Whether it’s a trip to visit family or an overseas adventure, everyone has their own personal style when it comes to traveling. There is no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to planning a trip, but there are some general guidelines that apply across the board.
There are 16 different personality traits or “hot buttons” as psychologists refer to them, and each of these hot button preferences plays a role in how someone handles travel.
Knowing your personality type before you go on a trip allows you to plan for what could potentially be uncomfortable situations while giving yourself options for dealing with them if/when they arise. It also makes for better overall travel experiences because you’ll know exactly where you stand with people before you even begin a conversation.
The first step toward understanding your own unique travel style is to take a quiz online from MyPersonalityTest.com. This test includes questions about your personality attributes and gives you results based upon your responses. Once you’ve taken the test, you’ll receive three reports, including:
1. Attitudes Report – This report shows information regarding your attitudes toward certain topics such as religion, politics, money, education, and work. You may find it interesting to see which attitude areas have greater influence over your life than others.
2. Personality Inventory – This report contains your exact Myers-Briggs type indicator (mbti®), ego strength profile, big five traits profile, disc profiling, and values survey scores. These tests help you understand your strengths and weaknesses and the impact those characteristics have on your relationships.
3. Life Purpose and Direction – this report provides details about your goals, values, and purpose in life. You might find it helpful to consider your career path and think about whether it aligns with your personality profile.
Once you’ve received your reports, you should sit down with pen and paper and write out any potential scenarios that come up during your next trip. Think about how you would react to a specific scenario like flying somewhere new, having trouble finding lodging, or getting lost on vacation. If these scenarios don’t occur, great! But at least now you’ll be prepared for them. Now that we’re familiar with the basics, let’s look at the six most common personality types when it comes to travel.
Six Common Travel Personality Types
Everyone travels differently, and these six personality types tend to be common among travelers. Knowing more about your own tendencies and habits helps you plan ahead for upcoming trips and keeps you from feeling overwhelmed by unfamiliarity.
Explorers are curious people who seek out new places and cultures. They often enjoy visiting multiple destinations in one trip and making memories wherever they go. When traveling, explorers typically prefer staying in hotels and eating out at restaurants rather than cooking meals at home. On a recent trip to Italy, I stayed in a hotel near Rome, took day tours throughout my time there, ate pizza and gelato every night, and shopped in stores for souvenirs.
Explorers tend to be adaptable and easygoing, which means they aren’t prone to anxiety when planning a trip. As long as they keep moving forward, they have fun exploring whatever destination they choose.
Visualizers are creative people who love to draw and sketch landscapes and architectural structures. They often focus their energy on building memories through art and photography. Visualizers tend to be intuitive and sensitive to the beauty around them, which means they feel energized by natural scenery. On our recent trip to San Francisco, I spent hours walking the streets taking photos of buildings, bridges, and other landmarks to remember later.
Visualizers are usually comfortable being alone and appreciate spending lots of time doing solo activities. They also tend to be very social and outgoing, which means they enjoy meeting new people and seeing new sites.
Drivers are task-oriented individuals who thrive in fast-paced environments. They like to get things done quickly and efficiently and are focused on reaching their destination as soon as possible. When traveling, drivers typically prefer to drive themselves, and they generally avoid crowds and tourist attractions.
Drivers are usually efficient and organized, and they don’t mind being a little grouchy if they have to wait too long. While driving, they’re able to multi-task and manage distractions without much difficulty. Since they prioritize efficiency, they rarely spend money unnecessarily. On our recent trip to Hawaii, I booked a rental car to save money on transportation and ended up using it for almost two weeks.
Investigators try to solve mysteries and learn about the world around them. They are always looking for answers and trying to discover new facts and opinions. When traveling, investigators enjoy researching new places and learning about local culture. They often use maps and GPS apps to navigate and plan their itineraries.
Investigators are independent thinkers who value independence above all else. They usually dislike feeling rushed or overly reliant on others. They often struggle with change and may be anxious if something unexpected happens.
Because of this, investigations prefer to stick to their planned schedule and avoid surprises. On our recent trip to New York City, I left my phone at home so I wouldn’t feel dependent on technology and felt safe knowing my driver had my cell number.
The Social Animal
Social animals tend to be friendly and gregarious and enjoy interacting with others. They like to connect with others and share stories and gossip. When traveling, social animals typically prefer staying with other people, especially those who live nearby. Most social animals are open to experiencing new foods and drinks, but they can sometimes be shy or reserved around strangers.
Social animals are good team players and enjoy helping others, which can lead them to volunteer opportunities. Since they crave human interaction, they usually have few problems with loneliness and separation. On our recent trip to Paris, I met several locals who invited me into their homes for delicious dinners and jam sessions with their families.
Perfectionists strive for excellence and perfectionism. They are detail-oriented and highly critical of mistakes. When traveling, perfectionists like to research everything beforehand and carefully plan their schedules. They tend to be meticulous planners who enjoy organizing and organization.
Perfectionists usually have strong self-esteem and high standards for themselves, so they are used to sticking to rules and routines. However, since they are so picky, they can end up missing out on spontaneous adventures. On our recent trip to Mexico, I missed out on many opportunities to explore simply due to my insistence on checking off items from my itinerary.