Are you someone who goes on a beach holiday so you can update your Facebook with a pic at the beach. Or pose funnily in front of monuments? Everyone has their own way of travel – some call them backpackers, some are flashpackers, some prefer hotels to homes, some like long term, some need a quick travel fix before getting back to work, the list goes on. Here are some of these five types of travellers:
The most popular category of travellers, they are evolved backpackers travelling with their smartphone/phablets/tablets, Instagram-ming their way, flashing their credit card occassionally and they wouldn’t mind indulging in a exotic meal once a while. Sure, they are backpackers but the ones who update on Twitter and check in on 4sq at every hostel. They have disposable income and wouldn’t mind spend extra bucks on a few comfort places. Wikipedia refers to flashpacking as “backpacking with a bigger budget”. There’s even ‘Poshpacking’ which is well, posh backpacking ie. with more style and money.
They’ve slogged all their life and now they want to see the world. They might not be very physically fit, but they make up for that by spending money for customised tours. They don’t have patience for trying new dishes nor the eyesight to find places in the Lonely Planet. Some among these are the wiser ones – they set out on their own, reminscing their younger days but most of the demographic of 55 and above prefer to travel in their comfort zone of group, eat local food when abroad and speak in a language from their home country. My parents went to Europe on such a trip and here they are on the London Eye.
Backpacker’s nightmare, this species is probably both irritating and endearing at the same time. They have kids which will stay up all night robbing you of your sleep, the parents will always ask for special treatment and there will always be things which they can’t do “because can’t leave kids alone”. But some of the family vacationers who travel with kids are really cool – like these guys from Australia. There’s also Maria’s blog which mainly deals with travel with kids and the Benders who travel with their two kids.
This is what people in the pre-Internet era used to call Hippies. These people would have done ten times of your bucket list and over. Most of them have a know-it-all air about them but some of them still have the child like curiousity because of which they stepped out in the first place. Oh and they will nurse their single beer for a really long time. The moment you meet them you will know they have been on the road for a really long time. How? They tell you.
They can’t travel alone. They need at least one or more people with them to make it through the journey. “You don’t know a person unless you’ve travelled with them” they say, but the truth is that they need to step out of their fear and travel independently at least once. These people travel in groups taking comfort in the fact that if anything goes wrong in a foreign land there’s always someone to take care of them. They can usually be found scouting for group travel deals and posting pics on Facebook with album titles like ‘cRazZy tYm wiD FrEndzZZ’. This particular fun group was with me for a day in Kuala Lumpur.
There’s nothing irritating than finding deeply-in-love-because-we’re-newly-married couple in a middle of a non Honeymoon destination. Generalisations apart, there are some people who only travel with their better half. One year wife chooses the destination, another year it’s the husband’s turn. And their travel photos are them together, pictures of their feet in the sand or doing holding the leaning tower of Pisa from falling down. Here’s Elstan (who wrote this post) with his better half.
The most loathed of all travel species, this type of traveller mostly isn’t interested in sharing culture, connections or epxeriences. They just fly in, get busy in official work, spend a day or two for ‘sight seeing’ and fly out. And they don’t prefer hotels to home. When everything is taken care of, why spend time learning a few words in local language, right? Well, that seems to be the opinion of business travelers who have their organisation paying for everything.
They only travel for one purpose – to get their adrenaline fix. From surfing waves and scuba diving, to attending every major music festival and climbing the highest peak on every continent, the thrill of conquering fear keeps them travelling. Another subset and not necessarily associated with adventure are called Sexplorers, the one who want to be sexually active in every country they visit.