It’s happened… FINALLY. You have been bitten by the Travel Bug. Now what?
Well, first step is to try and understand what kind of traveler you are. Yes, it’s true. There are TYPES of travelers. Which one are you?
Do all-inclusive meal and drink plans get your mouth watering? Will having a variety of swiming pools to choose from make your day? How about cabana and lounge hopping without having to walk more than a few yards in between? Does an endless list of daily activities and classes you can participate in, night time shows and dance clubs tickle your fancy? Then you could very well be a Resorter.
When people hear the word “tourist” they may invision a traveler wearing multi-functional khaki cargo pants, Crocks on their feet, and the latest DSLR camera hanging from their neck. Well, that is not who I am referring too. The “Tour-ist” loves to research their desination months in advance, book the popular TOURS and makes sures to visit each landmark. They appreciate history, art, food, and engaging in activities and tours that are highly rated on sites like LonelyPlanet, TripAdvisor and Groupon. Most likely their itinerary is jam packed from the moment they stop of the plane at their destination.
Not everyone books trips to foreign places purely for the intent of hyping up their instagram feed, but occasionally you may run into a traveler that clearly trips for the Instagram worthy shots. You will find them with a personal photographer (or “insta-husband”) taking at least 90 shoots of each pose for hours around town. Don’t be too mad at this type of traveler. Afterall, if it wasn’t for them you probably wouldn’t have ever thought about visiting the latest place you found on Instagram that is now on to your bucket list.
It never fails to be in a crowd of Tour-ist, Instagramers, and Locals and then randomly spot that one guy (or girl) who is clearly not a local but is looking very “homeless chic”. They are wearing a combination of western style apparel and local fashion, looks a little tired due to lack of sleeping (or having way too much fun) yet, gets along while with the locals, even speaking the local language at times. Those are the guys who have been wandering from couch to couch (couchsurfing.com), from hostel to hostel, and maybe even sleeping outside some night. This Vagabond has no itinerary, no final destination, little money from odd jobs here and there and yet, has an overwhelming sense of contentment that you can’t help but feel a little jealous of their carefree life. Buy this guy a drink, he has a ton of stories to share with you.
If you are the type that likes to plan ahead, take control, and lead the pack, then add a “Tagalong” in your travel crew. The Tagalong is flexible, easy going, and goes with the flow. This person is good to travel with if you appreciate a travel buddy that won’t cause a fuss when plans don’t go accordingly. However, do be aware that the Tagalong does very little planning or may not have much of an opinion on what to do which could get frustrating because you may wind up doing all the work. Great travel buddy for a planner.
If the couch-surfing, Vagabon life is not your style but you also don’t really want to pay the price to stay at a Resort for you trip then you may find a middle ground in renting out a room or home. Modern lodging apps like Airbnb, HomeAway, and VRBO, help vacationers find a temporary home away from home while exploring. The Renter appreciates the experience of temporary living like a local by staying at a place the locals actually live in.
A little bit of planning, a little bit of research on local customs, and a lot of exploring outside the box. Adventurer’s take risks, go off the beaten path, and have a burning desire to see and do everything. Standing in long lines and being in large groups of people are not fun for an adventurer. That being said, all of life is an adventure so they maintain a good attitude about every situation that they encounter while traveling.
Which type of traveler are you?