Think about what happens in your favourite road trip movies. Two best friends set out together on an epic journey – they fight, it makes the plot line more interesting, and both emerge even closer at the end, their lives more enriched and fulfilled (well, in most movies anyway). In real life, however, conflict while travelling isn’t anywhere near as exciting. Take a cue from some of your favourite films, and take note of what not to look for in a travel buddy.
- Richard Hoover – Little Miss Sunshine (2006): While travelling with your dysfunctional family is a bad idea at the best of times, a particularly uptight and neurotic parent or travel companion such as Richard Hoover, played by Greg Kinnear, is the worst. Annoying attempts at motivational speeches, unhelpful diet tips and constant over-analyses of everybody’s personality types will soon get very tiring.
- Neal Page – Planes Trains and Automobiles (1987): Played by Steve Martin, if you have a friend who’s constantly frustrated, angry and tries to ditch you several times throughout your journey, consider another travel buddy. Sure, it may be funny to watch them scream at airport employees or rental car companies once or twice, but it will get embarrassing if they’re constantly having a tantrum.
- Gollum – The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (2001, 2002 and 2003): Whether you’re trekking across barren plains to Mordor where peril and near-death lies around the corner, or booking a couple of chilled domestic flights to your closest city, it goes without saying that your travel companion should not be constantly trying to steal your stuff and choke you to death while you’re sleeping – a few things Gollum is a little guilty of.
- Dr. Gonzo – Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998): Played by Benicio del Torro, Dr. Gonzo is a perfect example of who not to take on a road trip – whether you’ve got a boot full of drugs or not. Nobody wants a psychotic travel companion who loudly sings the wrong tune when listening to the radio, pulls knives on random passers-by, tries to electrocute themselves in the bathtub, and abandons you while you’re in a drug-fuelled haze and foots you with the hotel bill.
- Alan Garner – The Hangover (2009): We’ve all got a friend who’s a little socially awkward, at times inappropriate and just a little darn weird. But if said friend decides to slip you and your other travel companions a roofie one night just like Zach Galifinakis’ character does in The Hangover – you’re probably better off leaving them at home…
Have you ever travelled with a bad travel companion?
Before you take heed of travel tips, you’ll need to get yourself some domestic flights to your destination of choice.