Although there are many advantages to traveling alone, solo travel isn’t perfect. To travel with a friend has its own unique advantages as well, and it would simply be unfair for this blog to ignore such advantages. Even if you’re an avid, steadfast, gung-ho solo traveler, there’s a lot to love about traveling with a good friend. Behold some of the following reasons why you should totally consider traveling with a companion (or two, or three):
1. Traveling just got a hell of a lot easier: When you’re traveling with a friend, life suddenly becomes much simpler. You always have another person to discuss travel plans with and bounce ideas off of. You’ve got a reliable shoulder to cry on (if you’re a woman), or a shoulder to punch (if you’re a guy). You can share stories, chop up game, and get talked out of (or into) bad decisions. You’ve got someone to watch your bag when you go to the bathroom, and you’ve got a person to take care of you should you fall ill. However, when you’re traveling alone you’re missing out on this constant companionship, and travel life can be a bit more difficult.
2. You’ve got instant bargaining power: If you’re a lone person traveling, your ability to bargain for food, accommodation, goods and services is severely diminished. As soon as you travel with at least one other person, however, your bargaining power multiplies as shopkeepers, restaurant owners, and street hawkers become more willing to bring prices down in the hopes of making a bigger sale. If you travel with even more people, your bargaining power reaches incredible proportions. This is part of the genius of Israeli travelers, who you will often see collaborating in packs of 10 or more people to try to secure dirt-cheap prices for transportation or travel activities.
3. Taxis and accommodation are cheaper: Some services are automatically cheaper because your’e splitting the costs with your friend. For example, every time you arrive in a new city and need to take a taxi or rickshaw service, you can halve the costs with a friend. And unless you sleep exclusively in shared dormitories, traveling with a companion is cheaper because you can share the price of a room together. Imagine spending less money on sleeping and more money on awesome meals or drinks – solo travelers definitely get the short end of the stick in this regard.
4. You feel safer, more secure and more confident: It’s midnight. Imagine walking alone down a dark alleyway on your way back to your hostel. You definitely feel the adrenaline rush and watch your back like your life depends on it, literally. Now imagine you’re walking down that same alleyway with three or four wild, loud, rambunctious travelers who are laughing and shouting up a storm. Would-be muggers, rapists, scam artists, and criminals are definitely going to think twice about messing with you when you’re traveling with friends.
5. You can share resources: When you travel with a friend, you only need to bring one first aid kit, one swiss army knife, one bottle of insect repellent, or one package of sunscreen. Whether it involves sharing personal items or sharing snacks together, traveling with a friend allows you to save space in your luggage or save money on the items that you buy on the road.
Why else is traveling with a friend totally awesome?
These are the best reasons I’ve come up with, but I’d love to hear what you think! Post a comment and let me know if this list is missing something worthwhile.