You want nothing more than to lay on the beach with a good book and a drink in your hand. Your husband wants to explore 3 new cities on an epic weekend road trip with an 8-page itinerary, while your daughter would prefer a camping and hiking adventures in the woods.
How can vacation mean so many different things to people?
The answer is personality. That unique wiring in our brain that determines if we are outgoing or quiet, a planner or an adventure seeker.
It should come as no surprise that personality plays an important role in how we vacation, just as it does in other areas of our life. Ignoring our own personality can lead to extra stress and travel disappointment. Whether you’re traveling alone or with your family, taking a few minutes to consider how your temperament affects your travel style might mean the difference between a refreshing adventure and a getaway disaster.
Travel Personality Questions to Ask Yourself
1. Am I energized or drained by other people?
This is the basic personality question. Are you an introvert who is drained by being around others or are you a social-recharged extravert? Knowing this helps you decide what kind of vacation you need. Don’t pick the group bus tour with nightly dinners if what you need is an unplugged week by the pool. Travel should feel rejuvenating, not soul crushing, and that means different things for different personalities.
2. What kind of environment makes me feel the most relaxed?
Outside stimuli affect people differently. If you happen to be in the 30% of the population who are highly sensitive, you need to pay particular attention to your environment. Are you overwhelmed by crowds, loud noises, an over-packed schedule? Those don’t go away on vacation and can be exacerbated in new situations. If you suspect you might be a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) or travel with one, make sure you have some extra coping mechanisms to help calm down those over-stimulated senses when necessary.
3. How do I handle stress and new experiences?
We all have our own ways of handing stress, and if you’ve been through a TSA security line recently, than you know that stress is inevitable with any trip. It’s not that you need to avoid stress during a vacation, but you do need to be tuned-in to how you’re going to handle it and then decide if having a flat tire in an unfamiliar country is going to send you over the edge. Preparing for stress makes it easier to get through it when it comes.
4. What parts of planning am I good at?
We all have different strengths and that means we’ll plan differently when we are traveling. Don’t be afraid to ask for help with the parts that aren’t your strengths. Maybe you’re a spreadsheet whiz and can rock a vacation budget but you’re terrible at finding a good hotel. Outsource the parts that are hard to a friend, a fellow traveler, or even a travel agency. We can’t all be good at everything, so play to your strengths.
5. Why do I want to travel?
Your motivation behind your trip will impact what you want to accomplish and whether you’re satisfied or not at the end. We’re all wired to be motivated by something. Knowing your why is “seeks new adventure” means you won’t be happy returning to the same destination for 10 year in a row. Pay attention to what pushes your drive to travel.
6. What information do I need to feel good about my trip?
Are you a details kind of person who needs to have a printed folder of confirmation numbers and minute-by-minute itineraries, or do you like to be spontaneous and see where the wind takes you. Whether you dwell in the world of concrete reasoning or infinite possibilities, make sure you plan a trip that works for you and for the people you’re traveling with. If you’re a planner, make sure to grab my one hour vacation planner to keep track of everything.
7. When did a trip not go well and why do I feel that way?
If you’ve had a past trip failure or even a bumpy day of vacation, it’s reflecting before you next adventure to see where your personality might have been bumping up against what happened. Many parts of travel are totally out of control but as you get to know your own quirks, you might start to see some patterns about the kinds of getaways that best suit your temperament.
How do I know what my travel personality is?
Ok, so you’ve read through these questions and started to take stock of just how your personality might be impacting your travel but understanding yourself is a big task, and I’m guessing that picking up a new psych degree isn’t on your immediate to-do list.
Luckily, I have just the book for you! Reading People: How Seeing the World Through the Lens of Personality Changes Everything by Anne Bogel. You might be familiar with Anne’s literary genius from her popular blog, Modern Mrs. Darcy or her podcast What Should I Read Next? but her brand new book, due out September 19th, is all about personalities and they way they impact our lives.
Reading People takes you through many popular personality systems, including Myers-Briggs, Strength Finders, Highly Sensitive People, Introverts and Extraverts, the Enneagram, and many others. Anne’s warm and conversational tone breaks down these complex psychological tools and helps readers see how understanding ourselves allows us to embrace our hard-wired traits and adjust our behaviors accordingly.
I’ve come to think understanding personality is like holding a good map. That map can’t take you anywhere. It doesn’t change your location; you’re still right where you were before. But the map’s purpose isn’t to move you; it’s to show you the lay of the land. It’s the tool that make it possible to get where you want to go.
– Anne Bogel, Reading People
As travelers we use maps all the time to find our way but I love the idea of having tools that help me better navigate both my own personality and those around me. Reading people is full of practical examples of how various personality types behave and interact with the world. I found myself highlighting so many passages, as lightbulb after lightbulb went off in my head about my own relationships with my husband and kids.
This book is a must read for those of us who’ve ever found ourselves banging our head against the wall, wondering why someone else could think that way! Whether you need a map for navigating your family’s travel differences or just want some insight into the people you share a home with, Reading People is the friendly guide you always wanted.
I received an advanced review copy from the publisher in exchange my review. All opinions are my own. For more information, please see my full disclosure policy.
This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.
To celebrate the release of this new book, I’m giving away a copy of Reading People to one lucky winner! Plus, you’ll receive the pre-order bonuses – an audio version of the book + access to Anne’s online “What’s Your Reading Personality?” class.
Want to get your own copy? Pre-order here (before Sept 19th) and then complete this form to receive your goodies!
To enter, complete the form below. Hurry, the contest ends on Wednesday, September 13th at 11:59PM
This giveaway has ended.
Mihaela Echols says
These are great questions to think about. I have come to learn that I do not like traveling at all. I am an introvert and I hate crowds, being still and bad food.
Michaela, I’m glad they were helpful!
My younger daughter said that she sees that I like the idea of travel but not traveling itself. So right!
It’s so helpful to know how we’re wired, isn’t it?