You never know what to expect when you are traveling, from the sites you visit to the food you eat there is always an element of surprise. This is also the case when it comes to the people and personalities you meet on the road. Everyone travels differently and their personalities will affect how they respond to their adventures.
Here are some personalities that you may have come across while on the road.
1) The Planner: These travelers have been preparing for their adventures for weeks, or even months, in advance. Hotels, hopper flights, and tours have all been booked and paid for. Every facet of the trip is carefully considered, most likely documented in the form of an itinerary and emailed out in advance. Planners will execute their plan with military-like precision and they also have contingency plans in case the original plan goes sideways. When things don’t happen according to plan, Planners usually become frustrated. A Planner’s inflexibility may impact other fellow travelers, who feel that they too cannot deviate from the plan for fear of upsetting the Planner and as a result, may end up going to places or doing things they really don’t want to do during their trip. On the other hand, with the amount of pre-trip planning that takes place, the Planner significantly reduces the risks of things going completely awry.
2) The “Fly by the Seat of Your Pants” Traveler: In contrast to the Planner, there are some people who prefer to leave things to the last minute, including packing for the trip. In their minds, the only things they really need are their passport and credit cards – everything else can be purchased on the road. They are generally impulsive, sometimes to their detriment, but usually optimistic that things will naturally work themselves out. Traveling with such a person can be frustrating, unless you share the same attitude. The probability of something going wrong is much higher, but the “Fly by the Seat of Your Pants” Traveler views these types of situations as an adventure.
3) The Duo: Some people, whether friends or couples, need the company of a companion when traveling. Most things are done together and they are never really far from one other. When there is a disagreement, the Duo will likely come to a compromise relatively quick since they still have to travel with one another. It seems that Duos gravitate towards other Duos, and it may be difficult for another personality to “tag along” with a Duo. The best part about traveling as a Duo is you get to share the experience with someone else – whether spouse, partner, or BFF they are with you through the good and bad!
4) The Lone Traveler: Many people prefer their own company and like to travel solo style. This allows them to do whatever they want, when they want, and they aren’t accountable to anyone but themselves. This doesn’t mean that the Lone Traveler is opposed to meeting people on the road, on the contrary, I actually find that when I travel by myself I actually meet more people since I am usually the one to approach others and introduce myself. Traveling can be a bit more difficult for the Lone Traveler as there is no one else to look out for you and you can only rely on yourself, so sometimes simple tasks such as going to the bathroom at the airport can be quite the ordeal since you have to lug all your bags with you. The best part of solo traveling is you get to learn a lot about yourself – your strengths, weaknesses, and what you are capable of and chances are, you will be pleasantly surprised
5) The Tag Along: Tag Alongs can be great. You never know who you will encounter and it’s entirely possible that you will become fast friends. Tag Alongs can add to the adventure and can be seen as a breath of fresh air, mixing up the dynamics and adding some new energy. That being said, there is the other side of the coin where a Tag Along can quickly become an irritant – especially if they have “overstayed” their welcome and rather than contributing to the traveling experience, they just “mooch” off of you. When you are handcuffed to a Tag Along it can be difficult to extract yourself, but the best thing to do is to be honest with the person. If that doesn’t work, well introduce them to someone else!
6) The Talker: Let’s face it some people love to talk. Sometimes it’s because they want to strike up a conversation, boast about something, or they just like to hear the sound of their own voice. For a short period, Talkers can add to the travel experience and give you some helpful information, but after a while when you realize that they have no intention of stopping – even when your body language clearly says you are done with the conversation – it can be frustrating. This is especially the case when you find yourself in a confined space (on a plane, train, or even automobile) with a talker, it can be trying, particularly if you are not in the mood to converse. If this happens to you, you may either want to close your eyes or listen to your iPod. If you enjoy the chatter, continue to talk with the Talker.
7) The Constant Complainer: It doesn’t really matter where you travel to it is almost unavoidable that there is going to be something to complain about. There are some personalities though who relish in the art of complaining and use this as a form of communication. What is a minor annoyance for some, for instance waiting too long for a table at a restaurant, can become a complete rant for the Constant Complainer who sometimes can’t see past the negative. Constant Complainers can cause extremely awkward situations for their traveling companions and be a complete killjoy and dampen the mood. I have met some Constant Complainers during my travels and the best way to deal with them is to laugh it off or give them something to smile about. The benefits of having a Constant Complainer around is that if something bothers you too, chances are the Constant Complainer will bring it up so you don’t have to.
8) The Party Animal: There is almost always a Party Animal in the group and they can be a lot of fun. Sleep is never an issue for them – either they don’t sleep (in their minds, sleep can wait until you get home) or they can sleep anywhere (on a train traveling from one place to another). Depending on which type of personality you are, being around the Party Animal is not for everyone, especially in situations where it isn’t appropriate to get your party on, for example while touring a museum. Like the Duo, Party Animals tend to attract other Party Animals, which often result in . . . a party! Of course, certain destinations or events, such as Oktoberfest, are more conducive to the Party Animal so you need to expect that type of personality when you go there.
9) The Spender: Some people like the “five star” experience when they travel. This means first class flights, five star hotels, and five star restaurants. While on the trip, money is not an issue and they will spend what is required in order to experience the best of the best. Spenders sometimes feel that other travelers should be like them and not be afraid to spend the money, which can be alienating in some ways because most travelers have a budget. Spenders can be quite generous though and they are good for showing you a different perspective of traveling.
10) The Germaphobe: The Germaphobe will bring antibacterial wipes and meticulously wipe down the airplane, bus, or train before sitting down – from the tray in front, the seat, the seatbelt, the hand rest (including volume and channel buttons), the head rest, and even the help button – everything gets a once over. A Germaphobe’s preferred travel wear usually consists of a hoodie with a nice big hood, so they can wear throughout the flight and not have to touch the headrest – even though it has been cleaned you can never be too sure. The Germaphobe will make sure to carry at least one bottle of hand sanitizer and liberally use it. Germaphobes also freely offer their traveling companions the use of their hand sanitizers, because after all what’s the point of being “germ-free” when the people you are with are germ carriers? When the Germaphobe enters a hotel room, the first thing they will do is bring out the latex gloves, slap it on and wipe down the remote control with an anti-bacterial wipe. After that, it’s off to the bathroom for a thorough cleaning, one that could actually put the housekeeping staff to shame. No surface gets missed, not even the toilet handles and the doorknob. Germaphobes often travel with disposable slippers, something they can wear inside the room as they do not want to be caught walking around barefoot. It goes without saying that a Germaphobe’s traveling companion will also get a pair of slippers too, especially if they are sharing the same bed because if only one person’s feet are clean than . . . you really aren’t clean! When calling for an elevator, Germaphobes will press the button with their knuckles rather than their fingers since you are more likely to touch your face with your fingers than knuckles. That concern is short lived because immediately after the button is pressed, the hand sanitizer is brought out. Although access to hand sanitizer is sometimes appreciated, traveling with a Germaphobe can try most people’s patience, especially because there is the constant reminder to “clean yourself” and it can be seen as a killjoy when you have to wait for the Germaphobe to clean every surface space (even though the clean environment is appreciated).
Which personality have you come across on the road? Which personality are you?
These stories and adventures give me something to smile about everyday, I hope that it brings you a little something too.