Different Types of Travel for Different Types of People

24 Jun

With all this talk of my Disney trip, I’ve been feeling like this doesn’t really represent a full picture of my “travel profile.”

I believe that there are many different types of travel that appeal to different types of travelers. Some people would prefer to spend their vacation relaxing on a beach. Others want to get out and see the sights or famous landmarks. Others want to go off the beaten path to find adventure.

For me, I love all kinds of travel. I find myself craving different types of trips at different times of year. But lately I’ve been thinking about how I would categorize these different types of travel, and I wanted to come up with a list. (Because I love lists!)

I know some people would have more things to add, or might classify them in different ways, but here is my first attempt at a list of types of travel.

1. City Trips

These trips take place in a big city. Maybe Chicago, New York, D.C., London, or Paris. Or maybe slightly smaller cities, like St. Louis, Houston, or Springfield (any of them). But the main point of these trips is usually to do some sightseeing. Maybe hit up a few museums, or do a boat or bus tour.

I think these trips are great because there are so many different cities out there, both throughout the U.S. and abroad, that have so many different cultures and unique things to offer.

These trips are also nice for the foodie in you. Almost every big city has either some great high-class restaurants or some local favorites. When I was in Houston, I tracked down a really great local BBQ place and found a place to try crawfish for the first time. In D.C. I happened to be there during Restaurant Week and got to try an excellent restaurant with a great pre fixe menu. I’ve yet to visit Boston, but I know that’s another place to get great food. And in Chicago, while we have the deep dish pizza and Chicago-style hot dog (neither are favorites of mine), we also have local favorites like Portillo’s for Italian beef, and two of my favorite independent must-eats: Smoque for BBQ, and Scooters for frozen custard! (And those are just two of MANY great eats here in Chicago!)

City travel may be more fast-paced than some would like for a vacation, but the great thing about it is that there are always endless possibilities of things to do and see (and taste!)

2. “Beachy” Vacations

I think this is what a lot of people consider a “real” vacation. If you’re going to take time off work to get away, you want to relax and unwind. Maybe you’re escaping cold weather and trying to soak up some sun. Maybe you want to sit in the shade with a cold drink in your hand.

I think you could argue that “Beachy” vacations can have some sub-categories, like the wild and crazy spring break trip, the all-inclusive resort trip, and the romantic get-away. But no matter your take on the events of this type of vacation, these beach vacations require sun, nice weather, and a change of pace from the daily grind.

3. Nature/Adventure Travel

This type of travel is one that I really do wish I could do more of. For this, you need some type of outdoorsy activity. Camping, hiking, and whitewater rafting all fall under this category. But, you don’t need to be terribly adventurous to enjoy the outdoors. Even those who like a warm cushy bed and no activity with a danger factor can explore nature. State and National parks can be great destinations for all types of travelers.

4. Ski Vacations

This wasn’t on my initial list when I started brainstorming.  I realized that this is related to Nature/Adventure Travel, but is kind of a unique type of travel that many people make an annual event. My family was never into skiing as I was growing up, but many people I know, including the boyfriend, have traveled to many places just to hit the slopes.

It seems like a neat idea to me, and especially if you have all the ski equipment, I think it sounds like a great reason to explore new locations. Whether you want to go domestic, head up to Canada, or travel to someplace like Switzerland, a ski vacation could be a really great trip.

5. Cruises

There is a whole subculture of people out there to love to cruise. It’s a huge part of the travel industry, and now you can take cruises all over the world. Whether its in the Caribbean, a cruise up to Alaska, a trans-Atlantic cruise, or (my dream) a Mediterranean Cruise, it’s a great way to see a lot of new places, without much of the hassle of traveling from place to place. After all, you’re living on a floating hotel!

However, I’ve gotten into many a debate with friends over whether or not cruises count as “real travel.” Some people have the mindset that “cruises are for old people.” Others say it’s not really getting to know a place when you just get dumped off for a few hours in a popular tourist spot, see one or two of the big sites, then go back on your way.

Cruises are definitely not just for old people. Some cruise lines are known as being “party boats” for the college kids. And others, like Disney Cruise lines, are great for families.

As for the second argument, I can see both sides. However, I like to look at cruises as a “sampler platter” of sorts. It’s a really great way to get a taste of many different places. It’s also a nice way to see some really famous landmarks, like the pyramids, perhaps, where you might not want to spend too much more time in surrounding areas. And the best part is, it helps you find some places where you would like to really get to know, and you can always book a trip back there to see more.

6. Backpacking

When I think of backpacking, I tend to think of Europe or Australia, but really you can do it anywhere. Backpacking is really a form of budget travel (as opposed to luxury travel, which I suppose I should also somehow work into my classification system.) Backpacking is also generally a longer-term type of travel than the typical vacation.

Many backpackers are younger, but that’s not always true. They carry what they need with them, and usually travel from place to place as cheaply as possible, sometimes booking overnight trains to save money on accommodations, or staying at hostels.

In many places backpacking is a rite of passage. Sometimes recent college grads will spend their last summer traveling this way before entering “the real world.” In some countries they have what is called a “Gap Year” where young people travel the world for a year, often before entering college.

There’s actually many books and articles out there about backpacking. I find backpacking and the people to do it to be fascinating. It’s a topic I’d like to explore/write about more deeply one day.

7. Disney Travel

I had to put this one on here, of course, because it doesn’t really fit into any of the other groups. Amusement park travel, perhaps? There may be an element of “beachy” vacation in there, but it’s certainly not all of it. And Disney does have it’s own cruise line, too. And, now they have Adventures by Disney, which seems to pair adventure/nature travel with city trips.

So, I think, at least for now, Disney deserves a category of it’s own until I can figure out what to do with it.

Well, there you have it. My first attempt at categorizing the different types of travel I know about and enjoy.

What else would you add?

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3 Responses to “Different Types of Travel for Different Types of People”

  1. Brooke June 24, 2010 at 3:35 pm #

    I agree with you about the cruise thing. While the on-ship entertainment and dining with strangers isn’t exactly my kind of fun, the “all inclusive” aspect is really convenient, especially for new travelers. If I were to go on a cruise again, I’d pick a ship with as many ports as I could, because sitting on the boat isn’t as fun as sitting on a beach or exploring the area where you dock.

    I would add road trips to your list. They’re kind of their own special category of travel too.

    • carybear21 June 24, 2010 at 3:37 pm #

      Oooh. Road trips is great suggestion!

      This list is definitely a work in progress, so I’m interested to see if I’ll ever be able to come up with a solid list that covers everything!

  2. carybear21 June 30, 2010 at 4:08 pm #

    I just finished taking a survey about my volunteer experience working at RibFest, and there was a survey question on there I wanted to share.

    They asked:

    What is your favorite type of vacation:
    – Local
    – Regional
    – National
    – Tropical
    – Mountains
    – Europe
    – Other

    I think if you swapped “Europe” with “International” it would be a little more parallel. And I might even be willing to say it’s more inclusive than my list (although, much less fun, in my humble opinion.)

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