What’s Your ‘Traveler Personality’?
Take this quiz for the best-ever vacationBy Pamela A. Keene | Photos by Pixabay unless otherwise indicated
What kind of traveler are you? Do you seek out adventure at every turn, or do you follow itineraries suggested by travel experts and guidebooks? Do you look for budget lodging or treat yourself with upscale accommodations? Would you rather take one long vacation or several quick trips throughout the year? Or are you blocked about taking a vacation at all and frequently leave unused vacation days on the table?
“Vacationing can be very personal, and, truly, no two people are alike,” says Perry W. Buffington, Ph.D., psychologist and author. “But knowing some of your basic traits when it comes to travel can help you chose a destination and the type of vacation that best matches your style.”
He says that you will most likely approach vacationing the same way you live.
“If you’re a planner at work, you’ll research and stick to a detailed itinerary. If you like spontaneity, you’ll keep things loose, book hotels on the fly and stop along the way if you see something that interests you.”
It’s important to know your preferences before you plan. “If you don’t, your vacation will be like that proverbial square peg/round hole, always struggling to make your trip fit your expectations,” Perry says. “Going camping or hiking for a week just to satisfy a friend’s idea of a good time can be miserable if you enjoy a resort lifestyle. And if you really want a trip to the beach, but others overrule you and you end up on a cruise in Alaska, you will not be happy.”
There’s a common misconception that going on vacation will be a stress-free escape from your routine. “This simply isn’t true,” Perry says. “If you think this way, you will be disappointed. Instead, resolve to be flexible, prepare for glitches that will inevitably happen and embrace changes as a chance to learn. Whether you like spontaneous adventures or have every minute planned, flexibility will help reduce stress.”
Take the quiz
Evan Jordan, Ph.D. and assistant professor at the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Studies at Indiana University in Bloomington, has developed an online quiz that can help identify traveler types. The self-administered, 12-question “Traveler Personality Quiz” at gotripdoctor.com assesses personality types, then matches them with possible destinations.
“The responses separate people into five basic groups based on underlying psychographic personality traits such as extraversion and openness to experience,” Evan says. “They’re pretty straight-forward and can really help in identifying your travel style and possible destinations.”
The Relaxer likes a vacation without a lot of decisions to be made. Relaxers, the least adventurous, enjoy inclusive destinations with numerous activities from which to choose. “Theme parks, cruises and low-impact adventures such as cold drinks by a pool or lake take Relaxers to their happy place,” he says. “Relaxers like being comfortable and being able to predict what their experiences will be. And they often return to the same destination year after year because it’s familiar.”
Relaxers will thrive at destinations like the Outer Banks, Key West, Las Vegas or even New York City. All-inclusive resorts are also appealing because Relaxers like being taken care of.
The Daytripper likes familiar destinations with a little bit of adventure and exploration thrown in. They take shorter vacations and may branch out beyond the destination to see what else is out there. “Taking day trips allows them a home base for comfort and the chance to try a few new experiences at their own pace,” Evan says. Domestic destinations include Charlotte, Miami and New Orleans. Each has a strong set of attractions, but getting away from each city for a day has appeal.
3 The Adapter
The Adapter is a bit harder to pin down. Sometimes Adapters like adventure; at other times, they prefer to simply kick back.
The Explorer likes to be somewhat of a trailblazer and doesn’t mind giving up some comfort to try new things. However, most Explorers first want to check out a destination through a review or website before jumping in.
“Destinations farther from home are appealing because they offer the chance to learn something new,” Evan says. If you’re an Explorer, consider going to Bar Harbor, Maine; Missoula, Montana; Santa Fe, New Mexico; Sitka, Alaska; or Kauai, Hawaii.
Trendsetters are by far the most adventurous and thrive on breaking ground to new destinations so they can share their experiences with family and friends. If a destination becomes popular, they move on to other locales.
“They seek out hidden gems and live on the edge,” Evan says. “They’ll be the first to travel to Homer, Alaska; Lana’i Island, Hawaii; Mooney Falls, Arizona; Nine Mile Canyon, Utah; or Mount Marcy, New York. And unless you’re a Trendsetter, you’ve probably never considered these places.”
Knowing yourself is the first step in experiencing an enjoyable vacation.
“You can take a lot of the guesswork out of planning by being honest with yourself,” Perry says. “And no matter what your style, be ready for some unexpected surprises and a little fun.”
Identify your traveler type
This online “Traveler Personality Quiz" can help identify your travel style by assessing personality types and matching them with possible destinations.
About the AuthorPamela A. Keene is a freelance journalist who writes for magazines and newspapers across the Southeast and nationally.
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