Depending on your personality, the word “travel” can take on a lot of different meanings. For some, it’s synonymous with vacation. For others, it means taking a leave of absence from life and setting out on an indefinite adventure. Certain personality types dream of touring famous cities, while others would be more comfortable in a mud hut in the middle of nowhere. And the travel industry offers options for every taste and every budget, from high-end resorts and cruise ships to meditation retreats, solitary beaches, and everything in between.
Countless options exist when it comes to seeing the world (or your own hometown) and experiencing the diversity that humanity and nature have to offer.
There is no doubt that personality type influences a person’s travel style. Introverts, for example, are likely to enjoy low-key activities, while Extraverts are more drawn to big events, festivals, and parties. Judging types are likely to plan every little detail, while Prospecting travelers tend to be more comfortable going with the flow.
In honor of World Tourism Day, which happens to be September 27, we thought it would be fun to come up with travel-specific personality types, taking into account the trait differences that make each type unique. Be sure to let us know what you think in the comments below.
Not sure what your personality type is? Take our free personality test to see if it lines up with the travel type that best describes you.
The 16 Travel Personality Types
As a group, Analysts are the least likely to sign up for group activities or organized tours. In fact, they probably make an extra effort to avoid tourist destinations altogether. It’s likely that they spend a fair amount of time researching that perfect off-the-beaten-path destination in the hope of finding a place that will help them enrich their understanding of both the world and their place in it.
Architect (INTJ): The Glamper
Keen to avoid anything mainstream, Architect personalities like to take trips that bring them close to nature without sacrificing the convenience of certain comforts. Their needs are simple: no crowds, basic entertainment, and most likely a solid Wi-Fi connection. A nice glamping resort close to some obscure natural wonder is probably right up an Architect’s alley.
Logician (INTP): The High-Tech Minimalist
It’s hard to say exactly where a Logician traveler will go or what they’ll do when they get there, but they probably won’t want to go weighed down with a bunch of luggage. Combining their love of modern convenience with their appreciation for the finer things in life, Logicians are likely to have a minimalist backpack with the latest ultra-lightweight travel gear.
Commander (ENTJ): The Self-Guided Tourist
People with the Commander personality type are likely to enjoy the luxuries of a locally owned resort somewhere just outside their comfort zone. Independent to the core, they don’t need guides to go exploring. They’ll plan plenty of opportunities to mingle fearlessly with the locals and learn about the history, politics, and culture of the area.
Debater (ENTP): The Urban Intellectual
Always willing to spend a little more for comfort and convenience, Debaters are likely to skip the fancy resorts and find a nice place smack dab in the city center. Expect them to seek out the big museums or spontaneously get in line for the same street food that the locals queue up for. They want to take it all in as part of their mission to get a real feel for the area and an understanding of its people.
Diplomat travelers are the most likely to take the scenic route, expanding their horizons as they make their way to exotic destinations. They are seekers, looking to find themselves as they explore the world around them.
Advocate (INFJ): The Ecotourist
Advocates are conscientious travelers, likely to consider the impact that their trip has on the environment and the local communities that they visit. It wouldn’t be a surprise if they planned a net-zero emissions adventure somewhere off the beaten path. Whether they’re at a certified sustainable resort or volunteering on an organic farm, they want the time and money spent traveling to serve the greater good.
Mediator (INFP): The Car Camper
As travelers, Mediators have a bit of a dilemma… They love to get off the beaten path and likely want to avoid touristy areas, but they generally don’t consider themselves very independent or drawn to taking unnecessary risks. On top of that, they are the most likely personality type to stress about making decisions, which can make planning a trip difficult. This is why they’ll likely enjoy car camping with a friend or two in a nice semi-remote natural area. This allows them to get out in nature, reconnect with themselves, and avoid the stress of complicated travel plans.
Protagonist (ENFJ): The Retreat Enthusiast
Protagonists love a good itinerary that includes lots of opportunities to connect with like-minded people. For them, the goal of travel is to have meaningful, enriching experiences that allow them to learn something new. This is why you’ll probably find them at a rustic retreat center enjoying some kind of seminar – revitalizing their minds, bodies, or souls.
Campaigner (ENFP): The Overlander
Campaigner personalities are driven to seek out new experiences during their travels, which they do almost without bounds. If any personality type is likely to just take off and go where the wind takes them, it’s Campaigners. They’ll seek out exotic lands, wander far afield, make friends at every stop, and dance around the fire like nobody’s watching.
As travelers, Sentinel personality types usually invest a significant amount of time investigating every detail of their trip, making sure to find the perfect package deal and organized tour. This doesn’t mean that they have boring vacations, just very well-planned ones.
Logistician (ISTJ): The Hometown Tourist
Logisticians rarely feel the need to seek out novel experiences as tourists. They enjoy travel for the opportunities that it provides to experience familiar places in a new way and to get to know new places so that they come to feel familiar. Their tendencies to research and plan help them find the best deals and organize outings that fit perfectly with their preferences. Even if it’s the first time that they visit a place, they’ll have done such a thorough job investigating every detail that it will feel like they are visiting their own hometown.
Defender (ISFJ): The Cruiser
When Defenders travel, they often look forward to heading to the popular destinations that they’ve been hearing about, like Hawaii, Cancún, or the Bahamas. They’ve got a tendency to prioritize safety, and (more than any other personality type) they appreciate convenience. It’s a good thing that all of that can be found – together with the adventure that they crave – on one of the countless cruise ships pulling into the ports of the world’s most famous tourist hot spots.
Executive (ESTJ): The Travel Hacker
Embracing the principles of travel hacking, Executives will always figure out the best deal for the first-class accommodations that they prefer. Using frequent-flier miles and taking advantage of points programs, they’ll get those cultural experiences that they appreciate and expand their understanding of how the world works, all without spending more than the bare minimum.
Consul (ESFJ): The Travel Blogger
You’ll find Consuls at the best resorts the whole world over. You might spot them skiing in the Alps or dining at the finest five-star establishments. As tourists, they’re open to experiencing other cultures and maybe even eager to try out their foreign-language skills with the locals. Keen to share about their travels (and maybe boost their image a little too), they’ll probably blog about their adventures – like that bike ride around Bora Bora.
In general, Explorers tend not to get too hung up on worrying about risk when traveling. In fact, they are the least likely of all the Roles to spend a lot of time planning the details of their adventures. They generally avoid setting expectations for their trips and are more likely to relish the opportunity for spontaneous fun.
Virtuoso (ISTP): The Beach Bum
Virtuoso personality types mainly seek authentic experiences. They want no regrets in life, especially when it comes to traveling. Virtuosos are likely to throw a few essentials in a backpack and head to some exotic, tourist-free location. They’ll feel absolutely no need to fill their days with a bunch of plans. It’s easy to imagine them living in the moment on some remote beach.
Adventurer (ISFP): The People Watcher
Valuing safety more than other Explorer personalities, Adventurers are drawn to nice touristy destinations. They like their conveniences but have little need for the fancier five-star variety. A simple hammock where they can observe humanity is probably more than enough for these laid-back types.
Entrepreneur (ESTP): The Urban Adventurer
Entrepreneurs are cultured adventure-seekers looking to get lost in the little-known nooks and crannies of the world’s biggest cities. They’re driven to discover the places that are unknown to tourists but within sight of iconic destinations. If you need to track them down, start with the local hole-in-the-wall pubs, where you’ll likely find them just getting the night started with their new best friends.
Entertainer (ESFP): The Partier
Entertainers are more likely to “plan” their vacations than other Explorers, but it’s likely to take the form of a vision board rather than a set itinerary. They know what they want, which is to have a good time and make a party out of their vacation. Think celebrating Mardi Gras on the balcony of their four-star hotel in the heart of the French Quarter of New Orleans.
“To travel is to live.”
If you’re getting ready to take off on a grand adventure or just explore a little closer to home, we wish you the best. May your trip be everything that you’ve dreamed of and planned for!
- Consider taking our “Traveling Preferences” survey and comparing your results to others’ – you may be surprised by just how strongly your personality type influences the way that you like to vacation.
- For a more in-depth exploration of your travel style, try our premium Traveling Preferences Test.
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