Two For the Road ~ 5 traits that make a great travel partner

I love you not only for what you are, but for what I am when I am with you ~

I love you not only for what you are, but for what I am when I am with you ~

 Let the Adventure Begin.

The photo above accompanied by the caption “Let the Adventure Begin” was how hubs and I chose to announce our marriage in 2003.  I thought the couple in this photo looked like a perfect team – happy partners in crime and in life.

Whether you are a duo on the Road to Zanzibar or the Road of Life, traveling with a partner can be tricky business.  One of the things I love about my hubby is that we travel well together.  As we get closer to heading out on our own Two For the Road adventures I’ve been thinking quite a bit about what makes a really good team.  For me it comes down to a few very important traits.

Here are the top five on my list ~

Every great team needs…

1.  A Yes Man, a partner who says Hell Yes or Why Not to whatever crazy idea you come up with.  Someone who is all in for a good time or an adventure and doesn’t sweat the details.  When you say “Just shut up and get in the car.”  That’s exactly what they do.  They might even roll down the window and hang their head out to feel the breeze.  Oh, wait.  That’s the dog.

2.  A partner who is calm during your storm.  Like the time a few years ago when Amtrak cancelled our train with no warning – just taped up a hand printed paper sign “No Train Today”.  No train?  Really?  I’m on a five day vacation!  I need the train TODAY!   That’s when you need a partner who stands back calmly while you throw an earth-shattering-all out-but-still-lady-like-bitch fit after the Amtrak service person says, “Ok. So, do you want to cancel now or do you want to come back tomorrow?”  and, then said partner calmly steps up, takes your arm, and says “Let’s go find a Happy Hour and come back in the morning”.  Happy Hour?  Ok.  I love Happy Hour.

3.  The guy in the rose colored glasses.  On those days when one of you is less than your shining best – let’s just call it major-ass cranky-pants and your partner looks over and says  “Have I told you today how crazy I am about you?”  Whoa!  Hello Dolly! Just the right words at the right time.  Well, rightbackattcha Big Boy.

4.  A comedian and a straight man.  You know, like George and Gracie, Lucy and Ricky, Will and Grace.  Every great comedy duo has an instigator, the comedian with the cockeyed point of view and the straight man who makes it all seem funny.  They are a finely oiled machine.  They play off each other.  They give as good as they get.  They make each other laugh.

5.  And, finally, you’ve each gotta be a switch hitter.  A great partnership works when you can switch roles easily and as often as required.  When you’re at the end of your rope – he’s just getting his strength.  When he’s too pooped to participate, you slow your frantic pace and stop to smell the roses.  It’s a balancing act and it works best when each person is tuned in to the other, to the moment, to the goal at hand, and to the bigger picture.

And so, ten years later, I say – Let The Adventure Continue.  We’re two for the road and I cannot wait to see where the road will lead us.

“If ever there is a tomorrow when we’re not together… there is something we must always remember.  We are braver than we believe, stronger than we seem and smarter than we think.  But the most important thing is, even if we’re apart… we’ll always be together.”  Christopher Robin

I originally published a version of this post back in 2012.  It seemed like a perfect post for Valentine’s Day so I dusted it off, prettied it up a bit and thought I’d share it again.



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28 thoughts on “Two For the Road ~ 5 traits that make a great travel partner

    • Thanks Patti. I’m not sure yet, but I’m thinking about walking across England. I’m checking out the options. I figure we should walk while we still can.

    • Thanks for stopping by Patti and leaving a comment. This was a fun post to write and I still love that photo 11 years later. I definitely want to be that woman.

  1. I love this! My husband and I just traveled for 33 days together. Today was the first day that were mostly apart as he had to start his sabbatical job here in Hawaii — “Here in Hawaii”. He brought me to Hawaii!

    I think your #5 is spot on! For years when we were both working more than full time stressful jobs and had two sons at home, I realize that as we each arrived home, we were able to read the other and figure out who needed more support that particular day. It meant our home was a port in the storm for both of us.

    • You have a the travel team think working very well, Suzanne. Thirty-three days is a lot of togetherness and from your posts and photos, you and your husband had so many once in a lifetime experiences. Wow. Now, three months in Hawaii when the weather in Philly is less than wonderful. Good for you. Enjoy the balmy air and have a piña colada for me.

  2. Awesome, Nancy. The traits you listed are the same ones that have kept my wife and me out of divorce court and off death row. And, knowing your hubs for a half century, I can attest that he serves the same calming influence on me as he does on you. Keep on writin’.


    • I agree Gil, that the old guy keeps it all in perspective and takes it pretty much in stride. But, even he gets cranky-pants from time to time. The good news is we seldom do it at the same time. Thanks for taking care of him so well. He loved every minute of his visit.

  3. It’s important to have a good travel partner. It does make traveling much easier when you’re a team. I like your comment about being a switch hitter. I’m usually the impatient one, but occasionally he loses his and I’ve been able to be the calming force. Works well.

  4. So much of the comments are exactly what makes my hubby and I travel partners for over 50+ years. I’m glad to have my Garmin taking us through the towns instead of reading maps now.

      • I got lucky the second time around, Marilyn. Now I just need to get fully retired so we can cut the ties and hit the road or skies or high seas…

    • I’d much rather travel alone and make friends along the way than drag an unhappy partner. Thank goodness I don’t have to (very often). Thanks for stopping by and the comment. It’s been fun and inspiring connecting with so many new boomer travel bloggers.

  5. Relationships are all about finding your complement to make the team whole –
    “There ain’t no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them.” quote Mark Twain – And I’m happy to say I’m still enjoying hitting the road with my husband as a travelling companion )

    • I agree, Linda. We’re very lucky to have a good traveling companion. Now I just need to break free of my office job and get on with more travel! Wheeeee…

    • These traits apply to any partner – travel or otherwise, husband or not. Thanks for stopping by! I’ll go on over now and check out The Restless Voyager.

  6. Pingback: What Makes a Great Partner ~ the sequel | JustaBackpackAndaRollie

  7. I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. My husband and I both meet that criteria pretty well and love traveling together. Great post for Valentine’s Day. Enjoy your continued adventure!

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