How to Find Your Travel Soulmate, According to a Matchmaker

Traveling takes a toll on even the best of friends—but it doesn’t have to.

Your travel soulmate usually isn’t your spouse, girlfriend or boyfriend, or even your best friend, says Amy Van Doran, founder of the NYC matchmaking service, the Modern Love Club. “Finding someone you travel well with is just as hard, if not harder, than finding a romantic match,” she says. “Travel brings out the best and worst in us, and you need to find someone to complement your travel style.” Here are her tips for finding your dream travel partner.

1. Match Personalities
“If you’re super type A and need to have everything organized and planned, it’s likely traveling with a type B, go-with-the-flow partner will drive you crazy. If you’re really independent, you probably don’t want a needy travel buddy who can’t be alone and is always looking for attention. There’s nothing worse than feeling like you have to babysit someone. On the flip side, if you’re more introverted, it might be good for you to travel with someone who is a bit more extroverted and isn’t afraid to ask for advice and talk to strangers.”

2. Compare Baggage
“If you show up with a Kate Spade weekender bag and your travel partner arrives with a Louis Vuitton trunk collection it might not be a match made in heaven. I get annoyed if someone has a different baggage style. People who travel light often know how to roll with the punches. A ton of luggage can be a red flag that the person has a lot of emotional baggage or separation anxiety.”

3. Talk Travel Philosophy
“Some people take vacation and some people travel. You want to be sure you are taking a trip for the same reasons. Are you looking to go to Cabo or Hawaii and relax by a pool? Or do you want to climb mountains and backpack and seek out adventure?”

4. Do a Travel Background Check
“If you’ve never left the country, your perfect travel match might not be someone who has backpacked across Cambodia. It’s good to find someone with your level of travel expertise and similar skill sets and interests. Going on a group trip is a great way to find a travel partner. If you climb, network at your climbing gym and do a weekend trip with members. Or if you practice yoga, see if your studio is offering a group trip. This narrows down a group of people you have things in common with. During the trip you can then figure out if there is someone you really click with one an one and you’d want to stay friends with after.”

5. Consider Socioeconomic Compatability
“Some travelers are fine staying in hostels and flying low-cost carriers while others wouldn’t dream of staying anywhere other than the Four Seasons and flying Virgin Atlantic’s Upper Class. You want to make sure you find a travel partner who can afford and appreciate your travel preferences. Ask someone about his or her favorite hotels or where they like to eat. Will they be fine surviving on an apple a day or are they going to want to book reservations at the hottest restaurants?”

6. Use Technology
“Tinder is great for connecting with locals and meeting new friends when you travel. Be up front with your intentions and say I’m just looking for someone to show me around town. The best part about Tinder is that if you get sick of the person you can easily ditch them, no hard feelings.”

>>Next: What Kind of Vacation Fits Your Travel Style?

Jen grew up in Pt. Pleasant, NJ (yes, the Shore), escaped to school in Boston, and fell in love with travel when she went abroad to study in Australia. After nearly ten years of eating and drinking herself silly in NYC, she finally reached the west coast. Things that makes her happy: the ocean, books, mountains, bikes, friends, good beer, ice cream, unplanned adventures, football, live music.
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