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Check your compatibility

A quiz that you and your potential companion should take long before hitting the road
/ Source: a href="" linktype="External" resizable="true" status="true" scrollbars="true">The Washington Post</a

Once you're on the road, will the travel companion you're considering be a dream or a nightmare? Our compatibility quiz may help. Simply have your buddy fill out the multiple-choice quiz below and do the same yourself. Compare your answers, then go plan a trip -- for one person, or two.

1. Your idea of physical activity is:

  • Unsticking your leg from a hot plastic beach chair.
  • Jogging up the Great Wall -- participation mandatory.
  • Touring the Louvre with one or two bench stops.
  • Four kinds of massages, a soak in a gardenia-strewn bath, a nose-hair wax and a hair fluff.

2. When traveling, your dining habits are best described as:

  • McDonald's, Starbucks . . . do they have Dairy Queen in Beijing yet?
  • You like to call up menus online before leaving home so you can plan which restaurants to visit.
  • You'll have whatever the locals at Table 6 are having.
  • Gourmet-style. Dining is one of the most fascinating parts of travel.

3. When you "do" a city or country, you:

  • Can see everything just fine from your hotel room balcony.
  • Visit all of the bolded items in your guidebook. You might never return to this place, so you must see everything now.
  • Tour a couple of major attractions each day, and save some time for just hanging out.
  • Avoid the crowds and look for things that few others know about.

4. What is your budget and your spending attitude?

  • "Europe From $50 a Day" -- Who was that written for, Bill Gates?
  • You've budgeted your per diem allotment to the last euro.
  • You love a bargain (and to bargain), but you occasionally get four-starry eyed.
  • The concierge at the Hotel George V in Paris knows your Pekingese's favorite shampoo.

5. The airline lost your luggage. How do you react?

  • No problem. Your underwear is reversible.
  • It's hard to imagine your luggage getting lost, since you attached a LoJack to it. But just in case, you've packed critical items in your carry-on.
  • These things happen, and now you've got a great excuse to shop for some local togs.
  • You realize your trip is now ruined, and are either depressed or angry.

6. When on the road, what are your sleeping habits?

  • You fall asleep on the bus, on the beach, in the coat-check room at the Prado.
  • You still keep the same hours as you did in preschool.
  • You like to go to bed when it's dark out, rise when it's light -- not vice versa.
  • You require at least eight hours of beauty rest, preferably on pillows stuffed with egret feathers.

7. When in a new land, what's your shopping M.O.?

  • A single postcard, bought at the airport.
  • You need to buy something for friends, family, colleagues, your kid's teacher, the neighbor watering your plants . . .
  • You'd like to find something special to remember your trip by, but hope you'll just stumble across it.
  • You've brought an extra suitcase to haul back all of your souvenirs.

8. On the neatness yardstick, you:

  • Store your dirty socks on the floor. It makes the hotel room feel more like home.
  • Fold your dirty socks like origami, then place them in a laundry bag.
  • Fold your dirty socks and put them in your suitcase, in case you need to wear them again.
  • Drop them wherever, knowing the hotel staff will pick them up.

9. When it comes to cocktail hour, you:

  • Allow yourself a cocktail, but only after you've eaten a roll.
  • Try a few glasses of the region's finest.
  • Ask if they have a beer bong.
  • Dom Perignon for breakfast, dahling. It will help the hangover.

10. Describe your tipping protocol.

  • It depends on the level of service.
  • Well, according to the tip calculator . . .
  • You tip a straight 15 percent, even if the meal was only $1.
  • You feel sorry for the local workers and hope your tip will make their day.

11. After returning from a trip, the first thing you do is:

  • Take a long nap.
  • File your travel albums (completed on the plane ride).
  • Pull out your globe and put in for next year's vacation time.
  • Feel grateful you're back home and call all the people you missed.

If you and your potential companion answered the same on:

0-4 questions: Find another friend or spouse.

5-8 questions: It could be okay, but it will require a lot of work and compromise. Consider taking along a therapist.

9-11 questions: You're good to go. But you might want to talk over the issues raised by any conflicting answers.