The Travel Quiz

The Cairngorms in Scotland, Nov 2015

My husband and I love to travel together, but no matter how close you are or how long you’ve been together, travelling together can be both a rewarding experience and a potential minefield.

Over the last 30 years we’ve learnt a lot about how to get the most out of a trip by respecting each other’s travel personalities:

  • We both need time apart as well as time together
  • I enjoy some down-time to lie by a pool or on a beach and read a book and he doesn’t
  • He likes to have a tv in the room and I don’t
  • I like art galleries and museums and he doesn’t
  • He likes to shop and I don’t
  • He likes to pack ahead and I’m a last-minute girl
  • I don’t like to overindulge at breakfast because I don’t want to miss out on lunch – he’d prefer to have a big breakfast and manage with a snack at lunchtime
  • I like to get to an airport, do the check-in thing and sit down with a drink and a book to wait. He doesn’t like to get there early and once checked in will then want to chat about pretty much nothing while I’m trying to zone out.
  • We both enjoy foodie walking tours
  • We both enjoy wandering and ending up somewhere we didn’t expect to
  • We both enjoy road trips
  • We both love produce markets
  • We both enjoy street food but will book one “special” night out each trip

Fortunately, he’s happy to people watch if I want to do the museum thing, and I’m happy to read if he wants to watch tv. We’re cool about each other’s personal space and as a result, he’s still my favourite person to travel with – even though he does do my head in at airports and don’t get me started on him and menus.

Where are you likely to find your partner in a new city you’ve travelled to?

Grant – Absolutely not in the shops or on the high street. I’d find her in a slightly edgy or grungey coffee shop – drinking tea – with her journal. Probably somewhere with street art.

Jo – Sitting in a park watching the world go by probably waiting for me to take a photo or finish in a gallery or museum.

What’s the first thing your partner does in a new city?

G – Take to the streets on a walking tour. She hates those introductory city tours where at the end they take you to one of those gem/batik/craft/whatever stores. She has no tolerance for that.

J – Whatever walking tour I’ve booked us on.

What is your partner’s travelling downfall?

G – She’s so paranoid about missing planes that she’s always way too early and we have too long at the airport. She’s a control freak and doesn’t trust any booking she hasn’t made herself. She also doesn’t like being managed. I remember a bus tour we did around Europe many years ago and her mood when she was told where to be by what time. We had a deal where we’d only do the included tours and everything else would be on our own.

J – He’s a “just in time” man and doesn’t allow for local traffic conditions. While he likes to pack early, he starts getting ready to leave at the time we need to be gone. These days I tell him we need to be gone 30 minutes before we actually need to be gone. He worries more about the budget than I do – both a plus and a minus. He doesn’t like to change destinations if it involves another flight and more time in an airport.

What is your partner’s travelling personality?

G – She likes to have transport and accommodation organised, and a list of other things researched but likes to wander and have lots of unplanned time. She hates feeling too structured and managed.

J – It’s about the people and culture for him. He likes to get under the skin of a place. He doesn’t like a fixed schedule and wants to be able to spend as long as he wants if it’s somewhere that’s interesting.

Why does your partner like to travel?

G – For the experiences.

J – For the culture.

What is the most fun about travelling with your partner?

G – She can laugh at nearly anything and likes to explore. She’s organised, but not restrictive with it. She doesn’t mind doing things on her own if I’m not interested in it and will push me into doing things I mightn’t otherwise be bothered doing.

J – He’s usually happy to do whatever I decide – or wait while I do it if he’s not interested. He’ll try anything – especially when it comes to food.

What is the place your partner most wants to travel to?

G – I can’t answer that – she has a list that changes all the time. Probably wherever she’s booked to go after our next holiday. Seriously though, it’s easier to talk about places that aren’t on her list. There are also lots of places she wants to go back to and explore more deeply.

J – He’d love to do a Cunard cruise out of Southampton. One that goes through the Suez or Panama Canal. He’d love to see the Northern Lights and would like to go to St Petersburg.

What is the place your partner least wants to travel to?

G – Probably the Middle East or anywhere where she feels her freedoms are limited, there are too many rules she has to abide by, or where she feels that she can’t go into a bar on her own and have a drink if she wanted to do that. She doesn’t have a burning desire to go to Africa either.

J – His idea of travel hell is an isolated resort, “honeymoon” style islands, gated communities – anywhere advertising seclusion or luxurious privacy. He’s not a villa type of man and needs other people around him. Where I dream of a South Pacific Island or a lonely Scottish croft by a loch, I can see him actually cringe at the idea.

What is your partner’s favourite part of a new country?

G – The photo opportunities. I sometimes joke that I’m on holiday with Jo and her camera. And the food. She loves produce markets and street food.

J – The people watching and local street food. He’s not interested in how the wealthy live or eat – it’s about everyday life and food for him. He loves wandering around supermarkets so he can see what the cost of living is.

What is your partner’s most annoying habit at the dinner table while travelling?

G – She has to take a photo of everything she eats and drinks.

J – Just choose what you want to eat already – it’s not that hard!

What does your partner dislike about travelling?

G – The crowds – she hates crowds. She also doesn’t like anything that’s too pristine or glitzy or non-inclusive or elitist and she doesn’t like feeling as though she’s controlled or heavily scheduled. She’s not big on the clichéd attractions or eating at places just because of a celebrity tag – she’s a bit of a reverse snob. Oh, and she hates queueing.

J – Hanging about airports and getting to airports

What is your partner’s travel superpower?

G – The planning and research she puts in. She has a knack for finding things that aren’t in the Lonely Planet Guide.

J – He can pack a suitcase and have it look the same when it’s opened as it did when he shut it. He also knows what’s going on around him – spatial awareness. He makes me feel safe.

We got each other’s answers spot on. Why not try it for yourself with your travel partner?

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Author: Jo

I write, I bake, I chase sunrises.

48 thoughts

  1. This is a fun post. My partner and I already chalk and cheese when we travel but we like you, we manage to accommodate each other’s likes and dislikes. Jo it was great to read your partners answers about you #MLSTL Will share

  2. I really enjoyed that Jo – it’s great that as a couple there are differences but each compromises where necessary so the experience is enjoyed together. My husband and I are completely different travellers – he’s the adventure tour person (the bat caves of Vietnam are high on his wish list) and I’m the river cruise and chill person – so we do a lot of negotiating when it comes to travel (oh and I loathe airports and waiting with a passion!)
    Thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 🙂

  3. I loved this post! It really unravels the differences and the compromises that we all make, sometimes unwittingly, sometimes unwillingly, but always hopefully with good grace – especially the longer we’ve been married. Dave and I also like to do things differently, but we’d rather be together doing them, so we compromise too. #MLSTL

  4. Too funny because I have of course been reflecting on this, as I do every time we travel together. It really is incredible that it works for us, but it does.

  5. This was so much fun to read Jo, I love the honesty and candidness from both of you. I’m almost afraid to sit down with my Grant and do something similar, as I’m not sure of how he’d answer, but I might just try it! I also enjoy the way you both understand and respect each other’s differences. Such a great post 🙂 #mlstl

  6. What a fantastic post! I love how you know each other so well and can accomodate each others needs, loves and dislikes etc. I have a bit of each of you in me but I’m more like you. I’m with you on getting to the airport early so as not to be rushed and have time to have a coffee and chillax! I hate being rushed and I hate being late! I need down time too. I also hate crowds and queuing! I have a husband who likes the TV on too and I do not. I prefer quiet, peace and reading. I am with your hubby though on the brekky thing – I quite like a good sized brekky to fuel me for the day and I’m happy with a snack for lunch so that I can enjoy a good dinner. I like to pack ahead. I need to be organised and well prepared in advance. I cannot do the last minute thing – totally stresses me out! 🙂 #TeamLovinLife

  7. I really enjoyed reading how you and your partner describe each other’s travel styles. I’m sure my husband could tell you a thing or two about traveling with me, but here’s my take on him. He likes to stay in his comfort zone. He likes luxury and being pampered; he’ll only fly first class. He won’t try any food out of the ordinary. In fact, he would be happy to eat at recognized chain restaurants, but he knows I like to try the local fare, so he goes along for the most part. We both like a mix of exploring and down time by the pool or on the beach, so that’s good. He enjoys TV, and I prefer reading. We both like to play Yahtzee and have a little travel-size version we keep in our carry-on bag.

  8. Hi Jo, having recently returned from 3 weeks discovering Alaska and the Canadian Rockies with my darling husband I could have sat this quiz for you. LOL:) You and Grant are very similar to Mike and I – opposites to each other really. The key as you say is to allow each other space and to do things separately if necessary to both get the most out of travel. We love travelling together and rarely argue unless it is after a 36 hour flight to Hamburg via the whole world, that I booked because it was cheap 🙂 After travelling over the last 25 years together we have come to know, love and respect each other’s likes and dislikes and that makes for a very happy travel experience. Thanks for sharing at #MLSTL and have a beautiful weekend. xx

  9. Your post made me think, Joanne, on what works for my husband and me with all the “wonderful” together time:) The secret ingredient seems to be, knowing each other’s likes/dislikes, compromise and space. One thing that has made a huge difference for me, is when my husband surprised me with noise cancelling headphones as a gift. Helped a lot around here, especially with neighbour’s barking dogs. Also, when we travel. I can zone out easier.Thanks for sharing the reality of a good marriage:)

  10. I really enjoyed reading this question and answer post! It is interesting how everyone has a different view on travel and I loved how you both “get” each others style and interests!

  11. Such an interesting read. I am going to quiz PC on these items to see how he would respond about me and then I will answer about his preferences. Seems you guys complement each other because you do have some fairly significant differences!!

    PC would tend to want to get to the airport plenty early…although we totally missed our first flight overseas together because we arrived soooo early that we indulged in a drink and missed our plane (which left about 15 minutes early and did not page us!).

    Thank you for a very thought-provoking read!!

  12. This was such a fun read – David and I did something similar once and had a good laugh! I can relate to your being organised, love of food and the photo taking at the dinner table! I think you and I would make very good travel buddies!

  13. Hi Jo, I found you because of Deb’s post about the same topic. What a fun read. You guys sound a lot like us. Malcolm is content to walk through a market checking out local produce, chatting up the cab driver about the cost of living and local politics, and agonizes over menu choices. He is the one who gets to the airport three hours early and I am the one moaning, “just fifteen more minutes.” I am content to leave the planning and details to him, but he listens to my input and always keeps me in the loop. He likes structure, I like leisure, but we manage to combine the two. We both love food and will splurge for a really good meal, but we are content with street food or ‘where the locals eat.’ I value comfort,and a safe environment but I don’t need to stay high end. He likes getting a good bargain, using points or discovering a hidden gem. We rarely separate while traveling in foreign countries, but he will occasionally find a bench when I linger too long in a museum. I’m the one taking pictures of everything, but I love that he points out interesting things that I sometimes miss. He is very patient about giving me time to get the shot. We travel for the experience and the culture and love seeing how people live, work and play in different places around the world. The more we learn about the world, the smaller our own needs become. Thanks for sharing your travel quiz. I love it and suggested to Deb that some folks would benefit from a compatibility quiz before they travel. They might avoid a lot of disappointment.

    1. Hilariously I think you were typing this reply to my post at the same time as I was typing one to your post on MIn’s blog! I love your answers to these questions, but mostly I love your images!

  14. I can certainly relate to this and will take this quiz with my husband! I think it is fascinating how different couples can be from each other, yet can still compromise and have a wonderful traveling experience. What a fun way to see each other’s differences!

  15. My husband and I are currently on our year long honeymoon, travelling through southeast Asia. It’s so so interesting to ask these questions and see things from your other halves perspective, even if just for the laughs! We are learning so much about each other, every single day.

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