Travel is supposed to break down barriers and smash preconceptions. While it does open up our minds to new places, people, and perspectives, it also has a funny way of sometimes reinforcing those same archetypes you’re trying to see past, including these ten common types of travelers you’ll see on the road.
The Wide-Eyed Newbie
On almost every trip, you’ll come across the newbie traveler right at the beginning of his or her travels. These inexperienced travelers tend to fall into two camps: the ones who are SO EXCITED and ENTHUSIASTIC to do EVERYTHING, and the ones who can’t handle having to deal with different currencies, different food, and different languages.
The ‘I-Don’t-Wear-Shoes’ Traveler
You can spot these road weary travelers a mile away with their faded pants, worn out shirt, and no shoes. While it’s always a good idea to pack light, these travelers take minimalism to the next level.
The Arrogant Backpacker
Backpackers come in all shapes and sizes, ranging from the good, to the bad, and the ugly. One of the worst is the arrogant backpacker who traipses through foreign countries judging the way things work, eschewing culture for tourist hotspots, walking around like they own the place, and complaining how things would never work this way in their country. They also tend to be the loudest in the bar.
The 24/7 Partier
For the party-happy traveler, everyday is a holiday, and it’s never too early to grab that first beer. Whether it’s by the beach, in the city, or out in the middle of nowhere, the Partier will always be up to get down and have plenty of stories that start with, “This one time I was drunk and …”
The Long, Long-term Traveler
While many people have a limited vacation time, you’ll often come across those solo travelers or adventuresome couples who have been on the road for months, if not years. Make sure to ask them for advice and recommendations on where to go next.
The Soul Searcher
This long-term traveler is searching for something … they just may not know quite what it is. Some of these travelers are fascinating while others can quickly become frustrating with their New Age spiel and yoga poses in public. You’ll especially find these travelers on the backpacker trail in Southeast Asia or India. Namaste.
Have you been to 10 countries? The One-Upper has been to 20. Did you get a steal of a dorm room for $5? They slept outside on a bench for free. For the One-Upper, travel is a competition, and they’re going to win.
Most people who travel are trying to stick to some sort of budget … and then there are those travelers who won’t spend an extra cent if they can help it. They skip out on dessert, won’t splurge for the once-in-a-lifetime activity, and try to haggle the local vendors down to the last penny.
The Ultimate Planner
Some people look for spontaneity in their travels, but not the Planner. These are the travelers who have their whole trip scheduled out by the hour in a spreadsheet and get nervous if they start straying from the plan.
The Helpful Volunteer
The Volunteer has circled the globe working everywhere from organic olive farms in Greece, to music festivals in the United States, to orphanages in Cambodia. They’ve seen things you’ve only heard of and have plenty of tales to tell.
Bonus: The All-Around Good Guy (or Gal)
The greatest thing about travel isn’t visiting incredible places, it’s meeting incredible people from around the world. No matter where you go, you’re sure to meet other travelers you connect with immediately, become fast friends and simply have a good time.
So, which one are you?