Traveling with a Travel Skeptic

Everyone loves traveling to different degrees – some are addicted and turn every moment into a journey, while others will casually go on vacation every couple years to recharge. But what if someone close to you avoids travel altogether? That can be a challenge if you were born to wander.

Exploring the world and creating memories is even better when you have someone with whom to share it. So how can you reconcile your love of traveling with your loved one’s lack thereof?

Understand Why

You first need to identify the source of their reluctance so that you can offer solutions for their doubts.

Whether their reason is financial, fear-based or characteristic, let them share their thoughts so you can decide where to take the conversation.

If money is the issue:

Suggest setting aside money each month for a trip. Figure out with your travel partner what an acceptable budget would look like and set a date on when to book a trip, whether it’s six months, a year or two years.

If fear is the issue:

Travel fears come in many forms, such as agoraphobia (fear of certain environments and situations), fear of flying, fear of something going wrong or just a fear of a particular destination. Because of the varieties of fear, you’ll have to address each one case-by-case.

For example, if your friend or loved one doesn’t like flying, suggest driving to the destination. If they are afraid to visit certain countries or cities because of safety concerns, stay at a gated resort. Show them that there are different options to avoid stressful scenarios.

If boredom or general disinterest is the issue:

See if there is any way to find a compromise, such as traveling for fewer days or doing something that interests them on the trip. But first you’ll need to get that travel bug to bite.

Set the Groundwork

Courtesy of member John M.

You can stir up the smallest bit of wanderlust at home through different mediums:

  • Watch a show about traveling.
  • Look at friends’ and families’ trip photos.
  • Follow travel accounts on social media.
  • Highlight places you want to go or places you’ve been and how much those places mean to you.

Once you’ve tactfully tried to introduce the wide world of travel to someone, the next step falls on them. And if these small introductions ever lead to an actual vacation, great! You’re ready to hit the road.

Small Steps

For someone hesitant to take a vacation in the first place, the last thing you want to do is give them culture shock on their first vacation. Some travelers enjoy playing the fish-out-of-water role, but you’ll want to tread with more caution when you convince a tentative traveler to go traveling with you.

Take a road trip

Road trips force you to engage in the adventure every step of the way, turning the journey into the destination. Lean into each possibility and don’t be afraid to change plans on the fly. Best of all, you can travel on your own terms while avoiding airport security lines.

Even something as simple as an afternoon bike ride or a day of fishing is a good introduction. If you want to ease someone into traveling, flexibility is key.

Embrace their interests

You can cater to someone’s preferences by visiting destinations fitting for what they love: Take a wino to the luscious wineries in Napa Valley; show a scuba diver to the immaculate waters of the Caribbean; or introduce a music fan to the historic sounds of Nashville. Travel can be as broad or focused as you want it to be, but this is your chance to show them that travel has something for everyone.

Let them take charge.

Involving your travel partner in the trip-planning process can help empower them and even spark some ideas of what they would want to do. Allow them to pick a day’s itinerary and see where it leads!

If all goes well, you’ll be able to see the world with someone always by your side. And if not, that’s OK, at least you have those memories to share together!

Not everyone has wanderlust, but those who do have the power to open new doors to those who shy away from it.

How have you convinced a reluctant traveler to embark on a trip with you?

Corey is a writer from Overland Park, KS, and has been with Global Discovery Vacations since September 2013. Once a sportswriter, he traveled the country and became proficient in airport security line etiquette and leaving items in hotel rooms.

Leave a Reply