One of the things that affect a trip the most is the company we have. Whether it’s with others or traveling solo.
It’s a thing we often have to face and consider in one way or another before or during a trip.
I’ve been traveling solo, with family, friends, and people I’ve met along my trips for almost 10 years now. And what I’ve figured is that being honest with someone is much easier if you do it the right way.
Chances are you’re in doubt about how to tell somebody you don’t want to travel with them. And that’s exactly why I made this guide for you. My goal is to give you all the assurance you need to act on it.
Let’s get started!
📖 Table of Contents
1. Consider Making a Shorter Trip
Before we get into how to get it said, let’s take a step back and look at the alternatives.
If you’re already 100% sure you don’t want to travel with someone, feel free to continue to the next step.
If not, consider the alternative of limiting the time you spend together.
Maybe you wouldn’t mind traveling together for a while, in certain places, or under specific circumstances.
So if there’s room for it consider suggesting only traveling together for a designated period.
This is especially a good option if you’ve already made a promise and someone relies on you.
And remember though it’s not what you initially agreed on, it’s okay to change your mind. As humans we learn, grow and change. There’s no shame in that. It’s a healthy sign.
Though it doesn’t eliminate the risk of disappointment, it shouldn’t be your primary motivation for traveling together.
Regardless if you’re already traveling together or not. Remember that there’s rarely a single type of relationship you’ll never need a break from. Whether it’s short or permanent.
It’s also normal to have a relationship that only functions under certain circumstances. And it can require a lot to travel together.
Whether it’s making compromises, taking on responsibilities, or an extensive amount of time in each other’s company.
2. If Your Trip Is Already Arranged and Paid For
This will make things more complicated, but not impossible.
If the trip you planned relies on doing it together, ask yourself whether you’d want someone else to go just for your sake. Chances are you won’t despite the disappointment you’d probably feel.
In the rare case where you aren’t able to change your plans, and someone’s trip truly relies on you, consider making a sacrifice if it’s realistic to you. It might end up not being as bad as you think.
3. Remember That You’re Within Your Rights
You don’t need a reason to justify not traveling with someone. If you simply don’t want to it’s enough.
This is your life, and it’s not gonna last forever. Traveling is a unique opportunity, and something we often work hard to achieve one way or another.
I’m not suggesting being egoistic here, I’m just saying that it’s okay and you should listen to yourself.
What’s important is how you share it. Say it in a respectful and caring way and provide the chance to see it from your perspective while equally listening.
Though it’s out of your control how someone will react, it’s within your control how you communicate it.
4. Be Honest About Your Reasons and Engage in Conversation
Now to what it’s all about.
While I don’t know the specific reasons for your decision, I might know what it’s motivated by.
Maybe you have the desire to travel solo, or you just had enough of someone’s company which is normal. Or you’re traveling with someone else and don’t want anyone to join.
Or maybe you’ve experienced something or are worried about certain things ending up comprising your trip due to different reasons.
If you communicate it appropriately and someone doesn’t seem to care, consider it a red flag. People that don’t want what’s best for you aren’t worth keeping anyways.
But don’t forget to give space for the other person’s feelings too. Especially if you’ve already made agreements on traveling together.
And remember while you might not agree on certain things, there’s often an explanation for why people think or feel the way they do. This leads us to the famous quote by Brad Meltzer:
“Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.”
It’s a good one to keep in mind.
5. Make It Clear if It’s Not Personal
I can only speculate whether your reasons for not traveling with someone are personal or not.
It’s a good idea to emphasize this if it’s not.
There’s a big chance it’s one of the first assumptions someone will have when you talk with them.
For example, if you want to travel solo. The significant differences and opportunities to this have nothing to do with anyone else.
I go more in-depth about solo traveling and discuss the pros and cons in another post of mine under the section “Should You Travel Solo?“. Feel free to use these for reflection and argumentation.
If you make it clear it’s not personal, it will also make the situation much easier. It might even be essential to someone.
However, if it is personal, you’re might better off keeping some of the truth to yourself. Whether it’s someone you know or not.
I’m not an advisor for lying, but sometimes I think it’s okay to evade truths to avoid hurting someone unnecessarily.
It comes down to whether it’s due to reasons that are out of somebody’s control or not.
For example, if it’s due to arrogance to new experiences and cultures, being pessimistic and complaining, or being too egocentric, consider respectfully sharing your concerns.
Hearing things from others is sometimes crucial for growth.
We, humans, can’t always see the full picture on our own. Sometimes we have to rely on others to see it. And there’s a big chance it’s something they aren’t even aware of.
As long as you don’t confuse dislikable personal traits with your different opinions or personalities.
6. Suggest an Alternative
This comes to the last option, and it’s an excellent one if you ask me.
If you’re genuinely interested in traveling with someone under different circumstances, suggest an alternative and schedule it.
Though be aware of not getting tempted by using it as an excuse. Otherwise, you’d just postpone the problem and cause disappointment.
By doing so you’re still gonna travel together, just at a later time.