The 3 Absolute Worst Travel Companions

There's nothing worse than planning a weekend away with a travel companion who isn't on the same page as you but in an entirely different book for that matter.

Richie Frieman
6-minute read
Episode #395

Google defines a companion as someone with whom one spends a lot of time or with whom one travels. So, when picking a companion to skip out for a weekend getaway, it’s ideal that said acquaintance shares your motives and agenda.  Now, whether that companion is a romantic partner, a close friend, or a family member, you have to be very particular about who you take with you to ensure you have the best time possible.  

After all, the summer doesn’t last forever. So before you book that trip with that lucky someone, check out my top three quick and dirty tips for avoiding these three terrible kinds of travel companions:

Tip #1: The Person Who Is Always Late

I’ve said this a million times in my Modern Manners Guy tenure, but one of the single biggest examples of an unmannerly person is when they are constantly late. Late once or twice, I’ll accept that things come up. But always being late? That’s on purpose is insanely rude. After all, there is not one person on the planet who can claim “just bad luck” when it comes to being chronically late, and as much as vacation should be a time when you’re not operating on any particular schedule, that does not mean late people get a free pass. I mean, think about it: if you have a friend who is always late in your social and/or professional life, what makes you think they’ll all of a sudden be punctual when it comes to a vacation? If anything, a vacation is a tardy person’s right to be completely inconsiderate of others’ time because vacations are meant not to be driven by a daily calendar. However, I don’t believe a late person should be allowed any wiggle room on their bad habits even on a little rest and relaxation.

Take Stacey and Jennifer, who are best friends in and out of the office. Stacey wrote me about a girls’ weekend away to South Beach, which took a sharp detour into the Atlantic. Now, Stacy was well aware of Jennifer’s inability to be on time for anything. Happy hours? Late. Holiday parties? Late. Even going to lunch, when they agree on leaving the office at 12:00, she’s still late. So, on paper, how could Stacey be surprised that Jennifer would be late for their flight, and late for the two dinner reservations at a couple very posh hangouts Stacey reserved four weeks in advance? I mean, sure, Jennifer is rude by always making people wait for her, but Stacey knew this. You can’t pick a vacation partner who works on their own clock. A proper vacation companion has everyone’s feelings in mind. Like I said before, even though vacation is a chance to unwind and let time fly, that doesn’t mean you should tolerate a person who won’t appreciate the effort that goes into making plans or spending time together. If you’re going to take a constantly late person with you, be diligent with your rules about set plans but also compromise where you can. Settle for them meeting you at the pool if they want to sleep in, but don’t let them pull an “hour in the shower routine” if you have to leave in thirty minutes.  

Tip #2: The Person Who Has His or Her Own Agenda

Have you ever traveled with someone who can’t quite grasp the concept of what it means to vacation WITH someone? The vacation part they got, but not the “with” part. For example, Maya asked her friend Deb to come with her to spa weekend in upstate New York for some pampering and outdoor activities. Despite knowing each other for several months through work, and socializing outside of the office, they’ve never gone away on a friend trip. Needless to say, traveling together is a huge step up in a relationship. So, when Maya and Deb arrived, Maya was excited to show Deb the resort and review the activities in mind. Deb, however, had other plans, all of which did not involve Maya. Sure, she liked the pedicure idea but Deb also preferred to go hiking alone, and when Maya asked Deb if she wanted to ride into town for shopping, Deb said she was going to rent a kayak for the day. With this trip being only a weekend away, Deb was already booked up … and Maya was left out.