I’ve done a lot of traveling alone – back and forth between Hawaii and Oregon for four years, visiting my friends and Andrew in California, Indiana and Texas, and to Europe. I consider myself a very easy traveler. I usually breeze through TSA and when I’m on the plane I either sleep or read. I honestly get most of my reading done on the plane, although once I read the Da Vinci Code on an overnight train from Berlin to Paris (fitting, I know).
But recently, I’ve realized that it’s much better to travel with a partner. Yes, I’m completely capable of traveling alone and I am amazed at women who do so, but I think I’d rather travel with loved ones. When I lived in Italy and got do a bit of traveling through Europe after my study abroad program, I was stoked! I got see and do wonderful things but I remember wishing I was with either my family or Andrew.
Like when I stood at the Roman Forum for the first time, I started to tear up because that was the first time I felt super accomplished for studying abroad (something I’d been hoping to do for as long as I can remember). As I stood there, feeling proud of myself, all I wished was for my mom to be there with me because she knew that this was something I’d always wanted and so I wanted to celebrate with her.
Or when I got lost in the streets of Venice and watched in awe as loved ones rode on gondolas. All I wanted was to be able to experience something so romantic with Andrew. There’s always next time though!
1. You’ll probably never miss a flight, train or bus.
When I travel alone, I’m constantly checking the time and fighting my sleep at an airline gate. When I travel with others, we have each other to make sure we don’t miss our departure time. And if we altogether miss it, then at least we’ll all be left alone together!
2. Someone to kill time with.
Speaking of flights, travel sucks when there is a lot of downtime or delays. There’s only so much you can do to kill down before you start to literally twiddle your thumbs. Having company to wait impatiently always helps the time pass quicker.
3. You can watch each others’ bags at the airport.
It is always such a pain in the butt to roll my carry-on suitcase into bathroom stalls, and whenever I go into a handicapped stall for the extra room, there’s always an old woman outside waiting in her wheelchair side-eyeing me. With a partner, you’re free to use the bathroom or grab food while you have someone trustworthy watching your stuff.
4. You can use each other for a comfy pillow.
One of my favorite parts about traveling with Andrew. I’m free to lean on his shoulder, put my legs up without fear of bothering the person next to me and even lay in his lap if I really can’t get comfortable. He is clearly a very patient person for putting up with me so well.
There are ways to stay safe while traveling alone, but I always find myself a little more relaxed when traveling with a partner because there is always someone who has my back.
6. You’ll have someone to take pictures of and with you.
I love selfies as much as the next person, but it’s great to have someone take a picture of you standing in front of the entire Eiffel Tower and not just a portion of it (maybe my selfie-taking skills are just that bad). And when looking back on all these memories, it’s always lovely to have pictures of both you and your loved ones at your all time favorite places.
7. It’s like bringing a little piece of home with you.
Homesickness happens no matter what, whether you’re wishing someone was there to experience something with you, needing a home cooked meal, or just missing your own bed. It happens. So what better way to carry a small fragment of home with you? Traveling with friends or family adds a little love and familiarity to your travels if you ever start to feel lonely or lost.
8. You’ll have someone to relive memories with.
I have an undeniably fabulous bond with the friends I studied abroad with, and we’ll always have those memories. I cherish all of my family’s vacation and will never forget all the traveling gets put into a long distance relationship. Being able to talk about places you’ve been to and things you’ve done together is a perfect way to reminisce.
Do you prefer to travel alone or with loved ones?