Published: August 12th 2008
August 12th 2008
What kind of traveller are you?
Do you fly by the seat of your pants or travel along a well planned route? Are you a beach bum or adrenaline junkie? Do you enjoy isolation or being part of a scene? Whatever floats your boat, my guess is that if you think about your top 5 trips they will have some common themes. I love beaches and cocktails, scenery and temples, which is why my heart will always be in Asia. I am happy to say I will try anything once... except bungee jumping, I will never try bungee jumping!
I would say that there are 5 main categories that travellers can fall under. Each of these groups has their own distinctive characteristics, as we get older we tend to want a little more comfort. Gone are the days of our youth when sleeping on the floor in a room full of cockroaches and a brown stained mosquito net was deemed "part of the experience", and in come the days of air-conned, crisp white sheeted luxury.
The Gap Year
Stereotypically pre or post Uni. It is probably the most common type of extended travel; you have no commitments to keep you at home. No mortgage or job to worry about... and you know your parents will store your stuff and put you up when you get back. It’s become a modern day right of passage, and an excuse for an almighty World Wide booze up.
How to spot a Gap Yearer:
• Often between 18 - 23yrs.
• Usually travelling with a close friend or in a group.
• Often booked with STA travel - doing a generic multi stop itinerary.
• Generally have a working visa; will do any job for free beer.
• Will be carrying around a copy of Lonely Planet like the Bible.
The Mid-Twenties Mad Panic
If you’re anything like me, at the ripe old age of 26, you suddenly realise that all the promise you left Uni with has evaporated along with all your enthusiasm. The glittering career you had thought was yours for the taking has revealed itself to be as thrilling as the pile of cold damp teabags that are accumulating in your bin. You cannot save enough money to buy a house and for the first time you are nearer 30 than 20, your scary age (32) is fast approaching and you suddenly realise that there may be more to life than increasing the size of your DVD collection. But not to fear, you are still young and things can easily be turned around! All you need to do is shake things up and get your passion for life back... the best way to do this? Well dust your backpack off and get out there in search of your former gusto filled, Gap Year self of course!
How to spot a Mad Panicer:
• Often has a glazed look about them - trying to soak everything in.
• Are very keen to "find themselves".
• Are more adventurous due to having more confidence in themselves.
• Come from a good job - therefore have a bit more cash available.
• May be travelling alone or with a friend.
The Pre Big Commitment Freak-Out
So your in your mid to late 30's and have been working hard for a good few years, you are in a long term relationship and are feeling the pressure to have kids, buy a house and get married. All valid things to do but don’t you want to make the most of having your life to yourself whilst you can? YES! You have the money to do things with a little more luxury and can use this trip to spend some quality time together and bond before taking the next step in life.
How to spot a Pre-Commitmenter:
• Often a couple in matching outdoor wear.
• Will have exchanged their Lonely Planet for an Eyewitness Travel Guide.
• Will be staying in more up market places, but still trying to be at one with the travellers.
Ok here we are... the infamous Mid-Life Crisis. If you believe the statistics half of us will be going through a divorce and battling crow’s feet and obesity, so it’s definitely time to escape the daily grind. Getting away from the things that are bogging your down and seeing the world is a fantastic way of putting things into perspective. The saying that keeps me going is “Nothings ever so bad that you can't leave the country", and seeing how other people have to struggle on a day to day basis, really makes you thankful for the little things in life.
How to spot a Mid-Lifer:
• Can be spotted on the beach wearing a Banana Hammock.
• May have a defeated look about them
• Will be travelling alone.
• Will stick mainly to popular resorts.
S.K.I'ING - Spending the kids inheritance
So the kids have finally flown the nest, you have retired and as they say "you can't take it with you". I would not want my parents to worry about saving money in their retirement on my account and would love to see them off gallivanting about the world while they still can! By this time your kids should have their own life and money, it's time to think about yourselves again. At this stage in your life you are more likely to need your creature comforts and if you’re anything like my parents are likely to be found cruising around the world in their mammoth motor home with a copy of Motor home monthly.
How to spot a S.K.I'IER:
• A couple.
• Travelling using arranged tours.
• Looking for quality not quantity.