Dear Travel Agents/Advisors,
How awesome is to find a destination to travel to, but best of all is to find good company to go with you.
Many people prefer to travel in groups, others like to travel with only one companion. Only a few travel alone or have a room of their own, since most of the time, single rooms increase the price of the trip considerably.
I want to talk about people who share a room. It does not matter if you’ve known that person over a lifetime, if you already share your life with that person, or in some cases, if you are sharing a room with an almost total stranger who you meet on a group tour or a meetup.
In the case that a roommate lives in the same city, I strongly recommend having a meeting face to face within the 3 weeks preceding the trip. This is to go over your expectations, and to talk about your routines, any sensitivities and circumstances that might arise that would bother each other. Why within 3 weeks? Because before that, thoughts are more dreams about the destination, and anxiety about the roommate situation has not kicked in yet. Both people are not thinking objectively about that subject YET.
Why is it preferable to be face to face, even if you’ve known the person your entire life? It is so you can see that both of you are focused on the subject, and are paying attention to the other’s issues.
I know that in some cases, the roommate is coming from another city, state, or even country. Thanks to technology, I strongly suggest a meeting using of Skype or Facetime, for the same reasons as I explained above.
Some suggestions of things to talk about include: Morning routine and before sleep routines. Sensitivities to noise (I suggest earplugs), light (eye mask for sleep), smell (for bathroom I suggest poo-pourri before-you-go), air-conditioning (get more blankets). Some people like to listen to music when they are waking up, while others are not-such-morning people – (earphones do the trick and you can even dance to the music without pissing off your roommate!)
Traveling with your lifetime partner or your BFF for the first time can have a tremendous impact on the enjoyment of your trip. Not all BFFs or lifetime partners make the best roommates for a trip, or even people who should be traveling in the same group. Lucky are the ones who have both! The only way to know is by trying, and to try, have the talk BEFORE you go.
I know many people who had “strangers” as roommates and ended up becoming great friends and continue traveling together as roommates and enjoying the experience. Those are lucky ones as well.
In life, and in travel, we need lots of luck. I wish each and everyone of you luck in both.
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