Having just been on a big trip with a group of friends, I’ve seen several different types of travellers people become and it’s on my mind. Here’s an (incomplete) list of those types.
This traveller needs to know what’s happening, when it’s happening, and how he’s going to get there, for every hour every day. He doesn’t want to end up in a new city and spend the first few hours going, “so what do you wanna do?” What will likely happen instead is his pulling out his secret itinerary and revealing all the plans he has for your group: 9:00 am tickets to the cathedral tour, 12:00 lunch at world-famous tapas restaurant, 1:00 hike, 2:30 gelato break, etc… And you’re just mind-blown by all this meticulous planning.
This traveller is pretty much the polar opposite of The Planner. She likes to let what happens happen, whether that means catching a later train or going for a walk and stumbling upon a cool street show. She’s okay with using locals’ suggestions to find something to do. She’s down to ride a bus and get off wherever looks interesting. She’ll follow that delicious smell until it leads her to an off-the-beaten-path, but quietly amazing restaurant. To me, The Planner and The Flow-Goers lie on a spectrum and we all land somewhere in between.
This is not like a foodie in the sense that this traveller appreciates really good food. This is a foodie in the sense that this traveller is always thinking about when and where their next meal is going to be. “So, how long will the tour take? I want to know when lunch will be.” “Should we bring snacks in case we don’t find somewhere to eat?” “Ooh, look, at this restaurant! Let’s go on in right now even though we just ate an hour ago!”
Sunrise = go time! This traveller gets antsy if he isn’t out in the world doing things. So when the sun is up, he wants to get going, and go until he passes out that night from exhaustion. As this guy’s travel companion, you can expect a lot of early morning wake up calls, running straight from one activity to the next, and feeling like you crammed a lifetime of experiences into one day, let alone an entire vacation. There are pros and cons to this kind of travel – you will be extremely tired, but you will have also seen so. much. stuff.
Afternoon naps. Slow eating. Low-energy disposition. This is the jet-lagged traveller. The time difference does not sit well with her, and she needs several days for her internal clock to wrap its mind around what’s going on. Be gentle with this traveller. She’ll perk up soon. But first she needs early bedtimes, Tums, and easy-going activities. DO NOT PAIR HER WITH THE WASTE-NO-DAYLIGHTER-ER.
You know. You know who this traveller is. Cool doorway? Picture. Interesting meal? Picture. Top of a mountain? Picture. But not just a regular picture. Flip your hair! Strike a pose! Look fierce! Make it grid-worthy! I tease, but I’ll admit I took several door pics at a garden I visited in Scotland. What, they’re pretty! P.S. If you’re travelling with an Instagrammer, you better up your picture-taking game because you will be asked to take photos while the Instagrammer poses.
There are so many more types of travellers, but this is just a blog post, not an essay, so I’ll end it there.
One thing I learned about travelling in a group is that people can become so different once they’re abroad. We all respond to travelling differently, so knowing yours and your friends’ travel needs ahead of time will help everyone better adapt.
I’m the Jet-Lagged traveller. Took me 5 days to feel like myself again on my last trip. And then went through the whole jet-lag thing again on the way home!
What kind of traveller are you?