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Travelling solo is a fine thing. You get to look all independent and adventurous on social media, and there are no compromises when it comes to nap time. But over the last few decades we’ve found that travelling in a group, or with a bunch of your friends, comes with a few perks of its own. If you’re someone whose life’s motto is ‘Have friend, Will travel’, then luck also is your friend. Because friends and travel make for one mighty fine partnership. Here are seven reasons why.
1. Purchasing power
Travel isn’t usually something one thinks to buy up in bulk, yet there are some serious savings to be had in travelling with another. Cab fares for example. Do your math right and they should end up costing half the price if there’s two of you; a third if there’s three. Splitting the cost of a double room will often end up cheaper than would renting a single one. And with more gray matter floating around in the build-up, that’s more eyes and ears to be on the look-out for those cheap airfare deals.
2. Flying non-solo
Long airport layovers are pretty lame at the best of times, but without any company they can be outright horrendous. Play cards together. Play I-spy together. Play Thumb Wars together. Play ‘You take a nap while I stay awake and make sure no one steals our stuff’ together. And then, when that gets boring, play ‘You look after your own goddamn stuff you sleepy bastard, I’m going to go get drunk on those Duty Free scotch samplers’ together.
3. I love those crazy things you make me do
Sometimes, in trying to summons the courage to try out a new experience, it helps to have a trusted companion on hand to offer that little proud of encouragement that could make all the difference. Maybe they’ll be the comforting cushion waiting to catch your fall. Maybe they’ll just threaten to tell everyone back home you were a massive scaredy-cat if you don’t. Either way, peer pressure can be a great motivator for trying out new things.
4. Sharing is caring
Sharing and sharing alike would surely have to be the golden rule of travel. In addition to making available to you the benefits of something you don’t actually own – or do own but forgot to bring – it can start cement friendships and trust. All in all, sharing is looked upon as a thing virtuous and valiant to do. But it does rather rely on there being someone to do it with. Get yourself one of those someones and benefit from their clothing, photos, books, sunscreen, meals, memories and money.
5. Like attracts like; Friends attract friends
‘Two’s company, three’s even better company’ goes something like the saying. And when it comes to attracting friends, nothing helps like already having one. There are two reasons for this. The first is that you and already-attained friend can demonstrate to potential friends what a riot your friendship is by playing Thumb Wars in a loud and fun manner. The second is that already having a friend in tow demonstrates to strangers that you are not a psycho – and thus well worth hanging out with. Even if you’re someone who has no issues strutting up to strangers, introducing yourself and bantering away until you’re besties, having a buddy to do this with can only help things along.
6. Safety in numbers
‘One not very safe, two or more extremely safe’ goes something like another saying, maybe. A good friend should be able to pull you out of quicksand. A good friend should be able to wrestle a crocodile. A good friend should be able to stop you from walking when the green man isn’t flashing and know the antidotes to any number of poison darts. Get a good friend like your life depended on it. Because, one fine traveling day, it just might.
7. Mad skills
Simply put, skills open up possibilities. You’re not going to be able to converse with the locals if you don’t speak their language – but you will if your friend does. Your friend’s not going to get that poncho they want if they’re no good at haggling – but they just might if you are. Alarm-setting, pre-planning and map-reading skills wielded by either of you will ensure the both of you getting the most out of your days away. So get the most out of your days away: phone a friend and find out what skills they’re packing. The very best kind of adventuring awaits you both…
Feature image c/o Ted McGarth, Flickr