Physical attraction, personal compatibility, a shared mini obsession with certain Disney channel original movies; all of these romantic interest-piquers pale in comparison to the blessed ability to travel together — well.
Cupid gives you a gold star if I’m able to drop everything and head off with you on travel adventures unknown, from camping in Big Sur to caviar in Moscow. Personally, I knew I was head over heels the moment my current travel companion calmly got us to our hotel in Montmartre (from the airport, at midnight) after I misread a train schedule. I knew he was a keeper when he discovered the most amazing elk burger in Banff after we hiked Mt. Rundle.
Travel brings out the very best and the very worst in people; experiencing these habits in close proximity in a foreign place will test anyone’s puppy love. Here are some habits that I feel elevate a relationship from road trip buddy to jet-setting soul mate:
1. A Sense of Local Adventure
No need to bungee jump the second you get off the plane, but I do appreciate the desire to throw caution to the wind and immerse yourself in the experience and environment a travel locale has to offer. While Starbucks tastes great on the way to work each morning, I’d much rather plan a cozy weekend getaway with someone who prefers seeking out a slightly quirky, local-haunted coffee shop instead.
Let’s say you normally don’t dig organ meat but find yourself staring at a plate of the best haggis in Scotland – if you dig in, you’ve earned my globetrotting respect and trust. Avoiding chains and taking a chance on menus lacking familiarity takes a bit of bravery and patience, but leaving your comfort zone is sexy, leading to deeply affecting experiences and foundation building memories.
2. Ability to Pack Light
Running after a train at Gare du Nord in Paris is impossible with three Louis Vuitton trunks and a laptop case, and I don’t care for a travel companion who travels with more hair products than I do. Anyone who’s mastered the art of minimal packing and maximum creativity can join me in the dining car tout suite!
Find a way to stay stylish with neutral colored lightweight clothes you can wash in a sink and hang to dry. Two weeks in Europe with one small suitcase may limit the number of ball gowns you can pack, but it will free up an extra hand to grab those last-minute theatre tickets or buy a certain someone a glass of wine.
3. Kindness and Positivity
Everyone endures those travel days when everything goes horribly awry – luggage lost, reservations forgotten, a metro map impermeable to the average brain. Although an obvious relationship plus, someone who keeps a smile on their face and remains kind to those around them can turn your terrible-horrible-no-good-very-bad day into a story you fondly recount when you return home.
Instead of grumbling as you wait for your unkempt room, a perfect travel companion will keep things in perspective, remembering that the young man at the front desk is just as stressed as you are that he can’t find that reservation you made a month ago. Always try to find the best in a not-so-awesome situation. When our red eye flight from SFO to EWR was delayed five hours, we ran around the terminal attempting to purchase the absolute maximum number of bagels for our $10 “we’re sorry” voucher (FYI, it’s 3 and a coffee). A gracious and calm demeanor during a trying travel time is contagious – anyone who spreads good vibes in a tough spot instantly wins my affection.
4. Minimal snoring
I’ll still want to travel with you if you glowingly embody the attributes above, but be forewarned: you may find a pillow to the face in the middle of the night if your rumblings wake me before the alarm. Might I suggest packing these nifty things in your single small suitcase before you get on the plane?
I’m sure I’ve missed thousands of travel turn-ons. Leave yours below!