need alone time...
Pay for a single room
I have traveled with friends at different times, but
I always tell them from the start that I want my own
room. They have always agreed, and we come home as
good friends as when we started the trip. I have been
on several tours and have seen many women who start
out as friends, but by the end of the tour, they are
hardly speaking to each other. I'd rather pay the
single supplement than ruin a friendship. It is especially
true when traveling on a tour when you have to leave
the hotel fairly early and both people need to get
ready, etc. I also like to sit up and read until late
and I wouldn't want to disturb anyone else.
Bea, Minneapolis, USA
Not total togetherness
From the first time we traveled together, my friend
and I decided not to be joined at the hip. We each
do our individual research and later compare notes.
At out destination, we intersperse our individual
day trips with our joint-interest days. We carry ear
plugs and eye masks for those occasional nights when
the other can't sleep. My advice is to plan ahead,
deviate when necessary, and be respectful.
Terry, Honolulu, Hawaii
Book a suite with balcony
My sister and I try to always get a suite or room
with a balcony so that we can get away from each other
for a bit for some alone time. This works out well
for us as we each like a bit of alone time each evening
before we retire for the night. I like going out there
and reading before bed and usually you can pull a
lamp from the room and put it on the balcony. We also
try to find a cabin or house or suite to rent that
has something each of us likes. For example I like
a Jacuzzi tub or a hot tub and she likes a very private
bedroom that is quiet for sleeping. We also compromise
on activities for the day and do something-at least
one thing each one of us likes and enjoys.
Bettina, Huntington, USA
Share experiences over dinner
No one can remain mellow when travelling together
24/7. Plan some time off from each other during the
day so you'll have something fresh to share at dinner.
Madeline, Davis, USA
I exercise in the AM
It's nice to have your own space and some privacy
now and then even when traveling with a friend. It
often helps to preserve the friendship! I'm a serious
exerciser, so whenever I share a room I head straight
for a workout as soon as I get up in the morning.
This gives my roomate 60-90 minutes to get herself
organized and ready for her day and my exercise is
out of the way early. She heads out when I return,
either for a workout of her own, a walk around the
area, reading in a quiet spot, etc. while I have the
room to myself for a little while. We arrange a time
and place to meet and are refreshed and ready for
the day's adventures.
Ann, Schenectady, USA
Why take turns being bored?
Frequently I hear someone complain 'I didn't enjoy
that museum', (cathedral, market etc.) but my friend
insisted we go. Of course, seeing and learning about
something you wouldn't ordinarily do is a travel benefit,
but shouldn't be mandatory. Older women, like myself,
especially seem to feel that they have to do everything
together even if only one is interested. Why take
turns being bored? If my travel companion wants to
shop trendy botiques, I'll find a sidewalk cafe for
people watching and arrange to meet at a set time.
If we've seen the major areas of an art museum together,
but I want to see the drawings too, she can go to
the gift shop or sculpture garden. The separate doings
make for more interesting dinner table conversation.
Don't be a backseat grouch
I recently completed a cross country (USA) road trip
with my niece who is close to my own age. We agreed
before we left that there would be times when we would
be cranky, tired and snippy and when the grouch rose
it's head we would let it pass without comment and
forget it. It was a great strategy and I don't even
remember what we grouched about on the trip. I confess
I was more the grouch than she, but that's another
Rosanne, Eldee, Canada
My travel companion is anxious about flying. She couldn't
avoid the flight last fall between Vancouver and Istanbul,
but for any lengthy overland trip in Turkey or in
Greece, we took overnight buses. In Turkey this turned
out to be not so bad as the buses there are immaculate
and very well run. That was not the situation in Greece,
but in both cases we had a night's accommodation each
time for the price of a bus ticket.
Thora, Vancouver, Canada
When I travel with a friend by car, the agreement
is that one researches all the directions, obtains
maps and 'pit stops'. The other researches and books
all accommodations (taking into consideration both
of our preferred 'likes'). So far this has worked
out great, neither feels she is doing everything.
Margaret, Ontario, Canada
Rent a GPS
On a recent road trip we had a speaking GPS in the
car. We found we never had those driver vs map-reader
stresses. We sometimes both complained to the "lady"
in the GPS but not with each other.
Share the car
I’m an early riser, and I’ve often traveled
with night owls. To avoid disturbing their beauty
sleep, I suggested that I take the car and explore
nearby ruins/museums/attractions they’re not
interested in, and which may get crowded later in
the day. I’m back before they’ve finished
their first cup of espresso. Then the car is theirs
and I can walk around to absorb the local color (read,
lay on the beach, etc.)! Happy trails,
Tia, Del Mar, USA
Keep plans simple
My friend and I travelled from Ontario to British
Colombia in a Toyota Echo. We then headed to Alaska
by ferry, drove to the Yukon and back to Ontario.
We did not have one disagreement for the entire month.
We had agreed to a trip free of deadlines. The only
date we had to keep was the departure of the ferry.
My friend and I made no other reservations. Without
a schedule, we booked into a motel when we were tired,
we ate when we hungry and stopped at points of interest
at leisure. I think the key is to keep it as simple
Michelle, Thunder Bay, Canada
Arrive early in a new place
When on a car trip don't let the anxiety level build
between friends. Be sure to arrive early afternoon
in a new destination. That gives you time to find
a hotel while it's still light. Once settled you can
explore surrounding areas without worrying where you
will sleep that night.
Jill, Munich, Germany
Nobody enjoys a messy car. Always dispose of your
extra papers, food, etc. when you get to a stop. Your
travelling companion will appreciate that. We have
a rule. The driver never has to tidy because she has
worked hard driving.
Mary Jane, Buffalo, USA
Share the radio
Traveling with my pre-teenage grand daughter turned
out to be boon for both us. We took long road trips
in New Mexico and we switched the radio station back
and forth from 'her' music to 'mine' every fifty miles
or so. Needless to say we both learned a lot about
Diana, Orlando, Florida
More travel for two
-- tips and advice
Handling Money and Travel
Travel with Hubby and
Travel with Strangers
Wise Women Advice