4 Types Of People You Don’t Want To Travel Around The World With

I’ve traveled with quite a few different types of people, both friends, family and boyfriends. Some have been awesome, and some have been really terrible.

Although I had an overall good time with them, I’ve often returned home promising myself never to do it again.

It’s nobody’s fault, but for some reason we just didn’t get along well together, especially not when traveling.

It’s also something I realize now afterward that I should have known before we went traveling together.

There are some traits that make traveling together really difficult, so before you go, make sure your travel buddy isn’t any of these…

Insecure

This is the most important trait to watch out for. If your travel buddy seems a little insecure at home, that effect will more than double when you travel.

This is often the reason to most arguments, and can result in all sorts of ways.

If you’re both of the same sex, he/she can get jealous of how you’re treated by others, especially those of the opposite sex.

It can also result in the other person trying to get attention all the time by making a fool out of himself, or drinking way too much.

Often, controlling behavior and manipulation comes down to insecurity.

Opposite To Yourself

Two different personalities can complement each other, but they can’t be too different.

Make sure you know what the other person wants out of the trip.

If you want to drink and party all night long, and the other wants to get up early and lay by the beach the whole day, or going for some treks and exploring – you’re going to get sick of each other the first day!

Always make sure you’re on the same path, and are expecting the same things.

Another typical example is spender vs saver. If you want to stay with a strict budget and your friend wants to splurge out on money, you’ll spend most your time arguing.

Short Tempered & Arrogant

There is nothing more embarrassing than traveling with someone who shows no respect to people, both locals and other travelers.

Sometimes, it’s hard to notice this trait before you travel together.

Traveling with a person who is arrogant is also very unpredictable. If she/he gets angry or upset, they might all the sudden just walk off and be gone for a whole day.

Traveling with someone who is short tempered is exhausting. You don’t want to tip toe your way around the world worrying if the other person all the sudden will have an out burst.

Naive

We can all be a little naive at times at a new place, but too much of it will get you into constant trouble.

You don’t want to be a full time baby sitter, making sure your friend doesn’t get “free drinks” from a dodgy stranger or think that a kiss on the lips after a toast is an “Irish tradition”…

You want the person you travel with to be a little experienced, if he/she is not only inexperienced but also naive, you’ll end up with all responsibility and pull all the weight alone.

This can get very tiring and frustrating, and you’ll wish you just did it alone.

Have you ever traveled with people like this? How did it go? What are some types you wouldn’t want to travel with?

(photo credits: isforinsectsShandi-leegogoloopiesquacco)

37 Responses to 4 Types Of People You Don’t Want To Travel Around The World With

  1. Katrina January 30, 2011 at 10:25 am #

    I’m not sure how to classify the really big bummer of a buddy I had once. It was a friend I’d known for years in a professional context. We stayed in contact after I left the area and he joined me on an epic trip in Africa.

    He’d traveled before and, at work, was one of the most brilliant, talented, smart, hardworking people I’d ever met. I didn’t really connect the dots that most of his travel was before then — and with the military. He turned out to be arrogant, insecure, obliviously naive (all the while asking if my bf (now hybby), who was also along, had ever traveled before, implying that *he* was the naive one), and went out of his way to get cozy with the tour operators. It’s a tactic/tendency that worked really well in the business we’d worked in, but ended up getting us all screwed on the trip: the operators pressured him into accepting another person into our group, without consulting the rest of us.

    We had paid a higher fee for a small group, received no discount, and were squooshed in the Landrover. Feh. I learned some things about boundaries, so I guess that’s a good thing. Just wish I’d learned earlier!

    • Sofia @ As We Travel January 31, 2011 at 10:08 am #

      Oh noo!
      It’s so annoying traveling with people who think they know better, it always amazes me how many people have no self awareness what so ever.

      It’s good that you see it from the bright side, at least you learned something out of the experience ;)

      • Pink Sun Drops May 3, 2011 at 9:11 pm #

        I’ve often wondered what to call people who don’t realize what they are doing — self-aware perfectly describes it. Sometimes, I feel I can be *too* self-aware, but then I realize I’m still missing some critical points and need to continue to be self-aware to eventually figure out what they are!

  2. Jane January 30, 2011 at 2:14 pm #

    oh oh oh I can so relate to traveling with some of those people, really sometimes its just better traveling alone! :p

    • Sofia - As We Travel January 31, 2011 at 10:10 am #

      I agree Jane, sometimes it’s probably best to travel alone.

      Never travel with someone just because you feel like you need someone else with you. If you don’t match well together, do it alone!

  3. Jasmine Stephenson January 30, 2011 at 3:04 pm #

    Oooh yeah the disrespectful type is the worst. Though I generally don’t travel with anyone (now for the first time), there have been a few times where I’ve met other backpackers in a hostel, went out with them, and then have been totally embarrassed by their behavior.

    • Sofia - As We Travel February 4, 2011 at 5:54 am #

      Yeah I’ve been there a few times too, the good thing is that you can actually leave these people whenever you want, with your travel buddy you’re stuck..!

  4. Chris January 30, 2011 at 4:05 pm #

    I’ve been caught with a couple of arrogant travellers and OMG I just wanted to leave them there and then. The simple fact that you are travelling in a foreign country and you should abide by their rules seemed to have escaped my would be travel buddies.

    • Sofia - As We Travel February 4, 2011 at 5:56 am #

      Haha yeah, on the positive side you got to see their real personalities early so you could avoid ending up as travel buddies!

  5. Anonymous January 30, 2011 at 8:43 pm #

    Luckily, I’ve never had any disasters, but I’ve definitely traveled with people who were more interested in partying or spending all our afternoons in bars that I was. Luckily, we were good enough friends that we were able to compromise–or else it would have ended far worse!
    Reminds me of the some of the points that I brought up here: http://www.cestchristine.com/2010/12/hell-and-heaven-is-traveling-with-other-people/

    • Sofia - As We Travel February 4, 2011 at 6:05 am #

      That’s fortunate, it’s always easier traveling with people you can compromise with. You don’t have to want exactly the same things all the time, as long as you can come to an agreement.

      Thanks for sharing your post.

  6. Jason Hsiao January 30, 2011 at 11:41 pm #

    The most horrible experience I had was w/ a vegetarian… I guess this files under the opposite category b/c I’ll eat almost anything. Nothing against vegetarians, this person was also inexperienced and doesn’t even know how to take the BART in SF or basically how to read a map.

    • Sofia - As We Travel February 4, 2011 at 6:09 am #

      haha sorry to hear that you had a bad experience traveling with a vegetarian, we’re not all like that ;P

  7. Jane January 30, 2011 at 8:41 pm #

    Inexperienced and naive is definitely the worst type of travel companion, you’ll have to carry all the responsibilities of the trip.

    • Sofia - As We Travel February 4, 2011 at 5:59 am #

      You’re right, I traveled with a friend like that once, it really makes everything so much more difficult and stressful..

  8. Breakaway Backpacker January 31, 2011 at 7:48 am #

    One time me and my best friend did a last minute trip to Los Angeles. Oh man it was a nightmare traveling with him. He is very mellow so I thought he would be a great companion but oh no it turned out all he wanted to was chill at the hotel for the 4 days we were there. It was constant arguing because I actually had done research and wanted to do stuff. So now any time I travel with someone I let them know look I am going to a new place to explore it and get to know it. If it is not something you want to do don’t even bother.

    • Sofia - As We Travel February 4, 2011 at 6:15 am #

      Funny, what’s the point of going anywhere if you just want to spend all time at the hotel? You might as well check in at a hotel in your home town!

      I had a similar experience, trying to drag my friend along and convince her to try new things and go to places.

      It was a struggle I don’t want to experience again, and at least we’ve learned our lesson! :)

  9. Erica Kuschel January 31, 2011 at 10:57 am #

    I feel really lucky that all my travel mates have been amazing. Hubby and I are great when it comes to travel compatibility – although we’ll find out more since this is our first long travel excursion. :P

    • Sofia - As We Travel February 4, 2011 at 6:17 am #

      That’s awesome.

      I think the first month is the most crucial one, if you can get past that one you can travel for a long time without much trouble :)

  10. JB January 31, 2011 at 1:53 pm #

    I’d add two more:

    1. The know-it-all. This type usually thinks they know everything (and thus you can’t really reason with them) even though they have no experience or basis for all their opinions.

    2. Mr./Mrs. Negative. They are negative about everything and everyone. All locals are idiots/untrustworthy/trying to scam you/etc. etc. This place isn’t beautiful, not like so-and-so place. On and on like this.

    Naturally a combination of the two is horrible. You can’t even “go to the source” and ask a local to challenge the know-it-all statement of the moment because the result will be some negative comment about how unreliable a local person’s opinion is or something along those lines.

    • Sofia - As We Travel February 4, 2011 at 6:19 am #

      Those are two good ones, thanks for adding!

      I’ve never traveled with a “know-it-all” person, but I can imagine it would be very frustrating!

  11. Priyank February 3, 2011 at 4:00 am #

    Hi Sofia,
    I am highly sensitive to the personality mismatch you described above after having had a bunch of bad experiences. It could be with travel buddies you make on the road or a friend you already know. So now when I travel and someone wants to join me, I give them sufficient idea in advance of the things I want to do. Its nice to have a travel buddy but if they want to do totally different things, I’m better off traveling by myself.

    I’ve done the babysitting too, its even worse because somehow anything bad that happens will be your fault.

    Priyank.

    • Sofia - As We Travel February 4, 2011 at 6:23 am #

      Giving them an idea about how you travel is a good thing to do, it’s always better to realize you want two different things before it’s too late.

      You’re so right about the babysitting, somehow everything always ends up being your fault..!

  12. enrolled agent cpe February 4, 2011 at 1:09 am #

    I find myself nodding while reading the entire post. I recently traveled to Taiwan over the weekend, all by myself. This gave me time to think about things such as doing a comparison between going solo or traveling with friends. It s quite hard to travel with someone who doesn’t share the same interests as you do because you’ll spend some precious moments trying to compromise. I don’t like going with people who are not on time and doesn’t even care if they messed up someone else schedule.

    • Sofia - As We Travel February 4, 2011 at 6:27 am #

      You’re right, if you’re too different you’ll spend most of your time trying to compromise, and none of you will be completely satisfied with the way things turn out – then it’s better to do it alone, I think.

      Thanks for sharing your experience.

  13. Mallory February 15, 2011 at 1:13 am #

    Me! (Or anyone else with chronic health problems). I’d never travel with anyone except a paid assistant/companion or a family member who knew what they were getting into.
    I love to travel, but I go at a snail’s pace. One afternoon exploring = next two days lying down. I also faint when it’s hot, seize up when it’s cold, and have multiple food intolerances.
    Check prospective travel companions carefully for health issues, allergies etc. Something that’s not an issue in normal surroundings can be a major pain when travelling.

  14. joshapalooza February 15, 2011 at 4:21 am #

    I’m about ready to do a backpacking/hitch-hiking trip around Turkey and Eastern Europe. Im bound to find some travel buddies as I go. I just hope I don’t turn out to be one of these..or my partners.

    I’m used to traveling alone as I’m free to talk to anybody that way..or do whatever I want. Nice article.

  15. Flyinfree83 March 20, 2011 at 8:06 pm #

    I’ve experienced all of these – the other personality is the “my country is the best” and I dislike this one a lot – I’m from the USA but I’ve seen this with several nationalities. When I travel, I like to pretend I’m from Canada, Germany, etc rather than the USA so I don’t get grouped into the stereotypes. My favorite example of this: my 200 piece high school band, plus 60 chaperons went to London for a week. Out of all those people, I was the ONLY one who wasn’t interested in eating at the McDonald’s (I went to M&S and got a sandwich, then to the candy store…they were in line for 2 hours ordering food) and one of the few people willing to eat a Shepard’s Pie (it was good – they wanted a burger) and the only person that knew how the subway worked (we don’t have one in my hometown). My second favorite example: at a restaurant on the side of the road in India, I was with a friend (native) and her family. This guy from CA was talking (very loudly) about his state, how great his country was, how thankful they should be that we export Coke to India, and so forth…I tried to hide in my menu.

    In general, try to match personalities with your travel mates beforehand for a better experience but if you get a surprise – don’t be afraid to go off and do different things before coming back to the same room at night.

  16. Jake Dean April 29, 2011 at 6:03 pm #

    Ha I was traveling with all four up until last week, when I realised I’d get more out of my Latin American experience alone. In just a week after taking a different route, my Spanish has improved and I’ve been able to connect with the people around me heaps better, thus making more friends. It’s so easy to just hang out with those in your group when you’re traveling with others, but I think you miss out on so much more! The big test will be when I meet up with the girlfriend in a few months for our first traveling experience together…Good post!

  17. Alex Hart June 1, 2011 at 4:46 pm #

    I feel quiet lucky as most of my travel mates have been pretty good. saying that once i went with a friend that i had to look out for on nights out as if he had too much to drink was a nightmare!!

  18. unknown June 25, 2011 at 6:54 pm #

    For women, the jealous husband or boyfriend, is the worst, especially if he’s ignorant of other cultures. If he sees you looking at local men or local men looking at you and being friendly with you, he could start a fight and/or kill them which could lead him into being arrested for aggravated assault and/or murder. And for men, learn to accept the attention your wife or girlfriend gets from local men, don’t attack them and/or her for it, either, like in the case of a girl traveling to Greece with her boyfriend and then getting killed because of the attention she got from the local men. Learn to handle it and don’t get jealous of attractive local men, either. Avoid places in which men outnumber women, population-wise. Not just China and India. Eastern and Southern Europe (except France in which local men tend to stay away from other men’s wives or girlfriends), Latin America, North America, Middle East, Africa, South and Southeast Asia, Russia, and Ireland. The places which are best for couples are Australia, New Zealand, Western and Northern European countries (but not Spain and Portugal, which have more men than women in population). Those “equal” countries have just as much men as there are women and there’s lesser chances of couples being split up, especially by local men.

  19. Death_remark August 24, 2011 at 3:38 am #

    i’m shock bcoz they are all my traits.. huhu
    thank you.. now i know why people don’t like hanging out with me anymore.
    i don’t know how but i want to change.
    for now, i guess i better not pressuring myself/anyone to hang out together.

  20. Jhsueh December 20, 2011 at 12:29 am #

    The “opposite to yourself” rings a bell!  My mom got offended because I told her that I’d rather take my best friend to Italy with me.  I’m sorry, but all my mom would want to do is shop, and that get’s really old.  I’m more interested in landmarks and museums.  She’ll thank me later when she realizes that I saved us both from one of the worst trips ever!  LOL

  21. Mysteriousmasqker January 17, 2012 at 7:32 pm #

    it depends on how you’re saying NAIVE! naive can mean many different things, sometimes it’s better to be a bit naive and not know too much, because if you do know too much then people will use you and take advantage of you more. it’s sort of like white people traveling to alot of Asian countries (most of the time, even though it’s a huge misconception) many locals think all Americans or white people are rich and have loads of money which makes them succumbable to crime,rape,robberies,and kidnapping/murders.

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