• What Kind of Traveler Are You?

    by  • Planning • 15 Comments

    One important thing to figure out before you even start planning your trip is what kind of traveler you are. If you plan a trip that doesn’t fit with your personality and who you are, you probably won’t enjoy the trip. Here are a few things to consider before booking your next vacation.

    Take a look at your every day life:

    • Are you a city person or do you enjoy being out in nature?
    • What kinds of activities do you enjoy, physical activities or more mental ones?
    • Do you like big crowds or do lots of people make you feel claustrophobic?
    • Do you want your trip to involve relaxation or lots of activities?

    City vs Nature

    I’m a city person. I love the energy of a city, how much there is to do there, the restaurant choices, the grit. A week camping without a toilet does not sound like a fun time to me, so I wouldn’t plan a vacation that was in contrast to that.

    Be honest with yourself on this. Just because a four day trek on the Inca Trail sounds amazing, doesn’t mean it’s right for you. I still enjoy nature, but I make sure a trip involving nature is within my comfort zone.

    On the other hand, if cities aren’t your thing, a week in New York City might not be the best vacation for you either.

    Physical vs Mental

    Recognize what kinds of activities you enjoy. If you like cultural activities, a vacation that involves museum visits, wine tastings, and tours of historical buildings might be perfect for you. Or if you really enjoy food, take a cooking class in a foreign country, or explore well known restaurants. But if the thought of doing these activities makes you yawn, consider something more physical. You can learn a lot about a destination by taking a bicycle tour or going hiking or rafting.

    Crowds and Your Comfort Zone

    What is your physical comfort zone? For years I wanted to participate in Tomatina, a giant tomato fight in Spain. I thought it sounded really fun. But what I didn’t consider, and what I didn’t realize until I was there covered in tomato pulp, was that I don’t really like being crushed in a big crowd of people.

    Maybe Oktoberfest in Munich or a big outdoor concert festival sounds like an amazing experience, but if you are uncomfortable in crowds, this could be a disastrous trip. But if you get a rush from the crowds, go for it!

    Relaxation vs On the Go

    Is your idea of vacation relaxing on the beach and not much else? Or do you want to be on the go experiencing something different every day? Both are equally valid, but you need to know ahead of time which is your preferred method of travel. For some, a vacation to a beach resort with massages, yoga, and sunbathing might be perfect, but others might prefer lots of sightseeing.

    When you start the process of deciding where to go and what to do for your next trip, consider what will bring you the most enjoyment. Travel can be a good way to push your boundaries and try something new, but make sure you know your limits and your preferences. Having these things in mind will help you plan a vacation that will be rewarding and enjoyable.

    Thanks to BreakawayBackpacker for letting me use his Tomatina photo!

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    15 Responses to What Kind of Traveler Are You?

    1. August 3, 2012 at 2:31 pm

      All good points. We recently went on a cruise and I was nearly ready to throw myself overboard on the days at sea. I want to give cruising another shot, but a river cruise or one with less time at sea will definitely be better for my travel style.

      • Ali Garland
        August 3, 2012 at 3:01 pm

        Thanks Jennifer! I think cruising is great for some people, but you definitely have to look closely at what is involved. Some people are ok with having everything scheduled out for them and just seeing the highlights, but others want more flexibility and more time in each place. A river cruise or one that holds fewer people might be good to try.

    2. August 3, 2012 at 8:49 pm

      There is a point to the idea of getting out of your comfort zone while traveling and seeing and experiencing new things, but there is a limit even to that. Tomatina was awesome and awful at the same time. I am happy to have done it with you but don’t want to ever go back to it or something similar. I like a vacation that gets me out of my daily routine and still speaks to what I enjoy and who I am as a traveler. For me that is a nice plaza with plenty of bustling happening, but with me in a comfortable shady chair and a ready supply of both drinks and drawing materials. Preferably with internet too.

      • Ali Garland
        August 3, 2012 at 9:33 pm

        Thanks Andy! Travel is definitely a good way to get out of your comfort zone and try something new. One of the reasons I love travel is the challenge. But I think it’s important to know your limits and not go too far with it.

    3. August 4, 2012 at 5:25 am

      Busy open-air plaza, lots of foot traffic, a beer in hand, sitting in the sun, watching people go by, passing the time, shooting the breeze with your friends with their drinks in hand.

      Aaaaaah ….

      • Ali Garland
        August 4, 2012 at 11:48 am

        Sounds great Henry! I think you and Andy would get along well with this kind of traveling!

    4. Giora
      August 4, 2012 at 2:08 pm

      Informative article and good questions to ask before traveling … and I’m a city person. From where is the picture at the top with the building with the Dome?

      • Ali Garland
        August 4, 2012 at 3:17 pm

        Thanks Giora! That is the Flinders Street train station in Melbourne, Australia. I love that building!

    5. August 5, 2012 at 9:50 am

      I’m a bit of each. I tend to be a city person, but I also like being able to combine some nature aspects into it. And I like to keep a busy schedule, yet leave time at the end of the day to unwind. :)

      • Ali Garland
        August 5, 2012 at 3:04 pm

        I know what you mean, it’s the combination of things that make the trip enjoyable. I’m not an outdoorsy person, but I do enjoy seeing and photographing nature. I guess as long as it’s in small doses and I don’t have to make my own toilet, I’m ok with being out in nature!

    6. August 12, 2012 at 2:22 pm

      Very excellent points. Using the Tomatina as an example is perfect. Gives a great visual in the mind. You have to think of all the things involved that might make you uncomfortable.

      • Ali Garland
        August 12, 2012 at 5:32 pm

        Thanks, I appreciate it! It’s always good to try to get outside your comfort zone, but knowing your limits is important too.

    7. Pingback: What I Learned From My Round the World Trip | Ali's Adventures

    8. August 20, 2012 at 3:33 pm

      Hi Ali, great article! Guess we used to be a on the go traveller. Slowly becoming more relax as we grow older :)

      • Ali Garland
        August 20, 2012 at 11:40 pm

        Thanks Tommy! Yep, same here, more relaxed and I don’t want to run from place to place quite so quickly any more.

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