What Is your travel personality?

What Is your travel personality?


In the preceding articles of this curated series of travel and personality, it was brought out that an individual’s choice of routes, driving behaviour and travel-selfie-taking behaviour is influenced to an extent by personality factors. Moving on to the concept of travel choices, this article will focus on what makes people choose the travel behaviours they choose, such as sightseeing, shopping etc, and how it is related to their personality.

Decoding Travel Personalities

It is quite well-known that an individual’s personality plays a major role in most of their choices and behaviour. The previous articles of this series looked at two models to asses this behaviour- The Big Five Factors and The HEXACO Model. Both these measures provide an outline of an individual’s preferences. These traits have also demonstrated various connections to their travel behavior. Based on these results, marketing and tourism agencies have proposed models for understanding customer behaviour and preferences based on their personality traits. However, behaviour is dynamic and a lot of factors influence an individual’s behaviour. This makes it difficult for these agencies to get a complete understanding of their customer, thereby, hindering their ability to cater to the needs of their customer as well.

That’s when the concept of travel personalities – a set of traits that would assist customers in directly identifying their travel preferences without relying on cumbersome tests – came into play. Gretzel, Mitsche, Hwang, and Fesenmaier (2004) conducted a study exploring how travel personalities can serve as shortcuts to comprehend travel behaviors. In their study, they asked participants to pick the personality that ‘best describes’ and ‘least describes’ them out of the 12 travel personalities. The following are the 12 travel personalities that were provided as options for the participants:


These travellers enjoy anything related to cultural aspects such as- shows, museums, festivals, theatre, fairs, and local culture. They are the ones who find and locate places of cultural interest during a trip. Their experience of the trip is highly important in whether they are able to visit such sites of cultural interest or not.


The travellers under this category migrate to areas with clubs and enjoy meeting people. They literally need to be the ‘pulse of the city’ and love to be where the action is. City Slickers are the ones who love socialising with people and tend to rock parties with their social skill.


The sight seekers wish to spend time at landmark locations. They are always ready to stop to look and spend time at landmarks, events or other attractions. These individuals are easily attracted to sites of great importance or attraction. Many times they also insist on getting a pick click!


Some individuals take trips as a way to spend leisure time with their family. They fall under the category of ‘family guy/girl’. Their main enjoyment of the vacation depends on how much fun they can have along with their family and there is less focus on spending time doing activities that only they enjoy.


Most vacations in movies are portrayed by people lounging on beach chairs under an umbrella, wearing sunglasses, and sipping drinks. These are the exact depictions of ‘beach bums’. They love to spend time on the beaches, relaxing and lazing away. Some may also enjoy doing activities on the beaches such as surfing and playing with a ball or a Frisbee, whereas such may prefer to lay down and watch the sunset/rise, write messages in the sand, make sand castles, and daydream.


Avid athletes, as the name states, enjoy any form of sport as a source of relaxation. Therefore, they tend to spend their travel time also in association with such activities. It could be hanging out with friends and playing a game of ball, getting involved in local matches, or trying out a new sport in itself, so long as they are on the field!


‘Shopaholics’ are driven by the need to visit famous shopping spots and spend their vacation collecting memorable articles such as souvenirs or work on picking up trendy outfits. As their joy lies in shopping, the sites they travel to are also near to or have easily accessible shopping spots.


These travellers are open to a variety of experiences and travel to places that promise the same. They wish to spend their time engaging in different activities as well as visiting the top tourist destinations of the area. It was observed that when given a choice of picking more than one ‘best’ description of their travel personalities, people were less likely to choose this category. This indicates that individuals preferred to identify their specific interests instead of one category that includes a broad range of interests.


The trail trekkers are outdoorsy and can be easily identified by their preference for activities such as walking, hiking, visiting parks, forests, mountains etc. They are more inclined to choose and enjoy events that are close to nature and provide them physical exercise as well.


These travellers use travel as an opportunity to go back to the past. This leads them to focus their journeys on visiting historically significant sites. They also see travel as a learning experience.


The boaters usually travel individually or in groups with similar interests. As the name states, their vacation means staying in their boat maybe enjoying some fishing. Overall, they enjoy lounging back and relaxing in the comfort of a boat.

12. GAMER:

Gamers gravitate toward casinos and similar locations that provide a platform for indulging in gambling. The presence of electrifying slots and skill-testing table games thrills them. Nightly entertainment is a major part of all their travel plans.

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