With the advent of the internet and cheap ways to travel it’s never been a better time to explore internationally. Practically the entire world is a possible vacation for those willing to save the money, plan the trip, and follow through.
It’s also given rise to new ways to travel that better cater to diverse needs and interests. Some like to have a more cultural experience when they travel in order to obtain those exotic moments and memories. Others prefer to have the leisure and comfort they have come accustomed to at home while they visit other countries.
This article is meant to demonstrate the different types of travelers that we’ve come across in our own travels. There are certainly more types and a lot of crossover, but it’s a rough idea of the most common types we’ve encountered and gives a general idea at what kind of experience to expect in each category. Hopefully it’ll give you an insight into what kind of traveler you are or would like to be and help you see that whatever your preferences or desires, there is a way to make international travel fun for you.
This type of traveler gets all the attention on social media and the blogosphere. Nomads are travelers who can’t or refuse to stay put in one location for more than a month or even a few weeks at a time. They are constantly planning the next step in their vacation and hop from place to place rarely, if ever, going back home.
Frequently these individuals have a remote job that allows them to work anywhere at any time. They also tend to be very frugal during their trips cooking most of their meals, staying in hostels or Airbnb’s, and do most of their exploration on foot or bike. These are the ones who backpack across Europe and generally have the most memorable and unique experiences.
It’s not for everyone, but for those who get bored quickly in new places, want to see it all, or like the life off the beaten path, then this is the type of traveler you are.
These travelers operate at a slower pace than Nomads, preferring to spend a month or more in each place they visit. These are the individuals who will often put down temporary if not permanent roots in the locations they travel to. They’ll stay at homes through Airbnb or even renting an apartment on a short-term lease. They operate frugally but aren’t opposed to the occasional shopping trip, eating out, or fun activity. Most often they’ll work remotely, but some are sent to locations as part of business or will even bum a job from local businesses bartending, working the front desk of hotels, or other types of work.
Primarily they are invested in immersing themselves in the culture of where they are traveling. They’ll live a little off the beaten path, avoid the tourist traps, and seek to live as the locals do in some cases. The meals they cook at home will be with local ingredients as they try to mimic local recipes for common dishes in the area. If they eat out it’ll be the local diner or street vendor, preferring to avoid the chains from back home like McDonalds or Subway.
While they may not get around to seeing the Eiffel tower or swim in the most popular beaches on every trip, they’ll be the ones that find the private beach the locals use or the hiking trails unknown to tourists. Their experiences tend to be richer and they have a deeper connection with the area they are residing in.
This is perhaps the most common type of traveler that almost everyone has experienced at some point in their lives. These are the individuals who take a break from the 9-5 grind and get away for a week or two. They’ll have the majority of the trip preplanned and paid for, occasionally going for an all-inclusive trip. It’s also common for these people to stay at time-shares, cruises, or even be part of a group of travelers. Most often they’ll stay in hotels, but occasionally they’ll be convinced to try some of the nicer Airbnbs. They’re frugal where possible but would prefer to get the most out of their short vacation time and will spend large amounts on tours, eating out, and shopping.
Their primary goal is to have the most fun possible in the little time they have, though there are some more laid-back exceptions. The purpose is to have a break from the rat race they’ve been in all year and want to engage in exotic, distracting, and relaxing activities. They’ll try new foods but aren’t opposed to hitting up a familiar fast food joint if it’s more convenient or sounds good.
If your job only gives you a few weeks of vacation, you prefer to maximize your time abroad doing fun things, and enjoy the tourist traps for keeping things simple and fun, then being a tourist is the way to go.
The Luxury Traveler
Perhaps the least common and most diverse of the travelers is the Luxury Traveler. These are individuals who have the money to travel or work for a business that won’t bat an eye at giving a company expense account, stipends, or refunds to their traveling employees. They’ll almost always stay in hotels, five-star resorts, and travel by business class if not by private charter plane. Frugality isn’t a concern as they have saved up more than enough money to spend it on whatever they want and many will even have income flowing into their accounts while they’re on vacation.
Being on vacation is very meaningful to this group as they are among the hardest workers with high levels of stress being managers, business owners, or highly successful freelancers. Traveling is about getting away from it all and pampering themselves with spas, tours, and more high-priced activities. Some will even travel to new locations with only the clothes on their back intending to do a massive shopping spree for the clothes, personal care items, and other things they’ll need abroad and ship souvenirs home.
If you have a good deal of wealth and don’t worry about the cost of things getting in the way of new experiences, prefer to stay in world-famous resorts and five-star hotels, and want a very pampered and luxurious experience abroad, then luxury travel is your style.
Author: Benjamin Baker
After serving abroad in a religious capacity for two years Ben has felt the pull to travel and explore ever since. This desire was further fueled by his wife Maddie and the two have traveled to many places over the last few years. Ben’s hope is that by sharing his knowledge and experiences obtained while traveling that others can improve their lives and the lives of others through travel. Check out additional articles written by Benjamin.