Learn Your Traveler Type!
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Your Traveler Type

Traveler Types

The Enthusiast

    There is one group for whom travel is a habitual and necessary "fix." These travelers may be school teachers, accountants, students or housewives, but they live for the next trip, the next adventure, the next experience. Their excitement about their latest adventure shines at parties and the office. They may have lost baggage, taken the wrong train and roomed with cockroaches,but no matter. It was all part of experiencing the place. All inconvenience dims in the brightness of their enthusiasm. Some of these people even become travel agents. Most, however, all seem to share a common background. They began traveling while still students, usually in college. Often, their first experience was a year of study abroad, sometimes with fellow classmates, but often alone.

    Why did these first adventures produce lifetime travelphiles? For most of us who first traveled as students, it wasn't just the camaraderie with fellow students or the first taste of freedom from the supervision of parents that we experienced, but something more profound. Making decisions and quick judgments about the people we met along the way became an exercise in self-discovery. We were on our own and we could handle it. The struggle to make ourselves understood in high-school French and self-taught German required an outgoing spirit. It pulled us outside of ourselves and it was a glorious high.

    The important thing to remember about the enthusiast is that travel is an essential part of living. Like Italians need pasta, the enthusiast needs regular doses of travel to feel alive and well.
The Adventurer

    "Adventurers" exhibit all the symptoms of enthusiasts with one added ingredient. The presence of some physical challenge or physical risk is part of the thrill they seek. It is not enough for them to see the Himalayas. They must trek through the mountains on foot in a test of their endurance of altitude and cold. Their ski vacations start with a helicopter drop on an uncharted course so they can float through virgin powder up to their waists. While they are kayaking down the Colorado River or bicycling through Europe, the sights and sounds are only the appetizers. The main course is the physical challenge. The important thing to remember about adventurers is that you can kill yourself trying to keep up with them.
The Sportsman

  "Sportsmen," or "Sportswomen" for that matter, may have no interest in travel but love to spend their vacations on their sport, be it fishing, golf, tennis, wind surfing, or skiing. The surest way to motivate sportsmen to travel is with a promise of the ultimate 18 holes, the biggest blue marlin or a resort with unlimited court time. Sportsmen don't have to be participants. Some avid sports spectators are the first to make reservations for Wimbledon, the Super Bowl or the Kentucky Derby.

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The Relaxer

    Nine times out of ten, "relaxers" want to spend their vacations on a beach anywhere there is absolutely, positively nothing to do. Frequently, relaxers are businesspersons who work long hours and never get enough sleep, or mothers who just want enough time away from the kids to soak in a tub or let their nail polish dry completely. The bodies of relaxers cry out for renewal. Their ideal vacation spot may not have a beach, but it will be a resort where they don't have to lift a finger, and preferably, not even their heads.
The BeachBum

"Beach bums" differ from relaxers because they must have a beach and guaranteed sunshine to bring home enviable tans. Their goal may include relaxation, but chances are beach bums are also into water sports like surfing, snorkeling, scuba diving, or water skiing.
The Comfort Seeker

"Comfort seekers" wouldn't think of budging from their own abodes, unless assured a deluxe hotel in a meticulously kept setting (no view of poverty or substandard housing, please) and wonderful cuisine served with the most attentive service. Spoiled? Not necessarily. For comfort seekers, the thrill is not where they go but how they go. Sometimes comfort-seekers are the rich and famous who just want what they are used to--the best. And sometimes they are average-income individuals whose thrill in travel is to experience the luxury they can't afford on a day-to-day basis.

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The Culturist

"Culturists" travel to immerse themselves in another culture and learn about the people, their customs or their language. These travelers generally prefer to vacation in one city or country for a couple of weeks or more to get a feel for life there. They enjoy meeting people and making new friends, shopping in local markets and sightseeing. Culturists, if not history lovers, have at least a reverence for historical sights. They like to browse in art museums, see the local folk dances and music festivals and generally soak up all the culture a place has to offer.
The Shopper

Most travelers, regardless of type, will spend some time snapping up bargains that can't be found at home or methodically searching out souvenirs for family and friends. "Shoppers," by contrast, travel to shop. Anything else they do on vacation is relegated to hours when the shops are closed.
The Discoverer

"Discoverers" seek out destinations that are firsts, if not in the Guinness Book of World Records, at least among family and friends. Discoverers will be the first to plunk down a deposit for a commercial flight to outer space. Discoverers visited China before it opened to tourists and Papua New Guinea when there was still an errant headhunter or two. The important thing to remember if you're a discoverer type is that few people may share this thrill of the unknown, and you may have to search the world or the National Geographic Society for someone to travel with.

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