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Traveling With Women – Why Every Man Should

by Tony · 18 comments

Don't be mad... travel with a woman and travel better

Don't be mad... just listen why first!

Talking about differences in gender is always problematic.

It is not just the differences between men and women only. Talking about any group in general terms is problematic. Nobody is an exact composite of a group and there are always outliers. Plus, my advice will not necessarily correlate to just any woman.

But from my personal experience traveling with Meg and from the research I have linked to below, I truly believe that every man should experience traveling with a woman. Even though I am married, my beliefs hold true for even platonic friends.

Traveling with a woman just enhances the overall experience (try not to get defensive fellas).

Women Are Better At Planning Trips

If you were with a woman... you'd know where you were going

A woman would already know which way to go

I have enough anecdotal evidence in my life to prove this point, but let’s look at the research.

A 2009 Survey of The American Consumer, reported by Gadling, showed that while men and women had about the same number of domestic trips and spent about the same on travel, the WAY they traveled differed.

Women spend significantly more time than men planning a trip and they also enjoy the process of planning more.

But why is that important? Maybe men are just better at quick decision making and like to be spontaneous (easy fellas… remember, we’re trying not to be defensive.)

It is important because, as the New York Times has reported, numerous studies have shown that a majority of individuals achieve their greatest happiness leading up to a trip (when they are planning and anticipating) instead of from the trip itself.

So not only does planning a trip in advance give you more stability by having a room and transportation booked, it also might make you happier and enjoy your trip more. Even if you don’t partake in the planning with your female travel companion, you at least will have some slight structure built into your journey which definitely reduces stress.

If you are traveling long-term (like we are), planning does not mean booking your entire trip in advance. Meg and I often do not know where we will be in two weeks. But while you are on the road, you should take time to map out a few of your next moves.

Women Are Better At Communicating

Women are better at communicationThere is a myth that women talk more than men. But it is just that. A myth.

Communication, however, is not just talking. It is the ability to express yourself appropriately given the situation and to effectively understand others. This is where women excel. From birth and on into adoloscence, girls show greater empathy and language ability.

Some studies have shown that women in social situations are less likely than men to talk just for the sake of talking, use small words, and give predictable compliments.

Why is this important when you travel?

Almost every interaction you have on the road will be social. Everyone is new and if you are traveling outside of your country, you will most likely experience a different culture. This means it is extra important to listen closely and clearly express yourself. As women tend to be better in this arena, you might learn from your female travel buddy and use their techniques in your future travels.

Women are also more adapted to finding friends when in a stressful environment… and travel definitely qualifies as stressful. From security lanes at airports to sleeping on floors when your room doesn’t pan out, stress is ever-present.

In stressful situations, men typically rely on that old axiom of “fight or flight” while women “tend and befriend.” Only discussed in the last few years due to a lack of study into the evolutionary psychology of female behavior (a fascinating oversight where mainly men were studied for decades and the results then assumed to be the same for women), women actually have a different hormonal response to stress then men.

This means that women are not just better at communicating when on the road, they are more inclined to make friends. So travel with a woman and expand your social horizons.

Women Are Not OVER-confident

Think twice buddy...

Newsflash buddy... you're going to regret that tequila shot

I’m a dude. I totally get it.

There have been numerous times where, in hindsight, I realize that ________ (insert any number of stupid things I’ve done, like bodysurfing during a riptide warning or taking that last shot of tequilla) was not the best idea.

Yet, it is only the rare occasion when I use the powers of foresight to stop myself from such ridiculousness.

But I can’t help it! Science has shown that it is down to biology and the “winner effect,” where when two men enter into competition (like taking shots at a bar) their testosterone increases, thus increasing their appetite for risk. This leads men to be overconfident.

Women have only 10% of the testosterone of men and seem much less susceptible to the “winner effect.” This has even proven true during the last financial market crash when women were shown to be better investors.

There is no place where overconfidence can hurt you more than in the new situations you face when traveling. When you travel with a woman, you collaborate more on your decisions and tend to avoid the situations that have too much risk.

All I really know is that Meg has enough foresight for the both of us… and thank goodness for that.

The Problem Is Admitting It

As a man, I don’t want to think that I need improvement. In less insightful moments, you even might catch me denying that I am anything less than perfect.

But perfect I am not.

And while many differences in men and women are superficial, there is something to be said for traveling with someone who has such different life experiences. Someone who instinctively reacts differently than myself, even when facing the same situation.

If you travel to not just learn about the world, but to also learn about yourself, then you might want to travel with a woman for awhile and see what the experience might teach you.

Your turn: Am I wrong? In your experience, are men typically just as good as women at these things?

About Tony
Quit his job to try actually following his dreams for once... and is currently loving it. He is working hard to to make this life-style permanent by writing about his adventures and brainstorming money making opportunities with his partner-in-crime, Meg.

Allie May 8, 2012 at 4:24 pm

Tony, this is my favorite post yet :) I may have Jim read it (over and over) on our way to Italy.
p.s. I’m moving to Italy for 5 months starting May 21 – I think you guys already went there but if you want a free place to stay in Tuscany, there is an extra bedroom available for our friends (as long as they’re willing to help in the veggie gardens, of course!) More about it here: http://6000milestohome.blogspot.com/p/our-italian-adventure.html. Hope you guys are having a blast!

Tony May 9, 2012 at 5:36 am

Allie! So glad to see you on here!

Jim is just going to have to get used to it… marriage is all about realizing your wife is just more capable than you :)

I’m reading up on your adventure now and will be emailing SHORTLY! We’re in Croatia right now but were planning a trip back to Italy/Switzerland in June. I would love to catch up!


Pam Choney May 8, 2012 at 10:41 pm

Very wise, Tony – great insights!

Tony May 9, 2012 at 5:37 am

Thanks for commenting, Pam!

I had overwhelming evidence from personal experience… but wanted to bring as many facts in as I could to support it. You can’t argue with science!


Adam May 9, 2012 at 8:32 am

Brilliant! I traveled around India for a month with a good girl friend of mine and she made life so much easier! She did most of the planning and organizing and was much more calm under pressure than I was. She was a lifesaver while traveling!

Tony May 9, 2012 at 9:01 am

Glad you agree, Adam!

When I studied abroad in Florence, almost all of my entire program was girls. They were life savers as they booked trips to all of the cool places and just needed me to pay them back.

Now I know why you have lived in Berlin for so long and have yet to see Munich… you need a lady travel partner!


Jacki May 9, 2012 at 10:31 am

How, tell me how, I can travel and make $$!!
Read your article and totally agree…I’m the planner, love to plan, etc., etc….

Tony May 9, 2012 at 11:20 am

Hi Jacki! That is the ULTIMATE question!

We’re still working on it, but the best advice I could give is to find those who have succeeded and learn from them. Oh, and to just start. Don’t wait until you have a game plan to start traveling and make money… otherwise you might never go!

Thanks for commenting!


Magz May 9, 2012 at 4:09 pm

Very well researched… did you know your little sister would be reading closely with her feminist radar turned to full throttle?? Well done big bro! You used science to back up how awesome we are :)

Tony May 9, 2012 at 6:35 pm

Science baby! But really… who can argue?

Alexandra May 10, 2012 at 4:20 am

Love it!

Reminds me of a post I wish I had wrote called “Date a Girl Who Travels”

Tony May 10, 2012 at 5:55 am

So glad you like it! Love the feedback!

That is a GREAT post you linked to… and so true. I think it is honestly true for guys that travel as well that they are a different breed, but I think especially guys need to realize this about lady travelers. Don’t you hate it when someone writes an article that you wish you had done? Jealous…


Alexandra May 10, 2012 at 6:12 am

Yes I hate it. I don’t even think I could come close to writing such a brilliant piece on why you should date a guy who travels! I totally agree that we should all just date travelers. Wipe those non-traveler types out with a bit of Darwinism!

JR May 10, 2012 at 4:03 pm

Tony very insightful and honest piece. Great job pointing out some key differences and some science to back it up. I never thought of the stress less piece of your position but it does make complete sense.

Tony May 11, 2012 at 7:20 am

Meg is still teaching me the science of planning… but it definitely takes some stress out!

Aleah | SolitaryWanderer.com December 28, 2012 at 2:43 pm

I agree wholeheartedly that men should travel with us. Makes the trip all the more memorable 😉

Tony December 28, 2012 at 7:05 pm

After a year of traveling with a woman, I endorse it even more! Makes travel so much more fun… and it helps that Meg is the organized one!

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