8 Types of Travellers

  • Post by Kylie Campbell
  • Feb 04, 2021

This article was originally published in 2015, then I was the “Lifer” or “The Long-Termer”. Never going to settle, never going back. Now that I re-read these, it's interesting to note how much I've changed. I was broke, now I have money. I travelled perpetually and now its infrequent. My partner had his first travel experience with me. It's funny how you change, how much you want to be the same. (All artwork done by myself in 2015).

What type of traveller are you?

The Non-Traveller

Who are they? A non-traveller is someone who has decided to travel mostly because they heard it’s something you should do either before university or after university. They generally have never left home and sometimes have a partner back home. You often find this person constantly calling home to their parents/partner/friends and frequently crying because foreign countries are so different and terrifying. Not to say most travellers don't have this reaction, its just not ALL the time.

They do not really engage in the people or country around them and generally as soon as they have landed, want to go home again. It’s great to miss home and your friends/family/partner; however, if you decide to travel, make the most of it! Basically these people will make you feel like a real twat to your family for not calling as often; but often you wonder why they don’t just go home because its really depressing being around them. However, almost 100% of the time, we all start out at this point and evolve from there to another category if you do keep on travelling

The Dickhead

Generally (and I have put generally!) these are Aussies/Brits/Americans/Irish and men (shock horror). However, this is not limited to these countries, they just predominantly come from these countries. The Dickhead is a common species, usually found in the ultimate tourist beach destinations; such as Ibiza, Phuket, Bali. These are the people that drink….a lot. They will come crashing into your dorm at all hours of the morning, throw up, pee, fight and generally not even care they are in a communal living space. They have no ambition to experience any culture, the drinking is just cheap.

And to be honest they would prefer if the “weird” cultures weren’t there, they could just drink cheaply in a hot place. The Dickhead can also just be a virgin drinker i.e. they just hit the age were it is legal (or in the case of Americans, where they turn 18 and still have to wait 3 more years in their own country) and just have no idea how to handle it. They used to be kept to their closed bubbles of the world, where we liked them. We knew to avoid them because they were places built up and designed to cater their needs – making it like back home. However, the Dickhead virus spread and it wasn’t just kept to these areas, as prices go up and people want to pay less. So new places started being invaded such as Prague and Dubrovnik. This meant no where was safe. Overall, you can’t avoid these ones. Don’t get in any conversation with them because you won’t win and avoid any conversations to do with culture, politics, and race.

The Know-it-All

It’s a double edged sword with this one. They generally know a lot of information, which can be helpful on things to see and do and also history about everything. However, they like to tell you how much they know. It can be kinda annoying. You often think, I too, could also memorise everything on wikipedia; however, you would rather learn the information through experience.

The Know-it-All is a difficult one to encounter and experience. Overall they are probably one of the more useful travellers to have in a group, especially when walking about the city or seeing a tourist site. They are also really useful in pub trivia. However, once you’re back at the hostel and relaxing, the Know-it-All doesn’t seem to want to stop. It’s a bit of a killer vibe. Give them a few years and hopefully they will calm down.

The Tourist Trailer

“So I am coming to Europe and I am going to Amsterdam, Paris, Berlin, Munich, Rome….”. Did someone say capital cities much? The Tourist Trailer is someone who’s travel itinerary consists mostly of capital cities to see all the major tourist sites. A lot of people are haters to the Tourist Trailer; especially now that some places have become so touristised (yep created a new word). For example Europe, South East Asia, South America, Australia…there are clear tourist trails that everyone ends up on or set up for themselves.

It can often be because outside these areas, its unknown and scary or often (and what I think) it’s the first time. I was once the Tourist Trailer and I think these cities need to be visited at least once. Basically, The Too-Cool traveller are the ones who are haters on the Tourist Trailers because they believe its not really travelling. But there are reasons these places are so popular and it’s great to go with the Tourist Trailer to revisit and re-experience old places all over again – and remember the joys of first travelling.

The Packaged Life

4 weeks, 28 days, 14 countries, 4000€

Contiki tours or Busabout tours that people purchase back home prior to travelling. It’s almost all inclusive so you don’t have to worry about a thing. The bus will generally consist of people only from your country and your stops will be timed and almost every minute planned. I say, if you can afford and you don’t want the stress of doing it yourself….it’s creating jobs and its hassle-free!

The Packaged Life…you generally won’t meet these people while travelling, just when you get back home and the Lifer or Long-Termer will wonder how long they could travel on 4000€….about a year, probably longer!?

The Too-Cool

Oh life would be so much easier without the Too-Cool travellers; however, life isn’t always easy. The Too-Cool traveller is possibly the worst type of traveller…yes, even more than the Dickhead. Because they are intentionally being The Too-Cool. The Too-Cool traveller are people that make you feel shit about your travels and everything you have ever done. “What!? You paid to stay in paris? Well I slept under a bridge with some real Parisians and its just the only way you can ever get through being in Paris”.

They are always topping you with much “better” ways of travelling and their stories outbeat yours on a consistent basis. As though this whole travel thing is a competition…sorry, what is the finish line!? Seriously, obnoxious, pretentious and judgemental are the fundamental words that describe the Too-Cool traveller. And honestly, I get up and walk away, cause you learn nothing from these people.

The Long-Termer

This person is in it for a long time – whether they’ve just started or been at it for a long time already. They literally have the travel thing down; from when and how to wash your clothes so they are dry for the next day to making 5€ seem to last days. The Long-Termer is the wise person and can provide absolutely amazing travel stories and tips. However, the have been in the travel bubble for so long, they’ve forgotten, sometimes, what reality is and that people work, study, miss their family and homes and often they have forgotten how to have a conversation that wasn’t about travelling.

They can sometimes be a bit obnoxious, pretentious and judgemental, because they have been doing this so long, they can’t understand why anyone would want to visit the eiffel tower of paris! However, the Long-Termer is a bit more budget conscious and growth-orientated and as such more bearable than the Too-Cool travellers.

The Lifer

Travelling isn’t just a way of living, it is a living. These people don’t belong anywhere else but exploring, living, breathing travelling. These are the rarest to find out there. These people travel with ease in their calm manner and accept everything and everyone. They don’t judge and often you will find them just absorbing everything around them.

To get their true information and stories out, you need to get these people alone. They aren’t the centres of the travelling story circle, but they have the best ones to tell.

Which One Are You? Are you sometimes one and sometimes another? Did you transition across? Are you heading towards one in particular?