It’s inevitable when you’re wandering around the world that you might bump into a few different types of travelers, tourists, and backpackers. Most of them are fun to hang out with and great to learn a few things from, but sometimes some of these travelers can be a little stereotypical. I usually summarize it as everyone has a destination, but there’s a variety of ways to see it. Below I’ve described the top thirteen stereotypical travelers you might run into on your trip.
- The Soul Searcher
You might just find a copy of Eat, Pray, Love in this traveler’s bag as they are on a soul searching mission, trying to discover who they are, what life means, and how they can fit into the complex web of it all.
- The Outdoorsman
This person walks around the hostel in their hiking boots wearing all sorts of expensive brand name clothing you only recognize because it’s a place you’ve been to or an animal you’ve heard of (Patagonia, Columbia, Marmot). They’ve got all sorts of compact, interesting travel gear and healthy snacks of nuts and granola bars as they start their day off bright and early for their next mountain trek or caving adventure.
- The Hippie
You might recognize this type of traveler in one of many ways: they have dreadlocks, they’re wearing fisherman pants, they have a guitar strapped to their backpack, and they might be creatively making their own jewelry for a few bucks. Usually chilled out and pretty laid back, The Hippie can be found near beaches, at open-mic nights, and just hanging around the hostel all day because really, there’s no rush to do or see everything all at once.
- The Couple
The Couple are adorably making supper together and snuggling up in front of the stove while they watch their pasta boil, or sitting enjoying a good book in the hostel social room after a busy day out. You’re hard pressed to actually get to know either one of them because they’re just so into each other.
- The One-Upper
It doesn’t matter what crazy thing you’ve done, like wrestling sharks or bungy jumping naked, the One-Upper has done that, and they’ve even skydived naked too. It’s hard to get a word in edge-wise with this personality as they’re just dying to tell you what they’ve done, and how it was bigger, better, and more amazing than when you did it.
- The Long-Term Hosteler
You walk into your new dorm room and immediately back out because you think you accidentally walked into someone’s bedroom. The Long-Term Hosteler is set up to stay; they’ve unpacked and arranged their stuff exactly how they like it, regardless of if it’s encroaching onto your bed across the room. They most likely have a job at the hostel cleaning during the day for free or discounted accommodation, and then bartend downstairs or down the street at night. The Long-Term Hosteler arrived at their first city on a trip around the world and proceeded to stick around. Take advantage of their knowledge of what to see and do while you’re in the location.
- The Tourist (AKA The Planner)
There’s no time to get to know this person because they are on the go adhering to their impossibly tight schedule of sightseeing and activities. They have a checklist and planned itinerary down to every tiny detail but forgot to leave room for spontaneity or the odd bus breakdown which could unravel their entire plan.
- The No-Planner
You know this person because they tried to attach themselves to your plan for the day because they didn’t have one. They have no opinion about what they want to do or what there is to do so you end up making all the decisions. The no planner hasn’t done any research whatsoever and you wonder how they actually ended up here.
- The Partier
The Partier is easy to spot as he or she is still in bed at 5 p.m. when you’re back from a day trip and wanting to turn the lights on in the dorm so you can find some stuff in your bag. They lay in bed all day moaning about how sick they feel while rehashing the crazy events of the night before. Which you already knew because you heard them yelling about it to their friend down the hallway at 4 a.m.
- The Gap Year Kid
Fresh out of high school with no clue about the world or where they belong in it, the Gap Year Kid is bright-faced and ready to try and do anything. Enthusiastic and border-line adorable in their eagerness, they’ll tag along with you anywhere, ready for any adventure.
- The Middle Aged Wanderer
Traveling as a result of a mid-life crisis perhaps or finally getting fed up and quitting their career for adventure. Or maybe they’re just one of those Hippies (see above) that never did leave the travel lifestyle. The Middle-Aged Wanderer often has some pretty interesting and remarkable stories, so take the time to chat with them when you stumble across them in your hostel.
- The Best Friends
Two guys, two girls, it doesn’t even matter because these friends have been inseparable since birth and decided to jaunt around the world together. But right now, they could use some time away from each other as traveling together for the last few months has put them at each others throats.
- The Budgeter
Spare a couple coins for ice cream? Nope, this traveler couldn’t possibly drop a dime or two on some yummy eats because they are on a budget. Only bland tasting pasta every night for them. Not that there’s anything wrong with keeping your spendings in check, but sometimes splashing out a few extra dollars on little indulgences make you happy and are simply worth it.