4 Personality Traits to Avoid in a Travel Mate

travel mates

When it comes to travel, solo travel is not for us all. It can be stressful, lonely and it means doing all of the planning and decision making on your own. For this reason, many of us look for a friend or even online for a travel mate, to enjoy our experiences.

Travel can be stressful at times, and being in close proximity to a travel mate, for many hours a day, generally outside of your comfort zone of being at home, can bring out the best, but often the worst.

It is with this in mind, we write of 4 personality traits to avoid in a travel mate. Trust us, no travel mate is better than a bad one and if you’re feeling a bit iffy about it before you leave, well, you might just be on to something.

girl pulling funny face

Personality trait 1: The neg

You’ve just arrived at your luxury hotel, which is ahh mazing. It’s everything you’ve hoped for in all of your travel planning, yet your travel mate manages to find fault. Welcome to the world of the ‘neg’.

If you asked them if they’re having a good time, they’d reply ‘yes, of course’ and they’d probably mean it, yet they will be very quick to nitpick any small annoyance that comes their way. Whether it’s too hot, check in is taking too long, the pool is too crowded or the champagne isn’t quite right, after a while the neg will get you down.


The difficulty here is that generally their complaints will be about the minute. If you call them out on in, chances are they won’t realise that they’re doing it and will find you critical.

If you can zone out to another place around the neg you’ll be fine, if not, you may find yourself rolling your eyes, avoiding them or worse, seeing your holiday through their negative eyes.

​Think you can handle it? You’re a saint in our eyes.

READ | Why not travel solo instead? Read our guide to group tours in your 30s.

clock in the grass

Personality trait 2: The perpetually late

Do we really need to warn you about this one? This bad personality trait will probably already be quite obvious to you before your departure. I mean, we all have that friend who is always a little (or perhaps a lot) late. Whilst this can be a bit annoying when catching up at home, it can become very annoying whilst away.

Travel comes in all shapes and forms, from a week at a resort, backpacking around Europe or even joining in on a tour. Whilst holidaying is a time to relax and get a break from work and our every day lives, unfortunately we can’t always throw away our watches.


Even at a relaxing resort style break, breakfast won’t be served all day and you may find yourself dining alone of a morning, or not dining at all. You’ll be ‘those people’ that are running late to join the tour bus and you may find yourself in the roll of ‘the nag’ to make sure that your travel mate isn’t the reason you also miss out.

Sound like a recipe for disaster? Well, yes. We suggest having a firm chat to your travel mate before any plans are made. They may be a little bit miffed, but it is pretty hard to argue against being late. Hopefully they’ll be on their best behaviour during your trip. If not, you might find you’re travelling solo after all!

kermit with bags

Personality trait 3: The fiscally irresponsible

They’re the life of the party. Unfortunately this can also mean they’re often short on cash. You may also have an inkling about this before you depart, and you may have covered the bill on more than on occasion. Thing is, are you prepared to do this whilst on holiday?

The fiscally irresponsible travel mate will either splurge and then want to skimp, rely heavily on credit, or just bow out of many activities, leaving you to either not participate yourself or leave you doing it solo.

If you’re concerned that your travel mate may fall into this category, you can be prepared! Pre book activities before you depart and be clear about your budgets for the trip. You may be happy doing some activities solo, but chances are you don’t want to have to fund your pal, or be surprised with a last minute cancellation.

couple at the snow

Personality trait 4: The indecisive

When travelling with a friend or in a group, there will always be a bit of give and take to ensure that you each get what you want out of a holiday. But, what if your travel mate really has very little opinion?

‘I don’t mind’ ‘We can do that if you like’ will be phrases you will constantly hear in addition to a distinct lack of suggestions on their behalf. For some this may sound great, but its inevitable that your travel mate will not enjoy every activity you pick and it may begin to feel like you’re dragging someone along behind you.

Planning a holiday is also a type of work. There’s decisions to be made, things to book and you’ll need to work out how to get around. The indecisive will leave it all up to you because ‘you’re so much better at it than I am’. Whilst that might be true, you’ll probably find yourself stressed out and exhausted by the end of the trip. Being in charge of things, whether you want to be or not, is tiring!

It’s important to set some boundaries with the indecisive. Don’t fall into the trap of making all of the decisions. You may need to provide some options and then make your travel mate pick one and then put them in charge of organising it. Explain to them that you want them to do some things that are their choice on the holiday and you may just get them to take on a little of the responsibility.

Considerations to make when picking a travel mate

Picking a travel mate does take time and consideration. You may have discovered traits in your friends that weren’t initially obvious back home, but once you’re away that’s it.

Our advice is to ensure you know your travel mate, and if not try and keep travel plans flexible, that way if it’s really not working out you can make a quick getaway and appreciate the freedoms solo travel provides!

Save me for later!

travel mate


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29 thoughts on “4 Personality Traits to Avoid in a Travel Mate”

  1. This is a great list! People that are late is such a pet peeve of mine! I agree that it’s also important to be smart with money while traveling.

  2. Jessica Taylor

    I am always late, so I would be a horrible travel mate! That is probably why I am never invited anywhere lol.

  3. thank goodness I am not of these. I am always on time and I am careful on my spendings. However, I go where the wind takes me so I don’t organise much! xx corinne

  4. This is a great post! My travel body is my hubby and he’s always up for an adventure no matter what so fortunately I never experienced any of the people listed.

  5. This is a great post! it really bothers me when people are late, everyone in my family is always running late. UGHH.

  6. These are all important things to look at before choosing a travel partner. You want to be sure your personalities are a good match.

  7. Argh for sure I hate people in general who are perpetually late because I am a planning type of gal. If I schedule something I want to be on time, so a travel mate who is always late will throw off the whole day!

  8. hey sharonooox

    Great tips! I can really relate to all the pointers.I love to splurge while my hubby isn’t. Give and take is important for a fun and happy travel.

  9. Josselyn Radillo

    lol. I know what this mean, like some mate i had road trips with suck. but i have a good mate for this new adventure

  10. Ooooh yes. Too bad I haven’t read this 2 years ago. I went on a weekend trip with the “indecisive” one and it was AWFUL! I don
    t understand how somebody can respond to: “Are you hungry?” with “I don’t know”. Either you are or you are not! 😀 I actually stopped talking to that person.. So yep, travel mate is more than important!

  11. Blair villanueva

    More reason why i prefer to travel with my Amore. I rarely travel with a group because i have pet peeves on travel.

  12. Oh man I could not agree more! I went on holiday with someone that had all of these traits and I was about ready to commit urder by the end of it! Never again lol

  13. Yeah I cannot deal with any of these types. I can’t deal with people that are always late even when I am not traveling. If they communicate about being late that is one thing but without that it is rude.#TheWeeklyPostcard

  14. Ugh I HATE people who are ALWAYS late and there’s no way I could tolerate that while traveling! We only have a limited time somewhere, and I grew up go, go, going all day. Now I have a FOMO when traveling and if I loose time bc someone else is late, I’ll feel like I’m being jipped! Thanks for linking up with #TheWeeklyPostcard!

  15. Oh, I agree so much with this list! I think people do not take consider things like these seriously. If a person is a good friend, that doesn’t mean it is a good travel partner. If things do not go well on the trip, you may lose that friendship. Plus, you trip is not going to go that well (and you will loose time and money). #TheWeeklyPostcard

  16. My biggest worry in a travel mate is the indecisive one. I had travelled with friends who just cannot decide if they want to see a particular place or to skip breakfast for early morning departure or have the hotel pack breakfast for us – it’s a very simple decision. And yet, they want to mull over and over again until they are very sure that they have made the right decision. This is what I call analysis paralysis! Maybe that’s why I prefer to travel solo 🙂 #TheWeeklyPostcard

  17. Cynthia Nicoletti

    One thing that drives me nuts is people that are always late. I could never vacation with someone like that.

  18. Sally's Tips 4 Trips

    All good rtavel companion traits to avoid.
    I’d also add the giver – you know there person who also wants to pay or do more than everyone else. At first that sounds a dream but eventually you will hear how your not offering above and beyond.
    Just keep it even.

  19. Haha.. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this post… You’re right – finding the right travel companion can be a hard task.. psst.. have you found yours yet? #TheWeeklyPostcard

  20. Keri | Ladies What Travel

    Great- and useful – list! Thanks for the top tips on dealing with these different kinds of travel buddies, definitely will help me out! 😉

  21. I’m unfortunately indecisive, but luckily I’m long term travelling with my fiance who understands that haha. It just means when I have a recommendation on something I want to do, I REALLY want to do it haha, I’m learning to get better though! honest.
    Leah from Officer Travels

  22. Chasa Fulkerson

    So true. Unless you go solo, the only way you will enjoy your trip is if you have someone that you can stand traveling with.
    When I traveled out of the country for the first time, the person I was traveling with thought I was complaining, and I really I wasn’t, I was pointing out the differences, because well that is point of travel. I just though it was amazing how the countries we were visiting were so different than where we were from. It was small little things that made me realized I loved my country. Haha, but I definitely wasn’t complaining.
    There was a point that I was complaining about my feet though. I will give her that, but I messed them up pretty bad by wearing the wrong shoes. It took them over a month to heal when I got back home. #TheWeeklyPostcard

  23. Your post made me smile because all these personality traits are something to avoid in a mate, not only in a travel mate. Who would want to live with someone who’s a complainer, always late, fiscally irresponsible and indecisive? #TheWeeklyPostcard

  24. What I personally hate the most are those who spend too much time in the bathroom. So lucky that my travel mate couple before are good on the go and would always take note of the time.

  25. mappingthemap

    Finding a good travel mate and being one is an important part of any trip. In my opinion the worst is to complain about the unexpected circumstances. Any journey means adventure and being open-minded is really appreciated! Thanks for sharing in #TheWeeklyPostcard.

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