Traveling is all about meeting people on the road. But what happens if you want to get rid of one?
Say you meet someone when traveling. You discover you’re both heading in the same direction so you decide that you’ll go together.
For a few days everything is going great — until you discover that your new travel partner is limiting your adventure, or even worse, annoying you with their bad habits.
There is only one thing to do, ditch them. While it sounds horrible, for the sake of both of you and your trip it’s probably best to go your separate ways.
Yes, you could have avoided this situation from the start by traveling alone, or by choosing the right travel partner to go with in the first place.
But If you find yourself with a partner that you can’t get on with, what is the best way to deal with such an awkward situation?
Here are a few tactics to lose your annoying travel mate:
I laughed when someone once told me this method on the road, but it does work. It requires you to wake up extra early in the morning.
It’s best practice to pack your bag the night before, but never ever make it too obvious (that could lead to a disastrous confrontation, no one wants that). Scatter a few pairs of dirty clothing around for good measure making it look like you’re there for the long haul.
As you wake early with your travel mate soundly asleep, you carefully climb down from your bunk, tip toe across the room, grab your rucksack and head for the nearest exit. You’ll be catching the early morning express out of there and away from the travel mate none the wiser.
This tactic can be executed in one of two ways; the honest way or the dishonest way. When you become entirely fed up with your travel partner, suggest that you both spend some time apart and perhaps meet up again in a few days, weeks or months.
Be warned: if you take the honest approach you’ll probably respond to all their emails and actually meet up with them at the specified time.
On the other hand, if you have no guilt about breaking your arrangement, you’ll probably ignore the emails and hope you don’t bump into them again somewhere down the line, so for now, freedom is yours.
This has been a particular favourite of mine in the past. When you think it’s time to say “goodbye” to your travel mate, find out where they want to go next (make sure they are quite certain) then choose somewhere else in a different direction.
You can back up your decision by researching the new place that you intend visiting and then state why you find it so fascinating.
Hopefully they won’t turn around and suggest going with you, yet in that event, you’re justified in attempting The Sneaky Ninja instead.
In this situation if you try using “The Eager Traveller” it’s likely they’ll do anything to tag along with you for the day. On the other hand if your “U-Turn” policy goes according to plan you’re in the clear, bingo!
The Eager Traveler
Although it may not seem like it on the surface, this is even more sneaky than most other techniques.
Before you meet up with your travel mate in the morning, make sure that you have arranged everything you are going to do for the day.
Be sure to explain in detail every temple, every market, and every museum you want to explore. Offer to meet up for dinner in the evening. Usually by planning your itinerary to every last detail, they will feel intimidated just thinking about it, and stick with their own plan for the day.
If you continuously take this approach, you may find they’re sick of spending their time on there own and latch onto some other unsuspecting traveler.
This last approach is for the honest traveler (aren’t we all?), which is the most noble option, but can become quite awkward if not executed properly.
You approach your travel mate, usually over a quiet drink or dinner and suggest that it would be better for both of you to go your separate ways.
Give your reasons and hope they don’t start bawling or explode with anger. Pat them on the arm, give them a hug, finish your pint, and walk away.
Sure it may be cold hearted, but you can meet so many different people whilst traveling and not everyone you meet will be a perfect travel partner for you. When you find yourself in this situation, honesty is the best policy, (though not quite as fun or satisfying).
Whichever tactic you decide to execute, you can both get on with the rest of your journeys instead of wasting your time being fed up and frustrated.
Paul Dow is an English, jobless, optimistic, monkey fan, late sleeper, green tea drinker, writer, web developer and soccer fan. Currently recovering and blogging from Australia after traveling solo for six months through China, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and Malaysia.