time to agree to disagree. Allot time for personal space, so that you won’t have to stick to each other the whole trip. Suggest that you have some alone time every now and then. With this, you can both enjoy the vacation your own way.
5. Practice honesty
If you’re good friends with this nega travel buddy, then it might be time for you to tell them that you find their pessimistic behaviour off-putting. They will need to know the truth, eventually, for their own sake. It will help them in the long run, anyway.
6. Be open to making new friends
Sometimes, making new friends is the best way to freshen up the atmosphere between you and your travel buddy. Be open to meeting new people — especially when travelling! Many travellers are keen to build relationships while on the road, particularly with likeminded people who share their love for travel. Tag your travel buddy along with you to a common area — like a lounge or a bar — and be ready to socialise!
7. Stay positive
When nothing you do can combat the negativity your travel buddy emanates, choose to stay positive. The vacation won’t last forever, so it’s better to look at the bright side as much as you can. Brush off as much negativity as possible! Focus on the place, instead of your travel buddy. Finally, count this as a learning experience and rethink your next travel buddy for your future trips.
8. Check yourself
Are you sure your nega travel buddy isn’t just mirroring your behaviour? Most of the time, it’s easier for us to see the mistakes of other people than to see our own. Maybe you also have to correct certain parts of your behaviour. If you’re noticing that you and your travel buddy are getting into conflict, take a step back and breathe. Reflect on what is going on in your heart. What is bothering you? Why are you affected? What can you do to lessen the stress you’re experiencing?
9. Remember why you’re friends
You must be travelling with each other for a reason! Maybe your travel personalities just don’t match. Don’t allow this to ruin your relationship. Instead, take this trip as an opportunity to discover new things about your travel buddy. Let these learnings strengthen your friendship!
10. Seek assistance
Sometimes, tour groups assign you a stranger as your travel buddy. In this case, you can always ask the tour guide or any other authority figure for assistance. Of course, this is only an option — and preferably, the last option — when you really can’t handle the nega travel buddy assigned to you. Before you do this, make sure you have exhausted all other alternatives.
A nega travel buddy can spoil your whole vacation, but thankfully, there are many ways to deal with them! With all the love and light that travel inspires, there are definitely a lot of opportunities for you to build good and lasting relationships with those you travel with — no matter who they are. Besides, if all else fails, you can always go solo on your next trip instead.