What Kind of Traveler are You?
In today’s generation, traveling has become such a big part of our lives that in some cultures, people are even expected to travel or go on a gap year. As most of you know, my partner Tom and I travel on an extreme budget. We like to travel slow and do adventurous stuff. You know, like jungle trekking while delirious on a high fever, climbing mountains at 2am, or just jumping out of airplanes on our birthdays. Yeah, that kind of stuff. However, we know that just because we travel this way, we know everyone doesn’t.
That brings us to the question of, what kind of traveler are you? Are you an adrenaline junkie? A guidebook guru? Or a luxurious traveler? Read on to find out more about your travel style and find compatible places where you should go.
These daredevils travel from destination to destination seeking the craziest adventures all over the globe. They specifically choose destinations based on things to do in a place, and how many adrenaline pumping moments they can get out of it. You would often hear them saying words like “Oh maaaan, that was dope-let’s do it again” right after they did a pendulum swing off of a canyon. Adrenaline junkies would enjoy destinations like Europe which has every type of activity possible from snow tubing to paragliding down the French Alps or the ruggedness of South East Asia and South America.
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These types of travelers can be seen walking around with their lonely planet in hand, hopping from one tourist destination to the next. They religiously study their next destination and plan out where to stay, what to do, and where to eat-based on the recommendations of their guidebook, of course. While there is nothing wrong with this, we encourage the guidebook gurus to once in a while take the time to speak to locals and ask for recommendations-we promise you will be pleasantly surprised! These types of travelers will enjoy exploring places in South East Asia where they can get a variety of temples, monuments, and natural wonders.
Luxury travelers are those that plan there holidays out a year in advance and only go to the best of the best. The word hostels make them cringe as to them, holidays are spent indulging in good food and premier holiday destinations. Luxury holidays to exotic destinations like the Caribbean or European summer escapes are ideal spots for luxury travelers. You can find them wining and dining the night away, indulging in lots of pampering and relaxing activities. Although we are in no way luxury travelers, we have enjoyed a few awesome moments in spas and five star hotels while traveling!
These types of travelers are those that make the most out of their travelers by scrimping and saving down to every last penny. They can be found staying in cheap hostels or couchsurfing their way through a destination. Budget Backapackers will enjoy the relatively cheap street food and accommodation in South East Asia. You will often find them haggling for even just a $0.50 discount which they will then happily use to buy a beer later on that day. Budget backpackers are always on the lookout for cheap deals!
Related: How to Survive Europe on a Budget
These types of travelers live to party…recover from their hangover, then party again! Party animals head to destinations where they can go to the best night clubs, full moon parties, and have the craziest nights out. You will often find them with a group of fellow party goers dancing the night away! Party animals will love South East Asia for the primary reason that booze is cheap! Koh Pha Ngan and Boracay are just a few of the main party hot spots not to be missed in Asai. Party animals are the night owls that sleep all day and can be found half-heartedly walking around temples as they nurse a hangover.
These types of travelers live for exploring art, history, and culture. They relish in hearing historical facts, enjoy wandering around museums, and old towns. Culture vultures would enjoy visiting destinations in Europe as they soak up everything it has to offer. They will often be found wandering around museums with a whimsical look on their faces as they relive the past in their imagination. They are interested in facts, history and would enjoy doing various day tours.
Falling short a notch lower than luxury travelers are the all-inclusive types who prefer to stay in one resort rather than move around from one place to another. You can often find them soaking up the sun by a pool somewhere, making the most out of their holiday. All-inclusive travelers are the types who would enjoy a holiday to Mexico, the Caribbean, or even going on African Safaris where they can spend all their time getting some much needed R & R.
The outdoor enthusiast loves anything and everything to do with the outdoors. You will often find them hiking mountains, swimming in the open ocean, or going on long treks in jungles. Outdoor enthusiasts travel to destinations with specific activities in mind for them to do. Destinations like South East Asia and South America are ideal for outdoor enthusiasts due to the amount of natural beauty. Naturally, the list can go on and on, but the point is, it doesn’t matter what type of traveler you are. Whether you enjoy a night of partying, a day of wandering around museums, or a night of wining and dining in the best restaurants. The point of traveling is doing something out of your usual everyday life, learning about other cultures, and discovering a little bit about yourself through every trip that you do.
The Different Types of Adventure Travel
Lois Friedland is a co-author of “Frommer’s 500 Adrenaline Adventures,” and a freelance travel writer who has visited 55 countries.
Adventure travel is one of the fastest segments of the travel market, drawing in more and more people on a yearly basis. But what exactly is adventure travel and what can you expect out of an adventure trip? That is completely up to you, because “adventure” has a different meaning for every individual traveler.
That said, in its purest form, this type of travel generally offers some classic experiences and activities that truly help to define its style. If you’re planning on taking your first adventure travel trip, here are some of the activities you can expect to be a part of the itinerary.
Traveling on foot through remote locations has always been at the core of adventure travel. Whether that means backpacking along the Appalachian Trail, trekking to Everest Base Camp in Nepal, or simply heading out for a backcountry adventure on a local trail, this is a great way to explore any destination. Travelers have always enjoyed walking tours and pretty much no matter where you want to go, you’ll likely find some options for hiking and trekking there. Often these trips involve camping overnight along the way too, adding yet another adventurous element to the equation.
Cycling trips are another popular method of transportation and category for adventure travel. Rather than exploring a destination on foot, travelers climb aboard a bike instead. This allows them to cover more ground at a faster pace, while still feeling connected with the landscape, culture, and people there. Mountain biking offers a similar experience, but allows access to more remote, off the beaten path, destinations, while introducing a more challenging aspect to the riding as well.
Travelers will find options to ride just about anywhere these days, ranging from French wine country to the entire length of Africa.
Canoeing and kayaking trips are another popular way to experience a destination, granting travelers access to lakes, rivers, and even oceans. This type of travel can be as serene as paddling the Greek Isles or as wild as taking on some of the top whitewater destinations on the planet. One word of caution however, travelers should have some experience paddling before embarking on these types of journeys as they can be strenuous and dangerous depending on the nature of the water involved. Flat water is generally safe, but whitewater can be treacherous. Both can be fun if you are well prepared.
While not often viewed as a form of adventure travel, mountaineering and climbing expeditions still fall under the same very broad umbrella. These types of trips typically require more skill and experience than simply trekking in the mountains and tend to be more technical too. That means requiring the use of ropes, ice axes, crampons, and other specialized equipment to reach the top of a mountain. A climb to the top of Kilimanjaro is mostly non-technical, and falls under the trekking category, while an expedition to Mt. Everest is squarely in the more challenging mountaineering realm. Altitude can often play a bigger role in this type of adventure too, which can literally take place on every continent.
Take caution however; you should only embark on a mountaineering trip if you have the necessary skills and experience to do so and are traveling with a certified mountain guide.
Understanding the U.S. Adventurer Traveler
This infographic represents research findings from the 2014 Adventure Pulse survey. This first “pulse” profiles U.S. adventure travelers. Future pulse research will look at adventure travelers in other countries or regions.
The U.S. pulse results allowed the ATTA to introduce a new approach to segmenting adventure travelers into “types”: Adventure Grazers, Adventurers and Adventure Enthusiasts. Survey questions refined the differences between the types, probing differences in skill level, whether they repeat activities or bounce around, how they understand risk as an element of their experience and the values they hold.
The Adventure Pulse data allows tour operators and travel advisors to go beyond basic gender and age categorizations of clientele to inform their product development and marketing efforts with a more nuanced view of potential clients. For example, instead of just thinking in terms of marketing to men, women or families in different age groups, tour operators can now decide if they are marketing to people who are primarily working through their “bucket list” (Grazers) or people with a preference and skill for a particular sport (Adventurers). Knowing more about some of the dominant motivations and reasons for using – or not using – tour operators will further guide adventure companies in shaping their products and communicating their value.
Established in 1990, the Adventure Travel Trade Association is the largest global network of adventure travel leaders. Our community is made up of ~30,000 individual guides, tour operators, lodges, travel advisors, tourism boards, destination marketing and management organizations, outdoor educators, gear companies and travel media who share a belief and commitment to sustainable tourism. The connections and creativity of this vibrant community come together both virtually and in person to create and deliver the solutions that propel our businesses and our communities toward a responsible and profitable future.