Why the wrong travel companion can really cost you
When it comes to holidays, who you go with can be just as important as where you go and how much you're willing to spend.
Assuming you're not simply stuck with the kids during March break, consider your travel companion carefully, as the wrong choice can mean the difference between a great trip and a disaster.
Consider taking a test run first. Overnight trips or even a weekend outing may help you both get a good idea about your compatibility.
One pair of women knew each other from the gym, but had never spent a lot of time together. Turns out one was an unstoppable chatterbox who yakked incessantly about anything and everything.
"I will never, ever travel with her again," her disgruntled partner fumed, "and I don't know how I'm going to make it through the next five days without strangling her."
Have you budgeted more than your travel buddy for this trip? Watch out, because a difference in spending styles is one of the main causes of conflict between travel partners, warns travel writer Caroline Morse.
Agree on a budget before leaving, and decide if you'll split everything down the middle or itemize every meal and drink.
If you're going to share a hotel room, you and your travel partner will need to have similar sleep patterns. One early riser fumed as she waited for three hours every morning. Finally she exploded, her friend got defensive and by the fifth day each went off on her own.
Try alternating between early wake-ups and sunrise hikes and leisurely breakfasts to make everyone happy at least half the time, Morse suggests.
Be sure you and your travel companion have the same ideas about how to get around when you get there. Some people can handle a 10-hour bus ride; others would rather pay to fly. And why pay for taxis when a perfectly good subway is available?
Better still, here's a handy quiz to see if you and your prospective travel companion are even close to being on the same page.
Have you had much luck in finding compatible travel companions. What have you learned along the way?
By Gordon Powers, MSN Money