Trek Talk - ElderTreks Blog


4 Easy Ways to Be the Best Travel Roommate

Traveling Solo

"I have found out that there ain't no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them."

Mark Twain, Tom Sawyer Abroad


When you are traveling solo, it can often be less expensive to share a room, and you may end up sharing with a friend, family member or even a stranger.  If you aren’t interested in adding on a single supplement, you will need to share a room. You and your roommate may get along great...or, you might not! To ensure that you have an enjoyable experience with your roommate there are some key rules to follow. We list 4 easy ways to be the BEST travel roommate below.

Be Considerate

It sounds like such a simple task, but being considerate and conscientious goes a LONG way!  Everyone has their idiosyncrasies: Some people can only fall asleep with the television on, and others can’t fall asleep with any noise, or light. Others like to put their alarm on snooze for an hour before they wake up, and others get up immediately once they hear their alarm. It’s best to mention your preferences up front so you can set out any expectations or needs right away. This helps avoid any passive aggressive resentment that may build up over a long tour when someone is doing the exact opposite of what you like or are comfortable with.  Plus, being courteous and considerate never made any enemies, so always kill them with kindness!  Also – make sure never to use any of their belongings without asking them first. We once heard of someone who used someone else’s toothbrush! Yikes!

Plan out Bathroom Time

You don’t need to make an exact schedule for the bathoom but it’s a good idea to ask your roommate ahead of time when they expect to shower, and how long it takes them to get ready in the mornings. Some people prefer to shower in the evenings, or in the mornings, and figuring out who will go first will help keep things organized and feel less rushed There is nothing worse than feeling like you are going to be late for when you are meeting a group!

Tidy Up

Not everyone is a neat freak, and nor should they have to be in their own space (to an extent.) Still, everyone deserves to be able to rest after a long day of touring in a tidy space that they feel comfortable in, preferably without towels on the floor, a dirty washroom or clothes spread across the room. If you are going to be messy - keep it to your side of the room. Luckily on long tours, you are moving around so you will have to keep most of your suitcase organized because you’ll be switching hotels often. Make sure to mention to your messy roommate if you need things a bit tidier, especially in the communal spaces, like the washroom.

Give Space

On long tours, with lots of meals together and time spent touring, everyone (even married couples or best friends) needs alone time. When you are sharing a room, sometimes it’s difficult to really get away and get some down time. Don’t be afraid to (politely) tell your roommate if you need some alone time, and come prepared with the tools to spend time alone (books, crosswords, music, etc.). Your sanity and your roommate will appreciate the quiet time!

When all else fails, bring items like earplugs and blinders. These are the most common tools to help with a noisy roommate (or one that turns the lights on first thing in the morning!). Also, don’t be afraid to politely tell your roommate if something is bothering you, or if you need something. Often times they don’t realize what it is that they are doing, or they are happy you mentioned it. It beats being upset for your trip over something trivial. If anything does get out of hand, you can always speak to your Tour Leader to help resolve issues, but they will always ask you if you’ve tried to rectify the situation on your own first, so it’s best to have that chat first before you speak to your Tour Leader.

Hope these tips help you on your next trip!


What are your tips for being a good roommate? Who was the best roommate you’ve ever had, and why?


Amanda Dunning - August 11, 2016

"Great tips, thank you!"


"Horror of horrors: been there, done that. Single supplement is well worth the price!--you're buying peace of mind.
One thing: you don't take a shower in a WASHROOM! But you can take a shower or a tub bath in a BATHROOM! Washrooms are in public places, NOT IN HOTEL ROOMS!"


"As I always like to read in bed before I go to sleep, I bring a book light that attaches to the book and emits very little extra light in the room."

Della Glendenning

"The only person I would ever share with again was the Canadian I shared a pup tent with, who said she was famous for going straight to sleep as soon as her head touched the pillow, and she woke again at 7-ish in the morning --- my tossing and turning --- and getting up to the loo in the middle of the night would not disturb her."

Judith Doyle

"I prefer to do quick dry hand laundry every night, and due to space I carry very few extras. I object mightily to wearing the same clothes more than one day when temperatures are hot, or it is a hiking trip.I keep wet things on my side of the room and out of the way. Some roommates object. The best answer for me seems to be
getting a single room."

Judith Foster

"I started travelling as single and through the experience met a great travelling companion and friend. My husband does not like to go to exotic places so meeting Sally and planning our trips together despite living in different cities and countries has enhanced our memorable travel experiences."


"If private rooms are available during trip, the
traveler should have the option of renting at cost. This system works but organizers dislike. I guess it cuts into profits. "


"The above 'tips' only reconfirm my opinion that the extra cost for a single supplement is well worth the cost. I once had no option but to share a room for (thank goodness) only a couple of nights. My room mate smoked (not in the room) so all her clothes smelled up the room. And she snored! No sharing for me!"

Barbara Glavish

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