5 tips for travelling with a friend

Lifelong friends and long-term travelling companions Liz Davies and Hilary Linstead reveal the secrets of travelling with a friend – and staying friends

7 mins

Hilary Linstead and Liz Davies are polar opposites. Hilary loves popular entertainment. Liz loves nothing better than wandering around a museum. Liz loves walking. Hilary would rather catch a bus. But for the past 15 years these lifelong friends have been travelling to far flung and exotic corners of the world. And they're still the best of friends.

They have written a book about their travels together called Growing Old Outrageously. Below they reveal the five key secrets to travelling successfully with someone you know.

1. Compromise

Hilary: It sounds simple but it can be hard to do. The upside is that there are unexpected benefits. We’ve had to compromise but in doing so there’s learning to be done. In my case, I learned that travelling by train and bus is good. It’s taken 15 years to get me on trains properly.

2. Ration your time together

Liz: We don’t see each other most of the year. We only see each other six weeks in the year, which makes a hell of a difference as to whether you can travel well together. We’re pleased to see each other and enjoy each other’s company. 

3. Keep things tightly organised

Liz: I think it’s important to be incredibly organised. Even if we’re away for six weeks together, we only spend about three nights in the same place. So there’s no time really. We’re not idling on a beach wondering where to have supper or something like that. We’re in and out of museums or seeing things or meeting people.

Hilary: Yes. Cut down on choices. Because once you start saying, ‘Are we going to do this or are we going to that?’ then conflict arises. So if you have no choices, you know what you are going to do, it’s fine. 

4. Play to your strengths

Hilary: Liz organises everything to do with what we see. Museums, galleries, the history of the place, the things we should have a look at, or Liz is interested in having a look at or wants me to have a look at, absolutely, that is Liz’s territory.

Liz: Hilly plans where we are going, South America or whatever, and where we are staying. She gets that organised. The day, more or less, is planned by me. She stays in bed in the morning. I go and see what’s going on, or I’ve read the guidebook, and make a plan.

5. Speak up

Liz: You should say, there and then, immediately, if there is a problem, rather than let it fester. Hilly will say, ‘I’m fed up, I don’t want to do that, shut up Liz' and I pull my forelock and say OK.

Growing Old OutrageouslyGrowing Old Outrageously, described as a 'memoir of travel, food and friendship,' is available on Amazon now.

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