Like to travel but don’t want to go on your own? Holimate.com connects solo travelers with fellow adventurers who have similar destination interests.
Traveling alone is becoming more common and often comes with certain advantages. As a solo traveler, you’re in control of both time and budget. Plus, it’s easier to make friends with locals while not having to compromise your interests to appease others.
A Visa global travel intentions study sheds light on why people decide to travel alone:
- Roughly 25 percent of people traveled alone in 2015—up from 15 percent in 2012.
- Among first-time travelers, solo travel is at 37 percent, up from 16 percent from three years ago.
- An estimated 40 percent of solo travelers are either single or divorced.
- Over 40 percent of solo travelers are in a committed relationship, but cite work/scheduling conflicts as a major obstacle.
Solo travelers, however, don’t always want to go alone. Traveling as part of a group is less expensive. Bills can be split to cut costs. It’s also safer since there’s another person to watch your back; and it can be less lonely when you’re waiting for a connecting flight or traveling from point to point. And what if your friends can’t get away or don’t want to go to that destination you’ve been dreaming about?
Holimate is a new social platform that connects travelers from all around the world, motivates and inspires travelers to talk about trips, sites visited, recommendations and more. The site is great for connecting like-minded travelers, who can link up and travel together while still creating space to meet locals who’ll bring their unique views to your travel experience. It’s a great way to find ideal trips and travel companions – a big plus for single people who long to travel.
Still, it can be emotionally challenging if you hit the road with the wrong person, but there are steps you can take to help ensure a good experience.
If you’re looking for a travel companion, start by visualizing what that person would be like. Do you want to connect with a person of the same sex or the opposite sex? Does age matter? Do you like to participate in athletic activities when traveling (jogging, hiking, yoga, bicycling)? Smoker or non-smoker? Should the trip include tourist sites such as museums or do you prefer “off-the-beaten-path” experiences? Once you determine the traits of your ideal travel buddy, then finding that individual is much easier. Once the connection is made among like-minded travelers, then the planning can begin.
In order to be the best travel mate, here are the top 10 recommended tips to take into account when traveling with others:
— Agree on a general budget
Knowing the budget in advance is the cornerstone of traveling with a buddy. Decide if fancy, expensive restaurants are in the plans or if meals will be a quick bite on the run.
— Chip in
Traveling is about fun and enjoying new experiences — not counting pennies. The best travel companions don’t necessarily split the check and argue over every cent. One person should pick up one check while the other picks up the next. It all evens out in the end.
— Adjust to your companion’s travel style
Each person is unique and has specific habits and paces. While one might run at the speed of light through a museum to quickly snap a selfie next to the Mona Lisa, the travel partner might want to spend hours analyzing all of the paintings.
— It is best to discuss a travel schedule before the trip — during the planning stage.
Remember to make a Plan B. If one person needs 5 hours in a museum, but that doesn’t fit into the other’s schedule, then plan a shopping spree or sip a cappuccino in the café down the street.
— Share the decisions
Teamwork is key in making decisions on where to eat, what sites to visit, how long to remain at a destination, the best time for “lights out” and much more. Don’t assume that the other traveler is a mind-reader. Solo travelers meeting other solo travelers should plan time to talk about all decisions pertaining to the trip.
— Give one another space
Teaming up with a travel buddy provides an opportunity to establish a lasting relationship, but keep in mind that alone time is always key when spending time with a new companion. Don’t cling. Allow one another to re-charge and to have some space.
— Keep a cool head
During any travel experience, there could come a time where something goes wrong. Don’t go into a rage or cast blame. Take a deep breath, count to ten, and remember the excitement of being in a new country or city. The stressful times will pass and, hopefully, a laugh will come out of the experience.
— Be tolerant
If your travel buddy slurps their soup or snores, deal with their idiosyncrasies rather than making it into a big deal. Move past those little things that bug you and you’ll have a much better experience.
— Communication is key
Communication is a two-way process. When you team up with a buddy to experience a vacation, you won’t necessarily agree on everything. Learn to compromise and make sure to enjoy the sights, sounds, and tastes a new city has to offer.
— Have fun and lighten the mood
The most important part of a solo traveler connecting with a travel buddy is to have a great time. Funny situations, iconic locations, historical sights, sunrises and sunsets become memories that will last a lifetime.
— Clean up after yourself
No one wants to share a room with dirty socks and shirts spread about or open toothpaste tubes on the bathroom counter. Be a good considerate roommate.