6 Types Of Travelers You Always Encounter

Leaving town is one of life's greatest pleasures, whether it involves a 10-day trek through the Alps or an impromptu weekend jaunt across state lines. For some, traveling is an opportunity to embrace new cultures, indulge an adventurous streak, and flirt with a completely different lifestyle. For others, it's about getting a passport stamped, selecting the best Instagram filters, and letting the world know that #youwerethere.

Whatever your motivation, your journey isn't complete until you've crossed paths with a crazy assortment of fellow travelers — the medley of folks often responsible for making your experience so memorable. There's the girl who — in order to get the most out of her day — needs to be armed with multiple guidebooks and the latest map app. There's the guy that hasn't seen the Eiffel Tower but (sightseeing being damned) can tell you all about Paris' best nightclubs. And there's the person who plans her entire trip around prime times and spots to try the most famous local dishes, then completes each meal with a Sanpellegrino® Sparkling Fruit Beverage.

Need help identifying these fascinating species? Refer to our handy primer before your next getaway. Trust us — whether you're in Chicago or Chile, these people are out there. The only question is, which one are you?
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Illustrated by Isabel Castillo.
The (Wo)man With A Plan
Sleeping in on vacation? Inconceivable! This type-A traveler has a jam-packed itinerary that leaves no stone — or rather, museum, monument, or mildly interesting site — unturned. She will get the audio guide. She will see everything. She will have reservations, appointments, and all the proper paperwork tucked into a leather folder. She may also collapse from exhaustion and need a vacation to recover from her vacation.
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Illustrated by Isabel Castillo.
The Social Media Star
Some might accuse this person of being so caught up in getting every moment on record that she's not truly present. Her travel buddies are used to holding still for a few minutes as their gelato drips onto their shoes so she can get the perfect shot. They're accustomed to fake-pushing the Leaning Tower of Pisa. Being struck by wayward selfie sticks and having awkward moments surface on Snapchat are par for the course. But, momentary irritations aside, having an official vacation photographer is a stroke of luck when you're not too enthusiastic about taking your own photos or, really, are just reluctant to drain your smartphone's precious battery.
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Illustrated by Isabel Castillo.
The Live-To-Eater
It's not what you've seen, it's what you've eaten. This person religiously pores over restaurant reviews before any trip, books the elusive reservation first and then figures out the rest. This type would rather starve than dine in a pricey tourist trap that doesn't ooze authenticity. She can tell you where to find the best gumbo in New Orleans, the freshest oysters in Ireland, and the finest pintxos in the Basque region. Befriend this person if you can, or at least ask her for dining recommendations. Sometimes experiencing a new place through word of mouth is the best way.
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Illustrated by Isabel Castillo.
The Party Person
This breed's native habitat is the hostel, simply because A) you can cram countless friends into one room and B) there's no better place to get social with complete strangers. His rules are simple:

1. Relax/sleep during the day.
2. It's always 5 o'clock somewhere.
3. Solitude and silence are overrated.
4. Ordering shots is crucial to maintaining friendly international relations.

And, lastly, if you haven't seen the sun rise over la Sagrada Família/the Space Needle/Christ the Redeemer as you stumble home from the clubs, you haven't truly lived.
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Illustrated by Isabel Castillo.
The Not-Quite-Native
Been there, done that. If visa regulations were a bit more lenient, this guy would never leave destination X. As it is, he settles for visiting time and time again, and scoffs at rookies who dare to share their own naïve observations. He speaks the language fluently, rolling his Rs and correcting those who say "Barcelona" instead of "Barthelona." He doesn't waste his time sightseeing, because that's for tourists. His role model is Hemingway, and his Achilles heel is the possibility of ever being called an "ugly American." You can't decide if you're charmed, annoyed, inspired, or all of the above.
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Illustrated by Isabel Castillo.
The Dorothy
This traveling newbie could actually be in Kansas and still have that what-is-this-place anxiety. Everything is new and exciting, but also tinged with danger. Will she get food poisoning if she doesn't eat at a brightly lit chain restaurant? Why doesn't anyone else speak English? How on earth do you flush the toilet? Is this stranger being nice and giving her accurate directions or luring her into a storyline straight out of a psychological thriller? Will her parents call the American embassy if she accidentally misses her evening Skype chat with them? Can she get this gluten-free? Give her a break; we were all Dorothys once. Take her under your wing and show her how to go with the flow.