Are you considering your travel options for your next holiday vacation or searching for new ways to explore the world? Here are 39 unique types of travel experiences for different types of tourists and travellers.
Different Types Of Travel
If you enjoy travelling, you already know it can be incredibly rewarding, enriching and spiritually fulfilling.
Other benefits of taking a vacation include improved productivity, overall better mental health, lower stress. Not to mention, it’s nice to take a break from your everyday routine.
Just pack your suitcases and go and have some leisure fun.
But the type of vacation you take can be just as important as your travel itinerary and taking a vacation.
The problem is, there are as many different types of travel choices as there are types of tourists. As the old saying goes, “Different strokes for different folks.”
What type of tourist or traveller are you? What types of travel are there, and which one is right for you?
Sometimes it’s easier to find the perfect holiday by choosing the type of trip rather than choosing the destination first.
Whether you’re a 30 something backpacker on a tight budget, a thrill-seeking adventurer, or a couple looking for a luxury trip with all the bells and whistles, I’ve put together a list of different types of tourists and types of travel for any budget and style.
Travel Types based on length of time you can travel
The length of time you have to travel will determine the pace, the cost and even the activities you do while on your trip.
Here are a few terms to describe travellers based on the length and amount of time you have to travel.
1) Day Trip
Out of all the types of travel, day trips are the most underrated.
The great thing about day trips is you don’t have to wait for vacation days to take one. It’s a quick and easy way to scratch your travel itch, recharge your batteries and escape your everyday routine.
Do a search for day trips near a major city or town for more ideas near you.
Take a cue from Debbie, who lives in New Jersey with her family. She features a bunch of day trips in her surrounding area in her blog jersey kids.
You might be interested in reading: 15 Unique weekend getaways from Paris+ map to get there
2) Weekend Break Traveller (the weekender)
A step up from the day trip is the weekend traveller.
This type of traveller might love nothing more than to get away for a month to a faraway Italian villa, but because of money, time, family obligations or work, it’s just not in the cards.
Short weekend getaways are the obvious travel choice to feed your wanderlust until your next big adventure.
You can hop on a plane on Friday and return on Sunday or take a weekend road trip and make the most of the short time you have.
Take a cue from Anna, a 30-something tech PR who’s a Weekend Jetsetter, seeing the world one weekend at a time.
3) Staycation – The local traveller who never leaves the country
Travel doesn’t have to involve expensive trips to exotic destinations and thanks to covid, staycations are all the rage again.
Seriously, this type of travel is so easy.
No jet lag, no stressing over what to pack, less planning, and you save money.
The world is your oyster during your staycation, and the possibilities are endless.
Here are some staycation ideas:
- Be a tourist in your own city or town
- Check out one restaurant every day.
- Plan a spa day.
- Go camping
- Learn to cook something new every day. There are tons of cooking videos on youtube.
- Plan a picnic
- Throw a French-themed party or Asian or Mexican…
- Get fit with at-home workouts
- Go Hiking
- Start learning a new language in preparation for a future international vacation.
- Plan a bike trip
- Or just catch up on some home projects.
- Take a virtual vacation.
Take a cue from Laura over at Cascadia kids, who almost exclusively travels in and around the Pacific North West (Oregon and Washington State) and British Columbia with her family.
Travel based on a theme or passion
If you have a passion, obsession, or affinity towards something, why not use it to lead your travels?
It doesn’t matter what you’re into, amidst every interest can be turned into a trip.
Let your fascination of castles guide you to the four corners of the world.
Or you could combine interests.
If you’re obsessed with roller coasters and love France, why not plan a trip so you can visit some French amusement parks?
Here are several types of travel you may not have considered.
5) High-Risk Area Traveler
For those considering certain types of travel that involve going to high-risk areas, I strongly encourage you to take precautions.
Depending on the travel destination, travelling to high-risk countries and locations could put your life in jeopardy, increase your risk of getting kidnapped, theft, or serious injury.
Here are some travel tips:
- Develop a communication plan with family and friends so that they can monitor your safety and location as you travel through high-risk areas.
- Leave DNA samples with your medical provider in case your family must access them.
- Erase any sensitive photos, comments, or other materials from your social media pages, cameras, laptops, and other electronic devices that could be considered controversial or provocative by local groups.
- Leave your expensive/sentimental belongings behind.
6) Adventure Traveller
Some types of travel, such as adventure travel, involve a certain degree of risk (real or perceived), which may also require special skills and physical activities.
From bungy jumping off suspended bridges and swimming with sharks to trekking through the jungle and biking across an entire country, your options are unlimited.
Many types of travel involving adventure can be planned independently, while others will need to go through a tour operator.
Take a cue from Family on bikes.
7) Foodie Traveller
You love food. So much so that you let your stomach be your compass guiding you to your next happy food adventure.
Take a cue from Mark Weiss over at Migrationology.
8) Medical Tourism
Medical tourism is when a person travels to another country for medical care, a medical procedure or therapy.
There are many reasons why someone might want to do this, including cost, to seek a procedure not available or approved in their home country.
Some procedures that people undergo on medical tourism trips include dental care, surgery, cosmetic surgery, fertility treatments, organ and tissue transplants, and cancer treatment.
9) Volunteer Travel adventure
If you would rather experience life in a foreign culture with locals rather than tourists, consider volunteer travel.
You might volunteer to teach English, build water wells in some remote part of Africa, or help care for elephants in Cambodia.
Whatever it is, you are doing good for this planet and its people.
Even families with kids can volunteer abroad.
10) Pilgrimage or Faith-based types of travel
For simplicity, let’s define a pilgrimage as a prolonged journey to a sacred place as an act of religious devotion.
No one knows for sure the true origins of a pilgrimage, but they’ve existed in many world religions since antiquity, including Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, and Shinto.
Before the advent of modern transportation, pilgrims travelled by foot, walking hundreds of kilometres to pilgrimage sites.
Today it’s much easier, thanks to planes, trains and automobiles.
Whether you want to travel by foot or by engine-powered transportation, here are some famous pilgrimage destinations.
- The Way of St James, France
- Glastonbury Tor, United Kingdom
- Madonna del Ghisallo – Lombardy, Italy
- Croagh Patrick – County Mayo, Ireland
- St. Olav’s Way, Norway
- Sanctuary of Atotonilco, Mexico
- Inca Trail – Machu Picchu, Peru
- The Lagoons of the Huaringas, Peru
- Adam’s Peak, Sri Lanka
- Bodh Gaya, India
- Char Dham, India
- Mount Kailash Pilgrimage, Tibet
- Kumano Ancient Trail, Japan
- Jerusalem, Israel
11) Retreats & Health and Wellness tourism
Retreats and wellness vacations are the types of travel where you get the opportunity to step back from your daily life, get some rest, and get in touch with yourself.
Retreats have been an integral part of Hindu, Buddhist, Christian and Islamic communities for thousands of years.
They can be a time of silence and solitude or involve conversations with a small group. They can be conducted at rural or remote locations, either privately at a retreat center or on sacred ground.
Here are some ideas:
- Couples retreat
- Yoga Retreat
- Buddhist Retreat Centers
- Spa Retreat
- Vow of silence retreats
- Meditation Retreat
- Wine Retreat
12) RTW -Around The World travel
“Around the world” travel is a way of circumnavigating the globe not many people consider.
Maybe your goal is to travel for a year to visit 20 countries. Maybe it’s to visit 12 countries in 3 months. Or you might want to visit 14 different Asian cities in 3 weeks.
No matter how long you travel or where you go, you’re in for a trip of a lifetime.
RTW travellers are a special breed that usually carries their possessions in backpacks and travel quickly as they move from one destination to the next.
Take a cue from 5 discover the world.
13) Casino & Gambling Tourism
The gambling holiday trend as a whole is growing each year. Some people travel for tournaments, while others enjoy travelling to luxurious gambling resorts for the amenities.
Before heading out on a gambling holiday, it makes sense to put limits and how much you spend by placing a hold on your funds after a certain amount.
This may seem over the top, but it’s worth putting these protections in place just in case because it’s easy to get carried away with gambling, especially if you’re enjoying a holiday.
Examples of gambling destinations:
- Las Vagas, USA
- Macau, China
- Monte Carlo, Monaco
- Niagara Falls, Ontario Canada
- Sun City, South Africa
- Montreal, Canada
What Kind Of Luggage Do You Travel With?
As strange as it sounds, your luggage can define you as a traveller.
Do you want to travel light with just backpacks, or do you want suitcases with wheels and pack for almost any occasion?
14) The Backpacker
Forget about the grungy hitchhiking backpacker who doesn’t shower for weeks. Backpacking has evolved, and it’s a growing sector of the travel industry that just about everyone’s trying at least once.
Typically you travel with your possessions in a backpack that can easily be carried for long distances or long periods.
You might be on a tight budget to make your money last, so you eat on the cheap and stay at inexpensive accommodations like hostels where you share rooms, bathrooms and a communal kitchen with other backpackers.
It’s not uncommon for you to wash all five pairs of your underwear in the sink and hang them on the portable laundry chord you carry in your backpack along with your portable sheets and your instant Ramen before moving on to your next city.
It sounds rough, but you love it. Besides, there’s something to be said about travelling this way and meeting interesting people.
“it’s a more organic way to see the world and a better way to interact with the locals and get to know the local culture.” –Nomadic Matt.
Just look at Alyson Long and her family at world travel family.
15) The FlashPacker
The flashpacker is essentially a flashy + backpacker, and the concept is similar to glamping (glamour camping) in that it blends something traditionally rugged with a little luxury.
Flashpacker is a relatively new term that is catching on and is being accepted into mainstream language.
You’re probably older than the average backpacker. You might even be married with kids.
Much like the backpacker, you love the mobility of having all your possessions in one bag so you can move freely and quickly from place to place, staying as long or as short as you like.
Like the backpacker, you might be price conscious; however, if you felt like it, you could easily stay at swankier hotels, eat at the higher-end sit-down restaurants and splurge for the latest and greatest travel gear and electronics.
Checkout Bethaney. Her husband and son are a flashpacking family. Flash Packer Family
How Much Money You Got?
16) Luxury Travel
For you, luxury travel goes beyond staying in a four-star hotel or sipping champagne on a yacht in the Bahamas. It’s more about a unique experience.
Luxury travel involves partaking in the tiny details where you feel pampered and all your personal needs are met.
No work, no stressing, just relaxing. Upon your return home, you feel refreshed.
Often luxury travellers forgo little vacations throughout the year so they can afford to take that one perfect luxury vacation.
Take a cue from a luxury travel blog.
17) Budget Traveller
A budget traveller is someone who either doesn’t have a lot of money to spend on Five-star hotels or chooses to travel on a budget so they can make their money last as long as possible and travel longer.
Typically you try to keep your expenses down by eating on the cheap, staying in low-cost accommodations, hostels and take public transportation over more expensive modes of transportation.
Budget travellers also might travel to destinations, and
Or there’s always Couchsurfing.
Do you travel alone or with others?
Who you travel with has as much to do with your style as where you want to go and what you do during your travels. I’ve broken out these travel types by the people you travel with or without.
18) Travel With Pet
Bringing your pet on vacation and travelling to new destinations with them means you don’t have to worry about hiring someone to watch them while you’re gone, which can be both costly and worrisome.
You also get to spend time with them and don’t have to miss them or wonder how they’re doing.
Typically dog owners bring their furry friends on the road, but cat owners have been known to bring their felines along for the ride too.
Make sure you do your research because many countries have strict health, quarantine, and customs requirements for pets.
If you decide to take your pet abroad, check with the embassies of the countries you’ll be going to for any specific requirements they may have. And make sure to check well in advance so you have enough time to get everything in order.
19) Solo Travel
You’re a solo female traveller or just a dude who wants to see the world on your own terms. You might like travelling long term across the globe or short term travel.
Solo travellers are typically young but could just as easily be in their 80’s. You love the challenge of travelling alone and meeting new people as well as befriending the locals.
You can come and go as you please because you’re not hindered by the opinions of a companion traveller.
You’ll probably learn a lot about yourself along the way, too.
If you’re a female solo traveller, you may need to take extra precautions for safety reasons.
Take a cue from this solo female traveller = Girl About the Globe or The Blonde Abroad.
Take a cue from this solo male traveller – Nomadic Samuel or Nomadic Matt.
20) Couples Travel
Whether you’re married, dating or travelling with a friend, the types of travel open to you as a couple are endless.
Sometimes it’s tough travelling with a partner because you need to consider the other person’s travel interests and needs, which don’t always align with yours, but that’s ok because the rewards outweigh any sacrifices you make.
Together you’re creating memories, growing closer, sharing experiences and learning what makes each other tick along the way.
You just need to agree on where you want to go.
Take a cue from this backpacking couple backpacking-travel-blog
Check out this baby boomer couple: My itchy travel feet
21) Travelling Family With Kids
It’s hard travelling with kids, and you don’t always get to take the romantic trips you took before the kids came along, but you enjoy letting your kids see the world and then seeing the world through their eyes.
Even if your kids are young and won’t remember the trip, there are still benefits to exposing them to travel. Here are 10 Reasons Why You Should Travel With Your Kids Even If They Won’t Remember.
Check out all these families who travel full-time and long-term for years on end with kids in tow. Many of them work while on the road.
22) All-Inclusive Group Tour
All-inclusive group tours are easy and cost-effective ways to enjoy a vacation without all the fuss of planning everything. You get to spend more time enjoying the amenities and food rather than stressing over what to do next.
All-inclusive group tour ideas
- Club Med
- Scuba diving
- International vacation group tour
23) (LGBTI) travellers: Gay, Lesbian, Transgender, and Intersex
Technically, you could fall under one of the other groups like a solo traveller or couple traveller. Still, because you’re LGBTI, you might also like to find gay-lesbian-friendly venues and activities so that you can meet with other like-minded individuals. No big deal if you don’t because it’s all about the
But don’t forget that LGBTI travellers have unique challenges when travelling abroad.
Some countries have laws and attitudes that may affect your safety and ease of travel. Many countries don’t legally recognize same-sex marriage, and more than 70 countries consider same-sex relationships a crime punishable by law.
Take a cue from a solo gay guy who travelled the world and has lived in several countries—Travels of Adam.
24) Senior Traveller
There’s no age limit for travel, and for retirees and seniors, it might be the perfect time to get out and take that road trip or explore the other side of the globe.
Some options for seniors are travel tours and organized activities to take the stress out of planning, giving you a chance to meet other travellers who travel at your pace.
Don’t forget, as a senior, you can take advantage of senior discounts at museums, tours and sometimes at restaurants.
25) Disabled travel
The tourism industry is finally waking up to the special needs of travellers with disabilities. There are many more services and better accommodations for “Disabled travel” and an abundance of information online.
Keep in mind that the laws regarding accessibility for persons with physical, sensory, intellectual, or mental disabilities vary from country to country.
Unlike the United States, enforcement of accessibility and other laws relating to persons with disabilities is inconsistent.
You define the way you travel by your mode of transportation.
26) Train Travel
I absolutely love travelling by train.
Nothing compares to the experience, from the incredible views and the comfortable onboard amenities to the ability to get from city centre to city centre quickly and easily.
Countries well suited for train travel are ones with an extended and well-connected train line:
- Orient Express.
The beauty of train travel is you hop on and hop off and explore the cities at each stop or continue to the next one. You don’t have to go through airline security, and there are virtually no weather delays. If your train gets delayed, no problem, catch the next one or exchange your ticket for a new destination on the spot.
27) Wheels-Road Trip
Do you believe that the journey is the destination that’s best enjoyed with an RV, a car or a Harley motorcycle?
Do you love the sights, smells, sounds and culture of the open road?
You might be a roadie.
If you have kids, you’re probably better off touring around in an RV and homeschooling while staying connected to the road tripper community.
Some road trippers stay within the confines of their home country, while others choose to travel internationally for their road trip experience.
Some examples of road trippers
- RV Travel
- Campervan Travel
- Modified Van Travel
Check out Road Less Travelled
28) Cruise Ship
Cruise ships are a form of tourism that’s really taken off. It’s a little like staying on a floating resort.
Cruise packages often include everything you could ever need from nightly entertainment, pools, casinos, workout rooms and dancing.
Many cruise ships also have kids clubs where kids can go and hang out to meet other kids their own age in a safe environment.
There are cruises for just about every type of traveller, age, demographic or theme.
Examples of themed cruise ships
- European River cruise
- Disney cruise
- Glacier cruise
- Panama Canal cruise
- Northern light cruise
- Mediterranean cruise
- Seniors cruise
- Star Trek cruise
Camping with a twist
Glamping is where camping gets a little glamour facelift.
It’s a way for anyone who likes the idea of camping but doesn’t want to give up little creature comforts like toilets and showers in enclosed areas.
The array of glamping sites has skyrocketed, and you can find anything from glamping in bubble hotels, sleeping in beautifully a decorated yurt or an upscale tent with
Nothing will thrill your inner kid more than spending a magical night or two high in the treetops like Robinson Caruso.
It’s a magical experience that joins the forest experience and camping together for a fun-filled family vacation or romantic couples getaway.
Every treehouse venue is a little different.
Some have intricate bridges connecting multiple treehouses.
Some treehouse hotels have interesting ways of delivering meals, such as a breakfast
Some can sleep 5 or more people while others are tiny and shaped like a dome.
Homeschooling and Educating While On The Road
32) Road Schooler – Homeschooling On The Road
You’re a family who wants to travel full-time or long-term with school-aged children and want to give your kids the best education you can.
Many people who travel long term choose to do a form of homeschooling.
Your kids don’t attend school in the traditional sense.
You, the parent, are the teacher, using the world around you and material either online or purchased following a curriculum created by yourself but probably guided by some standard in your home country.
33) Un-Schooler / WorldSchooler
If you’re familiar with John Holt, he coined the term un-schooler, which essentially is a system where parents educate their children using the resources and guidance around them and inside of them.
It is more of a “child-driven learning” based on following your instincts, your child’s interests and not necessarily using any of the usual school resources.
The term un-schooler has some negative connotations mainly because it’s a term used to describe what IT IS NOT.
The term “world schooler” is broader, more descriptive, and often seen as a more positive term than an un-schooler.
Just like it sounds, the whole world is your school, instead of school being your whole world. Rather than seeing and reading about things in a textbook, kids experience things firsthand.
- Single mom slow travelling the world with her son: www.raisingmiro.com
- Single dad also slow travelling the world with his son:1 dad 1 kid
- and finally, World School Adventures
Some other terms used to describe this type of schooling: Travel Schooler / Educational Traveller / Free-range kids.
Temporary Break To Travel Or Live Abroad
34) Career Break
You have a career, but you’re feeling a little burnt out from the 9 to 5 lifestyle.
You want to travel and see the world for a few months, maybe a year, maybe longer.
Along the way, you might even do something you’ve always wanted to do, like learn a language, write a book or volunteer abroad.
Whatever you do, career breaks are a great way to escape the rat race for a while.
You might be interested in reading: What is A Career Break or Sabbatical (Definition) And Why You Need One?
Take a cue from this family of dropouts living in Vietnam: The drop-out diaries.
35) Sabbatical / Gap Year
A sabbatical is a term that has been used to refer to tenured teachers who take a year off from teaching to further their education or do something worthwhile.
Nowadays, the term sabbatical is used by anyone who wants to take a break from work. It’s closely related to a career break.
Gap Year tourism
A gap year is a term that has traditionally been very popular in Europe and the UK, but it’s gaining popularity in other places like the US and Canada.
Originally, a gap year referred to a young person just out of high school who takes a year off to travel and maybe do some volunteer work or backpack around the world for a year before entering University.
As of late, many people have adopted this terminology to describe their travels, particularly adults, professionals, and even families.
All three of these terms (gap year, sabbatical year, career break travel) are closely related, and some would argue that they are the same. You be the judge.
- Family Gap Year-Check out world Family Travel
- Take a cue from Suitcases & sippy cups on a Family Sabbatical – Suitcases and sippy cups.
- Go check out Sherry, a career break who travels at Otts World
- Take a look at Dave and Deb over at Planet D, who are strong advocates of a sabbatical year to travel.
36) Slow Travel
Some like to travel fast, zipping from one tourist destination to the next, while others like to take it slow, really slow, spending as much as a few weeks to a few months in one place before moving on.
A slow traveller’s goal is probably to explore each destination thoroughly and experience the local culture rather than hitting all the guidebook tourist spots.
Take a cue from a couple who slow travels: Never Ending Story.
37) Long Term Travel / Nomad
The world is your oyster and your backyard. You’ve ditched the daily grind and dropped out of normal life so you can travel full time for as long as you can– forever if you can.
You’re at home wherever you are and have no real permanent home base.
You pretty much travel with what you own in your backpack or suitcases and frequently move from location to location — staying anywhere from a few days to a few months in one place.
You’re probably a flash-packer or backpacker.
Other terms related to long-term travel include Full-Time Traveller, Vagabond, Gypsy, Hobos, Nomads, perpetual traveller.
Take a cue from Wader lust and the girl.
38) Digital Nomads – Location Independent travellers
You love to travel, but you need to make some cash along the way to help fund your travels.
You might teach English here and there or have a job back home that you can do remotely.
Still, others are working to create a business using nothing but their computer, the Internet and an idea. For example,
You’re pretty tech-savvy, and you’ve figured out a way to leverage technology and work wherever and whenever you want – whether it be from home, a beach in the Bahamas, at your favourite coffee shop or on the other side of the world!
You’re basically a nomadic or location-independent entrepreneur, and you use your phones, tablets and laptop along with some useful web applications to earn an income.
Take a cue from Erin Bender: Travel with Bender and Never Ending Story.
As an expat (expatriate) or immigrant, you choose to live abroad in one place for an extended period.
It might be for a year or two, which then turns into more.
Maybe you have a job that transplanted you, or maybe you decided to take a life sabbatical or career break and foot the bill yourself.
Most likely, you’ll need special visas that will allow you to live in that foreign country beyond the usual 30, 60 or 90 days tourists are typically allowed to stay in foreign countries legally.
You’re immersed in that culture, and If you have kids, they’re also immersed, maybe even attending school.
Take a cue from us, why we moved to France.
Gone through the list?
Figured out the kind of traveller you are?
Whatever your travel type or type of tourist you are, knowing all your choices can sometimes shed light and open new doors to opportunities you didn’t know existed.
I genuinely believe choosing the right type of travel will knock your socks off and leave you with unforgettable memories that you can’t stop talking about.