Travel alone or with a friend – Deciding the best option for you

It’s a big decision whether to travel alone or with a friend. Depending on your personality and travel goals, I have brought up a few points to consider, which will help you make a better and more informed decision for your upcoming adventure.

Benefits of traveling alone:

  • Create your own itinerary. You are the master of what you want to see and experience. You don’t have to compromise one activity for another which often happens when planning with someone. Just grab your bag and go do and see what YOU want.
  • You choose when you want to be alone. Then, when you feel like it, you can socialize at the hostel.
  • You will come away from the trip with a greater sense of accomplishment for concurring the adventure by yourself.
  • You can travel as cheaply or luxuriously as you see fit. You can decide if you want to splurge on nicer accommodations for a night. You can allow your budget to fluctuate and you don’t have to worry about your travel companion disagreeing.
  • Hurry Up! You don’t have to wait for anyone. No waiting for him or her to go to the bathroom, brush their teeth, floss and get caught up in a conversation with someone else when you just want to get on the road. It’s all in your hands.

Benefits of traveling with a friend or group:

  • Companionship in difficult situations. If you get stuck at bus stop and you’re uneasy about your surroundings, its nice to have someone you trust.
  • If you loose your bag or wallet, you have a friend who can support you.
  •  Its nice to have another pair of eyes watching your stuff if you need to go to the restroom or take a walk.
  • It’s cheaper. You can share rooms, taxis, food costs etc.
  • Often when I’m traveling, if I find something amazing, I enjoy sharing the moment or activity with a friend.

Choosing a Travel Partner

1. Analyze their personality.

When you’re with someone in their comfortable state of mind at home, they are one type of person. If you are able, picture them in a situation when they found themselves out of their element or comfort zone. Did they embrace the situation, or react in fear of the unknown? This is the type of person you are going to be traveling with. As the Italian poet Cesare Pavese said, “Traveling is a brutality. It forces you to trust strangers and to lose sight of all that familiar comfort of home and friends. You are constantly off balance. Nothing is yours except the essential things – air, sleep, dreams, the sea, the sky…”. You want to make sure your travel partner can adapt and will be accepting of new cultures, traditions and values.

2. Does their budget fit yours?

You might be great friends and get along perfectly, but if one person wants to got out every night  for a nice meal, while the other wants to stay at hostel and fry up a frozen hot dog, you may not be the best travel partners.

3. What type of activities are they interested in?

Are they type of person who simply wants to seek out 15 century churches or more of an adrenaline traveler looking to do activities like bungee jumping? Maybe a little of  both?


If you cant find anyone to travel with, I suggest checking out FindMeetGo to find likeminded people to travel with.



Should you quit your job to travel, take a leave of absence, or a short vacation?

I personally decided to quit my job, but maybe that is too harsh of a step for you. I devised some questions to help in the decision making process. I hope they will give you a new angle with your decision to travel long term or short. Some of the questions may not apply to your situation, but for those that do, it’s important to think carefully and be honest with yourself:

  • Is my current work environment something I want to return to? Is my current job my passion, or just “a job”?
  • Am I traveling to feel completely free with no deadlines or obligations to return to? Will I feel fulfilled throughout my trip if I have an exact return date on my mind?
  • Define your priorities. Not to take this post into a dark place, but if you were about to take your last breath on earth, which decision would likely make you happier in the end?
  • Have I saved enough money to allow myself to travel for as long I feel its necessary to reach my travel goals?
  • Am I ok living on a decreased budget in order to travel for an extended period of time?
  • How willing am I to give up the comfort and security of my job?
  • Is traveling a life goal?
  • Am I timing this trip properly? Looking forward, is this the best and most reasonable time for me to travel for an extended period of time?
  • Is the pain of keeping my job and living my current life worse than the pain of seeing it all in the rearview mirror as I leave to travel the world?
  • Is there anything that would persuade me to keep my job? More money? A promotion?
  • Do I care about the opinions of my friends and family if they think I’m making a big mistake by quitting my job to travel?
  • What am I looking to get out of my travels? Educationally? Experientially? Socially?


If there are additional questions you feel should be on the list, please comment or message me.

Thanks for reading!

Best credit cards for international travel – Don’t pay foreign transaction fees

The average credit card will charge you a 3% transaction fee. So $90 for every $3000 you spend.  For this reason, you should take a serious look at getting a no foreign transaction fee credit card.

I suggest either Capitol One Venture or Chase Sapphire for your no fee credit card. They also have some great travel rewards, as they cater to those going abroad.

To go into some further details, if you withdraw cash from an ATM, you will be charged a “cash advance fee” which is either 3.0%  of the amount withdrawn or $10.00. Whichever is greater. But, if  its a transaction at a business, there’s no fee.

Nerd Wallet does a phenomenal job breaking down the advantages of Capitol One Venture and Chase Sapphire.

I used a Capitol One credit card in 2008 for a previous round the world trip that took me to 14 different countries. I had no issues with it in any location and NO FEES!

Make sure you let the credit card companies know which countries you are visiting. If you don’t, your card will likely be deactivated due to fraud protection.

Further credit card tips from experience:

  • Best to travel with two cards, just in case one is deactivated, lost, or stolen. I travel with my capitol one credit card and my local debit card.
  • If you are traveling with a card that has transaction fees, you naturally want to take out more cash than needed when you withdraw, so you don’t need to take out money as often. From my experience, I did not feel comfortable walking around the streets with often a few hundred dollars in my pocket, depending on the destination.  Much better to withdraw smaller amounts, so you don’t have such a large portion of your budget sitting in your pocket.
  • Make sure you don’t withdraw too much of one countries currency if you are thinking of crossing the boarder into another currency. Never fun the have the currency converter take a good-sized chunk out of your cash.
  • Write down the credit card contact number and the last 4 digits of your card in case your card is lost or stolen. You need the ability to cancel your card a.s.a.p. I see a lot of tips saying you should make a photocopy of you credit card, but don’t like to have copies of sensitive info (excluding copies of my passport).
  • Be aware that many overseas merchants will ask if you want your foreign transaction to be converted from the foreign currency into US dollars (so you have a better idea of how much you’re taking out). As nice as this sounds, it is much cheaper to do your own calculation. Often, they will charge up to 7% for the transaction inquiry.

Can I afford travel? Is it feasible to leave my job and/or other responsibilities?

Yes! Its may take some time to get to that point, but absolutely, yes! If traveling is what you want to do, you will make it happen. Always remember that you have one life to live and you can adapt to a lower cost of living while you save if you are determined to travel.
Lets cover some of the reasons people say they cant travel:

  • I’m ill or sick and I have high medical bills

    Two words for you. Medical Tourism. But don’t think low prices equals low quality. Many of the best medical facilities in the world exist outside of the United States and many cater to attracting US citizens. Check out the prices for having procedures done in the US as opposed to medical treatment abroad.

    Many Americans are already opting to go abroad for medical treatment. Click on Gallup poll to read more.

  • I have loans

    Student Loans – If you’re just about to graduate, you typically have 6 months before you have to start paying your loans. The average student loan debt is $24,000. This means you will be paying a few hundred dollars each month. Be sure to add this to your monthly travel budget accordingly, but don’t let it dissuade you from possibly traveling the world and stumbling across and industry or passion that you would have never been exposed to if you picked up the first job you came across after graduating.

    Other loans – Look into the possibility of differing your loans or lowering your cost of living, pay off your debt, then travel.

  • I have kids

    Look into homeschooling.  Keystone School Online is one of the many good options for online schooling. Also, check out the stories of several traveling families with this incredible blog by Annie Andre

    If you think of any other scenarios, please share!