As a writer, I spend a lot of time alone. I need time to myself to work out my thoughts, create characters, and plan plots. Do I get lonely? Not really. The voices…I mean characters…in my head keep me company. But there are those times when I get tired of listening to them and I want to get away. Traveling can help but traveling with a buddy is better.
The idea of the buddy system has been around for a while. We use it in the armed forces, when we need to complete a large project, and when women go to the bathroom. If you’re going to take a trip, having a buddy, or traveling companion can make the excursion better.
There is safety in numbers—unless you’re a large group sitting in an empty field during a thunder storm, but I digress. Traveling with a friend makes it safer for the both of you. It doesn’t matter if you’re taking a jog in the neighborhood, hiking in the woods, or backpacking through Europe. An extra set of eyes can spot potential dangers and seek help if an accident occurs.
A friend can be a navigator on a road trip so you don’t get lost. They can watch your luggage while you rest your eyes at the airport. They can watch your back as you rifle for money at a busy market. Having a buddy beside you also makes you less of a potential prey. If someone wants to harm you, they would prefer you to be alone.
Fun with Friends
Interaction with a friend while traveling can be entertaining and make time fly. This is especially true if there are delays. It’s more fun waiting for your flight when you can pass the time chatting with your chum. You have an instant partner to play a game of thumb wars or eye spy. Are you planning on driving for many days? A friend sitting shotgun can harmonize with you while you sing your favorite tunes on the radio.
If you’re out at a restaurant, you can converse with your companion instead of eating alone. I always thought people eating alone looked like food critics—no offense to food critics. Oh, you could read a book or look at your phone, but it’s more fun splitting a high-calorie dessert with a friend. No one needs to eat a whole order of Death by Chocolate by themselves.
Not only can you reduce the amount calories you consume, you can cut your travel costs by having a friend along. Splitting a hotel room or cab fare with your buddy can make your travel more economical. Instead of worrying about the cost and amount of food, you can size up a value meal and split that bucket of Dr. Pepper®.
When arranging travel plans, both of you can look for special deals and save time in planning. If your friend happens to be a member of a travel club, you can benefit from that as well. Just make sure you treat them to something special for their extra help.
Sometimes you forget things on a trip, like supplies or addresses. If you’re like me, you may forget to pack sunscreen. Your travel buddy may just have you covered. They can also hand you toilet paper when you realize—a little too late—that there isn’t any in the stall. They can take your picture in front of a monument and they won’t run off with your camera. Your cohort will also be the first one to tell you that you have something in your teeth or that your zipper is down.
These are a few great benefits of traveling with a buddy, but I’m sure you can come up with plenty more. The best part of traveling with a friend is when your travels are over. Then you can sit with your friend and relive the time you spent together. You can share tales of successful fun or embarrassing failure and laugh until you almost pee.
If you’re traveling with a writer, beware; anything you say or do may end up in a story. Just be sure they write you as an awesome character, especially if it’s the sidekick. After all, you were their buddy on the trip.
If you can’t be the sidekick, insist on dying dramatically in the book.