Travelling with a Non-Adventurous Companion

If you like to go hard with the adventure when you travel, how do you deal with a more timid travel companion? For example, a new girlfriend.

Respect their limits.

The fastest way to ruin a budding relationship or to create tension in an existing relationship is to push someone way beyond their comfort level. If you are very adventurous or don’t mind going without creature comforts and dealing with bugs etc, you might not realize that other people have different ideas of a fun time.

If the person you’re travelling with has never camped, then you might want to try one night of camping and the rest of your stay in a hotel, or half and half.

Likewise, don’t push someone to do adventure activities like bungee jumping if they’re really not into it. Some people are wired so that they find thrill seeking and fear inducing activities fun, while other people just find these activities nauseating, scary and not at all fun. This can be a neural wiring thing and not an attitude thing.

2. Stay away from things that have a huge gross factor.

For example, your travel companion may not have any interest in using a long drop toilet. However, they may be fine with staying in a clean campground. With a bit more experience, they’re likely to become more comfortable with peeing in the woods and the like, but give them some time before writing them off as high maintenance.

3. Small things can make a big difference.

For example, if someone isn’t used to street food then they might be comfortable starting out with vegetarian options or deserts, rather than jumping straight into mystery meat!

Likewise, going on your first camping trip together somewhere that has clean toilets and few problems with bugs may make a huge difference as to whether your novice camping companion will try the experience again in the future.

4. Don’t be extreme.

If you’re planning on going hiking, don’t over do it. Aim to walk 2-3 hours before setting up camp rather than 4-6 or more.

Take some creature comforts along, like a pillow for camping, or camp cots rather than sleeping mats. Even if it means carrying a bit of extra weight, cook regular food rather than plan to eat nothing but energy bars.

5. Alternate between activity and relaxation.

If you’re going hiking for a few days, book a few days in a nice lodge afterwards.

6. Set expectations.

Expect that the non-adventurous traveller may complain if you’ve planned a trip and something goes wrong. If people aren’t used to travel planning, then they won’t realize that sh!t happens even with the best planning. Educate them in advance about typical travel hiccups and how you plan to cope if these occur. For example, if you get to a destination and find you don’t like it, or the hotel is noisy.

Photo Credit: Creative Commons, Carla MacNeil

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