Ask anyone if they like to travel, and you’ll almost certainly get one answer: yes! Ask the same people to describe their dream vacation, and you’ll hear a range of scenarios, from drinking umbrella-adorned cocktails by the beach at a full-service resort all the way to experiencing a new culture first-hand in a far-off land.
What’s the reason for this diversity of opinion about travel? It’s because we each have our own unique travel personality that informs our opinion about that perfect getaway. Some of us yearn to be pampered in a luxurious setting, some are searching for the comforts of home while exploring a new place, some of us want to take control and choose their own adventure and others are looking for a truly authentic local experience.
No one travel personality is right for everyone, and many people try out different experiences for different destinations or at different times. And that’s great!
My time traveling has given me the chance to try on four decidedly unique travel personalities, what I’ll call The Lap of Luxury, Home Away from Home, À la Carte, and The Local. Each has its own perks and each provides a chance to experience a different side to traveling.
Travel Personality: The Lap of Luxury
If your personal motto is “only the best will do”, then The Lap of Luxury may well be your travel personality. You expect impeccable service and the finer things in life, and you’re prepared to pay for both. You may not necessarily want to spend your whole vacation laying out by the sea, but when you do, you expect a comfortable lounge chair with sun umbrella and drink service on a private beach. If you plan to explore your location or take part in activities, these should be readily available, easy to take part in and included in your package. Choice is good, but you don’t want to be bogged down with scheduling and making arrangements – this is your vacation, after all. Travellers with this personality will be prepared to pay top dollar for top quality and ease of use (even if they save for years for their big trip).
We recently stayed at the Ritz, Kapalua in Maui. This property is perfect for you if The Lap of Luxury is your travel personality. The service is bar none and the amenities are beyond luxurious. You won’t have to worry about a thing during your stay.
A family-friendly option for this type of traveler is the Italian Village or Key West Village at Beaches, Turks and Caicos. With a super all-inclusive approach, high-end accommodations and top-notch child care (including an adventure filled waterpark!) Beaches always over delivers.
Travel Personality: Home Away From Home
Do you yearn for the comforts of home, even in an exotic locale? If you’re the type of traveller who looks for a kitchen and a comfy sofa in your accommodations, your travel personality may well be the Home Away from Home. You like to prepare some (or most) of your meals on your own, and you really just want to have a “home base” to return to after getting out and experiencing your destination all day. You like to unpack your suitcase and settle in, knowing you have a comfortable place to call home while you’re away.
Our Home Away from Home experience in Maui was my favourite spot on the trip. We stayed in a little, privately owned resort called Napili Kai Beach Resort. It is located in Napili, an area with strict bi-laws restricting the height of buildings in the area to the tops of the trees. This creates a more authentic, Hawaiian experience with beautiful views and properties surrounded by stunning gardens. The room we stayed in also had a full kitchen. With the local market just down the street this gave us the option to sit out on our private balcony for breakfast or lunch and enjoy the comforts of home instead of another restaurant meal.
Travel Personality: À La Carte
Travellers with this personality are all about choice. Rather than staying in an all-inclusive resort or booking a guided holiday, À la Carte travellers want to take control and make the decisions – and arrangements – themselves. The internet has made this kind of travel experience accessible to anyone, offering up a multitude of booking sites where savvy explorers can arrange for everything from flights, to accommodation and car rentals to tours and destination experiences.
The À la Carte traveler is adaptable and prepared to make decisions on the fly by necessity. They’d rather arrive at the beach and have the option to pay for a shaded lounge chair or just lay their towel out on the sand one day and parasail or rent snorkel equipment the next; for this travel personality, choice is paramount.
We had a great à la carte experience at The Westin Maui Resort & Spa, Ka’anapali. With Westin’s reliable rooms and amenities, as well as an array of choices for local restaurants, shopping and activities we were able to custom build our experiences based on our plans for the day.
Travel Personality: The Local
If large hotel chains and guided tours are not your thing, and you’d rather get in and experience the out-of-the-way places, then your travel personality is likely The Local. Not for you the big, towering hotels with floor upon floor of identical rooms, the Local likes to stay in more boutique accommodations and tends to avoid the “tourist trap” attractions. These are the travellers who are looking for the restaurants where the locals like to eat, and who will seek out the opportunity to mix and mingle with the citizens in their destination; to experience the cuisine, culture, and people first-hand.
If your travel personality tends towards these qualities then a home rental or a resort home experience may be the right option for you. We have done this multiple times, especially while travelling in North America and Europe. It is the way to go if you are a multi-generational group or travelling with other families.
Before you book your next adventure, take a moment to think about your travel personality (or maybe you’ll follow our lead and try out more than one), and plan the perfect get-away for your own unique style.