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Elvira's post re: traveling companions - have you seen it?

Elvira's post re: traveling companions - have you seen it?

Nov 3rd, 2005, 11:21 AM
  #1  
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Elvira's post re: traveling companions - have you seen it?

I remember reading Elvira’s post with advice on what rules should be followed in order to have a successful experience with a travel companion. I have been searching for it for the past few days with no success. Has anybody seen it, or was it just my imagination?

I have been planning to travel solo next year for a couple of months. I now have a friend joining me in Venice for a week and she seems to be trying to stretch her vacation for a longer ride. After reading Barb’s woeful tale, I am beginning to shy away. My friend is someone who has traveled with me (just daytrips) several times. We get a long just fine and I think it could be fun.

I think before we decide anything, we should have a frank discussion on what are our expectations. Do you have any advice?
Simone1 is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2005, 11:35 AM
  #3  
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Ah, she had some gems, didn’t she? I thought there was another one on the subject.
Simone1 is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2005, 11:51 AM
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Are you both 'morning' people or 'night owls'?

Who needs to primp for 2 hours every morning and who's ready to go at 7am?

Who's a museum/art freak and who only wants to shop?

Will both parties do some planning, or will one rely on 'whatever' the other wants to do (and then won't like it)?

Does anyone have 'special' dietary needs, can't eat 'foreign' food, etc?
Travelnut is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2005, 12:21 PM
  #5  
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Good ones! I will use them in tonight’s phone call. Thanks.
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Nov 3rd, 2005, 12:53 PM
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Hello Simone, if you are a person that needs some quiet time to yourself think about if you want your own hotel room (even if it is just a small single room) or if you would be happy sharing a hotel room. Important for your friend to figure that out for herself also.

And I would ask if you need some time by yourself, say an afternoon or morning here or there would that be alright for her?

And regarding food. Do one of you want to experience say a nice restaurant every night or every other night. Does the other one just want to grab a piazza every night.

Talking ahead about very issues will certainly be good for both of you as most of us do not have unlimited time and money for vacations. Best wishes to you.
LoveItaly is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2005, 01:18 PM
  #7  
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LoveItaly – Thanks. You always have good advice for me. I was just thinking, I’ve never shared a room with anyone except with family. I may be adding stress by trying to save a few dollars. My own space is too important to me. This negotiation may take a little bit of backbone, but it will pay off in the end.
Simone1 is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2005, 03:53 PM
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Some good questions that I would ask after hearing various stories from friends would be:

Do you prefer to spend your money shopping or eating?
Can you cross the street without help? (LOL-ask Barb)
Does this person snore? (Barb again)
How does this person feel about tipping, sharing bills, and can they speak in a quiet voice
Do they have to make pet names for every person they meet? and use them LOL

At least those stick in my mind from the almost horror stories I remember
Scarlett is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2005, 03:58 PM
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Good earplugs are two of my favorite traveling companions!
annabelle2 is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2005, 04:29 PM
  #10  
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Thanks Scarlett. Maybe I should ask her to read Barb’s post first and we can talk later. If she starts out by asking about Sorrento, I’ll take it as a big clue (wink, wink). Outside of Venice I was thinking of using a lot of the convents, hmmmm.

When it comes to dining, we are pretty much alike. We may enjoy a couple of glasses of wine without getting too loud or obnoxious.

Annnabelle’s suggestion might also be helpful, but I am already leaning toward’s a single room.
Simone1 is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2005, 04:38 PM
  #11  
 
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If she whines a little at home or week-end trips, she'll whine worse when on the big one.
cigalechanta is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2005, 04:49 PM
  #12  
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Jeez, I may be the whinner. I think I do it at home though, never, ever while traveling.
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Nov 3rd, 2005, 06:37 PM
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Hi Simone, I start whining...when it is time to get on the plane and fly home!!!
LoveItaly is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2005, 06:49 PM
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Hey, there it is! I always liked that post.

I've come to the conclusion that I would generally make a horrifyingly bad travel companion. I neither primp nor rise early. Well, except when I get up at 5am to catch some photos of sunrises over cityscapes. Then go back to bed. Wander around and get breakfast... or not. Then decide what sounds interesting to do (although I will at least know if it's open or not). Or just go to a park and hang out and watch life. It's good to know ahead of time you'd drive others crazy. Except my wife is pretty much the same way (minus the 5am photo shoots).

Maybe I'm a Diva. Or is that Devo for men? Ohhh... that might explain the 80's band... We are Devo. They were kind of dressed like Eiffel Tower...

Clifton is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2005, 07:28 PM
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Clifton – you are not such a bad travel companion, don’t sell yourself short. I pretty much do the same thing (except for crawling back to bed).

I haven’t met any devos yet, but I would sure stay away from divas. I would have bolted really fast if I had met Barb’s divas.
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Nov 3rd, 2005, 07:52 PM
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My husband and I spent 9 days in Venice with a friend - our 1st trip, his 4th. Obviously, sharing a room wasn't a factor here and the friend and I are slow to ease into the day and my husband goes with the flow. But one thing we did agree upon before we made the final decision was that if, at any time and for any reason, one of us felt the need to "separate" for a day or part thereof, we would make our wishes/plans known and there would be no hurt feelings. As it turned out, we did quite well together and didn't part ways, but we came pretty close a couple of times when I wanted to do something he didn't want to do. (He gave in and enjoyed himself.) Venice is certainly an easy town for a solo traveler, so there should be no problem if you and your friend do some things alone from time to time.

Our friend and I agreed that we are both Divas, that's just the way it is and we don't plan to change, and we agreed to accommodate each other. It's nice sometimes to have company, so it might be worth some trade-offs. But it's your trip and you get to make the rules, I think - including how long you want to travel with your friend. It's not like you decided to take a trip together and if she cancels out you're not going either. As you said, it just requires some backbone, along with laying out your requirements ahead of time.
polly229 is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2005, 08:31 PM
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You have some great suggestions here, I can only add that you both have to realize that you both have idiosyncrasies that need to be accepted if you are going to get along for a week together. Laugh alot at yourselves and don't take everything seriously, shrug alot, smile and share with each other and when you are together be a team enjoying the locals.

When I have traveled with my own friends this has worked for me. Have a great trip.
SeaUrchin is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2005, 08:42 PM
  #18  
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Thanks Polly. I think that “time out” concept will have to be discussed in detail. It is hard enough to be together all day and every day with a husband, it may be really hard with a friend.

I am really grateful for all your advice.

I just found Elvira’s thread on advice to Jr. loons, it’s a doozie. I’ll add it to this thread for quick reference. Thanks again.

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...id=2&tid=90647

P.S. Thanks SeaUrchin. I think Elvira proves that humor is a powerful tool. I intend to make full use of it.
Simone1 is offline  
Nov 4th, 2005, 10:39 AM
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I miss that Elvira!

I took a trip with 4 friends (3 females and one award-winning tolerant man) in May/June. I was apprehensive -- I think we all were -- but it was a wonderful trip. Besides the earplugs, which were an absolute MUST since one of my roomies snores constantly and loudly, other things that worked were:

*Communicating alot in the pre-trip phase. This was the most stressful time, as we had to think about respective budgets and interests. We had dinners together, poured over maps (and poured lots of vino), made lists of what our "visions" of the trip were, etc.

*Since all of us are opinionated travelers, and no one wanted to turn over the leadership role to any one person, we divided up research and planning. Everyone worked on something, some more than others, and unless one of us really didn't care, we all gave feedback on hotel choices, etc (via email, usually).

*We definitely were not all together all the time. 3 of us women were together 3 weeks (wow!) and the couple did their own thing and joined us for 10 days. Since I was the instigator of the trip, I stressed that I didn't want anyone stuck doing something they did not want to do. Thus we split up often and everyone had "solo" time. We spent more $ renting two cars just so we would have the freedom.

*Everyone always carried their own tickets/maps, etc. No babysitting!

*Since we had slightly different budgets (I, for example, was on a month long trip and needed to stretch my money) we did tend to pay what we each owed at meals, not just divide by 5. Two of us usually took over the bill-dividing job so that we weren't all bickering and yakking about it at each meal. If it was more or less the same, of course we just divided it equally -- we're not that anal!

*Again, earplugs/eyeshades/little book lights or flashlights to help with shared sleeping arrangements.

*We all compromised on some things, laughed often, drank lots of wine, and realized how darn lucky we were to be on a fabulous trip and to be with people we loved. How great is that!
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