Travel Compatibility Quiz

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Imagine socializing with someone new, and upon introduction you hand them a questionnaire, a digital camera and a #2 pencil. You politely explain that the provided quiz is needed to determine if you want to “friend” them. 

After getting over the surprise paperwork request, the person’s reaction would probably be to assess you as someone sorely lacking in social skills, not to mention rude and offensive.

Facebook allows us to read profiles and see pictures of potential “friends” prior to engaging much effort. We learn about each other’s lives and dialog about common interests. The time, money and emotional commitment is minimal because the friendships exist on-line, not in our homes. We don’t stress about our appearance before we chat; we can socialize in our jammies with hair sticking up, and just enjoy the visit.

 Meeting with real people takes a bit more effort. Live face-to-face does have different social mores than Facebook.

Although we do not advocate interviewing potential friends in this manner, Permission Slips urges you to use a discussion guide process to determine a travel mate’s suitability.  Even if your potential partner is your best friend, sister or mother. A candid discussion upfront can be the difference between a fun trip and a long-lasting relationship or a friendship and trip that goes bust. Too much time in close quarters can be treacherous.

“To know me is to love me” doesn’t always hold. Our friends can be our saviors and sounding boards in small doses. However, spirited lunch conversation might seem less charming over the course of a trip.

 Your time is valuable and it is your time off so you get to set the rules. . Getaways should be fun and restorative, stress-free and light.  Decide who you want to travel with, how you want to travel and what you want to do each day, and you’ll come back ready to tackle your life.

Many women have regaled the tales of their vacation disasters to us. While some disasters are related to sub-par accommodations or transportation snafus most involve conflict with a traveling partner. Many of these issues could have been averted with a little pre-work.

Here are the “big three” discussion topics of travel compatibility that must be considered before embarking on a venture with a girlfriend. Our book will have a complete travel compatibility quiz but this will get you started.

1.       Discuss expectations for budget and comfort

             Which describes your spending for trips?

a.       Minimalist, will trade-off comfort for lower cost.

b.      Budget minded but will make exceptions.

c.       Splurge all the way.

2.       Understand you and your partner’s desire for pace and adventure

               Which statement is true for you?

a.       Once I get there I don’t want to move.

b.      I need action all the time.

c.       I want it predictable.

d.      Surprise and Serendipity are my middle names.

3.       Make sure your partner’s goals and morals are acceptable to you

             How do you like to use down time for your mind?

a.       I want a true escape and not discuss my life while on vacation.

b.      I want someone who can hear me out while on vacation.

c.       I want to presume a different alias while on vacation. What happens in….

We all know that routine keeps us happy: waking up and going to sleep at roughly the same time, eating lunch and dinner at set points during the day, getting a specific amount of exercise, etc.  While your traveling partner doesn’t need to be completely in sync with your biorhythms, it does help to discuss routines in advance, and to make sure your needs for sleep, food and adventure are compatible.

Carol Lewis Gullstad

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