Image: Scheepvaartmuseum in Amsterdam
Olaf Kraak  /  AFP/Getty Images
One of you wants to see the Scheepvaartmuseum (Netherlands Maritime Museum) in Amsterdam, while the other wants to roam the canals. Amicable compromises keep a trip enjoyable for everyone.
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updated 10/13/2011 8:39:06 AM ET 2011-10-13T12:39:06

You love the beach, but your best bud would rather shop. You could happily spend hours wandering through an art museum, but after half a dozen Rembrandts and Raphaels, your husband is ready to head for the hills. Is your trip doomed?

Mismatched interests are common between travel companions — and vacationing, like life, is an exercise in the delicate art of compromise. If you're traveling solo, you can do everything you want to do and nothing you don't; for the rest of us, a trip is a time for a little give and take.

To keep things going smoothly, Ed Hewitt advises travelers to do their own legwork for the attractions they're most interested in: "Want to go to a museum? Find out on your own what tickets cost, how to get there and when it's open. Then when you drag your companion along, he or she doesn't have to worry about all the logistical hassles and might actually enjoy the experience. Sweeten the pot by paying the admission fee or treating your companion to lunch as well."

Also helpful: having the less enthusiastic partner bring along an alternate form of entertainment. I once spent an hour contentedly scribbling in my journal while my partner, a geologist, hunted for fossils.

And don't disregard the value of going your separate ways. After playing solo traveler for an afternoon or a day, you and your companion can meet up again for dinner and appreciate all the reasons you really do love traveling together. It's the best of both worlds.

See 17 more ways to keep the peace with your travel companion.

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