At Ixtapan Spa last week,  were talking about a screening process for traveling with a friend. A woman stated: I never travel with anyone before I spend a day with them shopping. What a terrific idea.

Shopping will determine decisiveness and focus. Anyone who covets something but cannot make up their mind to either buy or move on, can be a time waster. And what are you paying for the most on a tour? Time!

Shopping will tell you something about independence. Does your pal need to stay by your side the whole time? When you travel with someone, it is comforting to know that they are not tied at your hip but that they give you some breathing room.

Shopping shows energy levels and pace. Does one of you get tired much before the other? Is that annoying to either of you?

Shopping alerts you to budgeting. Do you both splurge out of you budget or stay where you agreed on in the beginning. Splurging can hurt and embarrass someone who is on a tighter budget or just spends differently.

A full day of shopping will also indicate bathroom needs, food needs, liquid needs. Is one of you always carrying a water bottle then needing to find the toilets?

So you are are going to travel with just one person, consider going shopping with them for a whole day ahead of time. If are both joining a group like The Women’s Travel Group, then you will not have this problem. Your friend and you have a safety net of the women in the  group but the privacy of your room or rooms. Others traveling solo will be a good buffer.  A note to our members: some of our trips like Sicily have limited space left and others are booking very early: Morocco is one.