Traveling is an exciting, educational, and fulfilling experience. There are so many different things to do and so many different places to see. Someone’s thrill may be another’s terror but there’s a vacation for everyone! Here’s a list of 15 different types of vacations describing the pros and cons of each and identifying which vacation type is the best trip for you.
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Which type of traveler are you?
First, let’s figure out what type of traveler you are. Keep in mind you can be a mix of many different traveler types but your current travel desires will dictate the type of traveler you are.
- 0.1 Solo Traveler
- 0.2 Traveling as a Couple
- 0.3 Traveling with Friends
- 0.4 Family (Traveling with Children)
- 0.5 Senior Travelers
- 1 1. International Vacation
- 2 2. City Vacation
- 3 3. Beach Vacations
- 4 4. Resort Vacation
- 5 5. Cruise
- 6 6. Road Trip
- 7 7. National Park Vacation
- 8 8. Camping Vacation
- 9 9. Group Vacations
- 10 10. Volunteering
- 11 11. Personal Growth Vacations
- 12 12. Activity-Focused Vacation
- 13 13. Sports Vacations
- 14 14. Staycation
- 15 15. Solo Vacation
Traveling solo can be intimidating at first but an experience you likely won’t regret once endured. Traveling alone can get you out of your comfort zone and force you to meet new people and experience new things. You can learn a lot about yourself and gain more appreciation for others.Tips on how to have a successful solo vacation:Make sure you let others know of your travel adventures and when to expect to hear from you.Ensure you have the necessary equipment for your travel.
Traveling as a Couple
Whether you’re honeymooning, renewing your vows, or simply desiring a romantic weekend getaway, a vacation as a couple can be the best time of your life. However, planning a vacation with a partner can be both exciting and stressful. Sometimes your desired activities may differ, but it’s a great opportunity to compromise on what you want to do and where you want to go with your partner.Tips on how to have a successful vacation with your partner:Listen to each other and ensure you’re checking off activities that each of you want to do. Be present. Do not constantly be on the phone with work, your friends, checking facebook, etc. Experience something new and get outside your comfort zone. This doesn’t have to be anything crazy, it may be as simple as going to a new restaurant to try food you never tasted. But the point is, a new experience for both of you creates memories that can last a lifetime.
Traveling with Friends
Traveling with friends on a “girls only” or “guys only” trip can be exciting and effortless. It’s always good to connect with friends at least once a year as it gets more and more challenging to get together as you get older. We often find if it’s not planned in advance there’s a less likelihood that the event will fall through so be pro-active and rally up the troops in advance!Tips on how to have a successful trip with friends:Be as transparent as possible and set your expectations before the vacation.Talk about your priorities. Talk financials and understand how much money everyone is comfortable spending. If someone is trying to relax every day while another person is trying to go on every hike than there’s a complete gap in expectations, which is the last thing you want when spending quality time with friends!
Family (Traveling with Children)
Disclaimer, we do not have children but have done our research for the purpose of this blog post!Here are some tips we’ve received from others:Allow your children to be a part of the travel planning, even if you already have it planned out and you know what they like to do or where they want to go. Giving your child a voice allows them to start engaging their creative engine and gets them excited about traveling. Make sure you look up activities in advance. It’s never a good idea to communicate an activity with poor planning and then realize the event/activity is sold out. Consider locations with kid-friendly activities, daycare, kid’s camp, and other activities that let you have a break and relax while they’re having fun.
Retirement is a perfect time to get out on the road and explore, there’s no age limit for travel, rather as long as you stay healthy you can keep traveling! Here are some tips for seniors planning a vacation:The vacation goal is all about convenience and location. You want to find hotels that are close to activities you want to experience so you don’t have to worry about getting to and from your accommodations. Set aside plenty of time for relaxation and recuperation. You do not need to jam-pack your days from sunrise to sunset, set aside a few hours during the day to slow it down. Consider tours and organized activities to take the stress of planning off your back. Take advantage of senior discounts on any tours, museums, etc to keep your expenses down!
If you don’t already know, Taylor and I use points and miles to fund our travel adventures and rarely pay full price for a vacation. We started accumulated points and miles back in 2016 and never looked back. We even create a course teaching others how to do it!
Over the last 4 years, we:
Went on a $37,000 Honeymoon and only paid $3,000Flew business class 8 times (each of us, 16 total) never paying more than $100Accumulated over 2,000,000 points and miles across different airlines and hotelsTraveled more than we ever thought was possible
If you’re interested in learning more, I am willing to schedule 30 minutes with me for FREE to answer any question you’d like about our past travel adventures, future travel, travel tips, etc and don’t worry it will not be my random assistant, it will be myself. Traveling is absolutely one of our favorite things to do and I want to encourage as many people as possible to get out and explore the world!
15 Types of Vacations
The 15 types of vacations outlined below are available to anyone who is looking to enjoy some time off. When planning your next vacation, you can easily combine several vacation types into one to create the ultimate vacation or simply keep it simple with one type.
1. International Vacation
If you’re on the hunt for the unknown, new places, new food, new cultures and new experiences than an international vacation is the vacation for you. An international vacation is perfect for someone who is open to new ideas and not afraid to try something they have never done before.
However, if you’re someone who likes certainty, not fond of far travel, and doesn’t desire new experiences than traveling internationally may not be for you.
Bali’s Heavens Gate
Which traveler do we recommend for an international vacation?
We think an international vacation, is for everyone, whether your alone or with others, traveling internationally is an experience of a lifetime.
Nothing is better than new experiences, new cultures, and new foods (that’s our opinion of course).Experience and see things unique to that location.History, experience things and places you’ve only seen in books or heard about in classrooms, movies, or in documentaries.Meet new people with different perspectives.Learn! Visiting a new country allows you to learn something new!
Traveling a further distance usually means it’s more expensive!
Usually, international travel requires a longer vacation (which could also be a good thing) and if you have limited days off than this could become a challenge.Longer prep work, planning, and ensuring arrangements are met.Making sure you have your passports, if any visa is required, currency exchange, etc.Communication barriers if traveling to countries where English isn’t spoken or their primary language.
2. City Vacation
According to the Travel Channel, the most popular vacation locations in the world are Paris, New York, and Rome (all cities). What’s that tell us? City vacations are the most popular vacation type in the world and there’s a good reason behind that.
First, there’s so much to do in a city. There are historical sights, amazing restaurants, and plenty of activities all within walking distances of one another. Each city has something special and unique to it as well as plenty of tourist activities.
Getting the ultimate Brooklyn Bridge photo in New York City.
Which traveler do we recommend for a city vacation?
Similar to international vacations, city vacations are for just about every traveler. However, we don’t recommend families with young children to take city vacations unless you’re focused on museums, viewpoints, and bridges. Often cities vacations revolve around activities that appeal to a more mature audience since there are more activities for folks over 21 years old. For this reason, we only recommended 4/5 traveler types for this type of vacation.
Any season is a good season to visit cities.Some may argue this, but we think cities offer unique experiences during each season which often gives us a reason to visit them more than once!If you’re a foodie a city vacation is for you!Diversity! Major cities, like NYC, Paris, London, have so much diversity which is great to experience.Duration flexibility. City vacations appeal to short or long stay travelers
City vacations are more expensive.Majority of activities involve spending money at/on museums, restaurants, tours, shows, etc.Hotels are generally more expensive since the costs of living is higher in a city.
3. Beach Vacations
One of the most popular types of vacation second to a city vacation is a beach vacation. When most people think of a vacation, they think of the beach, a relaxing getaway, toes in the sand or by the pool and a nice cool beverage in their hand, right? Well, that’s what you get with beach vacations, assuming the weather is nice!
Nui Beach, Phi Phi Islands Thailand.
For beach vacations, you can find a location that’s domestic or international, just as long as you find some warm weather. One of the most sought after beach vacations in the United States is a vacation to Hawaii. If you’re interested in going on a beach vacation to Hawaii, check out our Hawaii posts, that cover every island.
Which traveler do we recommend for a beach vacation?
A beach vacation is perfect for every type of traveler looking to get out in the sun with their toes in the sand. Depending on the location some are more family friendly, some are focused on seniors, some are focused on couples and for those single folks, there are plenty of beach locations close to the party scene.
Warm beautiful locations!Plenty of activities appealing to every age.Can be relatively cheap if you’re within driving distanceShort or long stay vacations, make it a week vacation, a weekend getaway, or a simply a beach day!
If you don’t like saltwater or sand then beach vacations are not for you!Can often feel dirty after the beach due to sunscreen, saltwater, and sand!Seasonal in some locations unless you travel south (if you’re traveling within the US)!
4. Resort Vacation
Similar to a beach vacation, travelers often picture themselves at a resort with a beautiful pool, water park, and more. A resort vacation is the ultimate getaway where you just want to lose track of reality, relax by the pool, get a massage, and simply pamper down. Resorts range in all shapes and sizes but generally have a similar purpose in mind, “How can we keep our guests here for as long as possible giving them a solution to any desire or need they have while they’re here”.
Which traveler do we recommend for a resort vacation?
Resort vacations are available to just about every traveler. There’s a resort for all ages and interests, however, we find the majority of resorts are perfect for 4 of the 5 traveler types we listed below.
Solo travelers can certainly go to resorts, but we have found that they are more family-oriented or partner based. However, some resorts do offer singles week which provides special events tailored towards folks traveling alone who are ready to mingle. Here’s a quick google search to find the best resorts for singles and when they offer their singles week.
Majority of resorts are in warm locations unless you’re looking at ski resorts.Plenty of activities appealing to every ageCan be all inclusive depending on locationShort or long stay vacations, make it a week vacation or a weekend getaway.All the amenities necessary and they provide everything you need.
Very touristy, it can be difficult to break away and experience the true culture of the location.Can be expensive (unless you travel hack).Hefty resort fees for all-inclusive packagesSales presentations are often required at some resorts depending on whether or not you booked a vacation package. If you got a deal through a telephone promotion or won a free trip, resorts often require you to attend a presentation.
Similar to a resort, a cruise is a massive floating resort that brings you to multiple locations. Often more expensive than resorts, cruises offer the ultimate package of everything you can possibly imagine from an entertainment perspective. Cruises have water parks, casino’s, pools, live performances, comedy acts, contests, sports activities, zip lines and more. Cruises are great for folks who do not want to plan activities and just want to go with the flow.
Which traveler do we recommend for a cruise vacation?
Cruises are great for every type of traveler and there are cruises specifically designed for each demographic. A few examples of these are Disney’s family cruise, singles cruise, over 40 cruises, and more.
Cruises are preplanned trips, with different activities planned for you each day. Simply decide what you want to participate in and off you go.Plenty of activities appealing to every ageCan be all-inclusive depending on the cruise lineShort or long stay vacations, make it a week vacation or up to 245 days on an around the world cruise (super expensive!).All the amenities necessary and they provide everything you need
Very touristy, it can be difficult to break away and experience the true culture of the country or city that you’re stopping at.Can be expensive compared to landlocked vacations.
6. Road Trip
Road trips are for the more adventurous type of traveler, those who like to take control into their own hands and go wherever the road takes them. This vacation type can be planned or spontaneous and it’s within these vacations you can find out whether or not you truly enjoy another person’s company. If you want to test your relationship or friendship, go on a road trip together and stay in each other’s company 24/7 for a few days!
Which traveler do we recommend for a road trip vacation?
The type of road trip will dictate whether or not we recommend road trips for each traveler type. For the purpose of this post, we’ve identified two groups, one in a smaller vehicle (car/SUV/truck) and one in an RV.
If you are road tripping in a traditional vehicle, car/SUV/truck, then we recommend the following travelers:
If you’re road tripping in an RV then we recommend the following:
We didn’t include solo travelers for road trips because of the safety concern. In our opinion, it’s never fun to travel long distance alone especially in a short time period with a lot of driving. Although this can be rewarding going out alone, it’s always easier to drive with another person.
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Road trips can strengthen your relationship with a partner or friend.Road trips enable flexibility, you can choose where and how far you want to go.Endless options, historic highways, coast to coast road trips, coastal road trips, etc.Cheaper than flying (not always but most of the time)
A lot of time spent with another person (this could also be a good thing).If the road trip turns south (pun intended) a damaged relationship or friendship could result from it.Depending on your travel, cramped cars can be a pain and make the drive a horrible experience.Breakdowns (knock on wood), we do not wish this upon anyone and hope your adventure goes smoothly, but reality happens and breakdowns can occur.
7. National Park Vacation
One of our favorite things to do is to visit national parks. In the past two years, Taylor and I visited 16 different national parks across the US and we recommend them to everyone we know. I think John Muir said it best…
“In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks”
There is something special about National Parks and seeing them in person lets you appreciate the beauty of mother nature.
Which traveler do we recommend for a national park vacation?
National parks have activities for all ages and every type of traveler. Most national park offs long hikes, backpack camping off the trail, group camping at designated campgrounds within the park, romantic dinners in the park lodge, and scenic tours where you can learn about the park’s history!
National park vacations are relatively cheap compared to other vacation types.Majestic scenery unique and unlike anywhere else.If you plan on going to 3 or more parks in 12 months you should buy the annual pass and save big!Seniors can buy a lifetime pass for $80 as of February 2019.Plenty of hospitality, lodges, and campgrounds available.
National parks can get very crowded during peak seasons.Campgrounds sell out extremely fast (plan early).Limited cell phone reception, but that’s one of the benefits of exploring a national park (break away from reality)!
8. Camping Vacation
A common vacation type combined with a road trip is a camping vacation. Taylor and I often combine vacation types and commonly combine a road trip with camping at a national park (three vacations types in one). While living on the West Coast, we would happily drive 6-12 hours to a national park, make a pit stop along the way to eat at a local restaurant and then camp out for a weekend; we absolutely loved it. It’s always nice to get out into nature without phone service where you can unwind from reality and relax. We love to make a bonfire cook dinner and relax under the stars.
Which traveler do we recommend for a camping vacation?
Depending on the location and campsite will dictate whether or not we recommend it for every traveler. On average, camping with friends or your partner is always a great time. Camping with a family with small children is difficult but can be done when you have all of the necessities readily available. Here’s our recommendation
If you’re camping in a tent then we recommend…
If you’re camping in an RV…
If you’re backpack camping out in the wilderness…
FriendsCouplesSolo (however we recommend finding someone to camp with if you can)
Getting away from reality into nature is one of the most soothing experiences. There’s something meditative to slowing down and just relaxing under the stars.Camping allows you to build relationships since you are not distracted by your phone, the media, TV, etc.Campgrounds are inexpensive compared to hotels, especially if you find a free campground.
If sanitation is a priority, camping may not be your cup of tea.Limited amenities, like running water, showers, clean toiletsMost of the time you have to purchase your supplies ahead of time and if you forget something critical it could be detrimental to your camping vacation.
9. Group Vacations
Group vacations often let you get the best deals possible when traveling. They can be relatively effortless to book with a preplanned itinerary and stressless if you’re content with going with the flow of the group! Many resorts, airlines, and activity providers offer group discounts when planning group vacations so this is a great way to take advantage of discounted prices.
Which traveler do we recommend for a group vacation?
Group vacations are great for every traveler, saving money and time and being able to vacation with others is a great opportunity to do activities you may not do on your own. We recommend group vacations for every traveler type.
Cost-effective, save money leveraging groups and find the best deals.Participate in activities you otherwise wouldn’t have without the additional encouragement of the group!Meet new people if it’s in a large group.Minimal planning (unless you’re the organizer).
Volunteering vacations offer the opportunity to experience a new location without trading money but rather trading your time. Many missionary retreats allow volunteers to help developing countries build schools bringing value to local communities while funding your hospitality while you’re away. This type of vacation can be very fulfilling and rewarding.
Which traveler do we recommend for a volunteering vacation?
Since the majority of volunteering vacations are longer than a weekend, we did not include families for this vacation type.
Travel for free or at a steep discount and get free hospitality while you’re away.Participate in rewarding activities that benefit others.Meet new people and memories that can last a lifetime.
Living and travel arrangements may not be the most convenient/luxurious, usually economy seats and lower end hotels.Not necessarily a relaxing vacation (more focused on giving time/energy for the greater good).Volunteer vacations may not be in the world’s most desired locations.
11. Personal Growth Vacations
The best investment you can make is an investment in yourself. If you’re considering investing in yourself, consider making a vacation out of it. There are plenty of events available for just about every type of development path you’re looking for. A yoga retreat to improve flexibility, meditation retreat to get closer to your inner self, personal finance conferences, personal development conferences such as Tony Robbins – Unleash the Power Within and more. If the event requires you to travel to the location, simply extend a day before or after the event to experience the new place.
Which traveler do we recommend for a personal growth vacation?
As mentioned above, there’s a personal growth conference/activity for just about everyone so we included all traveler types for this type of vacation.
SoloCouples/RomanticFriendsSeniorsFamiliesThis could be focused more on camps for children, maybe a sporting camp or something similar.
The best investment you can make is an investment in yourself. The ability to make a vacation out of it makes it even better.Meet new people and make memories that can last a lifetime.Adopt new healthy habits
Personal growth events cost money to participate!Limited time to explore a location due to time spent at the personal growth event. However limited time is better than no time.
12. Activity-Focused Vacation
Activity-focused vacations can be a blast with a goal in mind. This type of vacation is often coupled with other types of vacations to enhance the experience. An activity-focused vacation could be, a visit to all the wineries in Napa Valley (good luck, there’s a lot) or a cooking-focused vacation in Italy.
Which traveler do we recommend for an activity-focused vacation?
We excluded families from this vacation type since it could be difficult to rally up the kids and keep them focused on an activity for a number of days.
Perfect to fulfill a particular hobby or interestA great opportunity to coordinate with like-minded individuals, groups or friends.Relatively easy to plan
May miss out on other amazing activities in the area you’re traveling too since you are focused solely on your activity.
13. Sports Vacations
If you play any sports or you’re simply a fan then you should consider taking a sports vacation. There are thousands of tournaments available at all levels where you can test your skills against other competitors. If you’re a big sports fan, get in touch with your local fan base. I bet there’s a group that schedules organized away games where the away team fans make a large appearance.
While we were in Seattle we went to a Mariner’s game against the Mets and there was a large number of Met’s fans exploring the city and attending the game.
Which traveler do we recommend for a sporting vacation?
Sporting vacations appeal to every traveler available, as long as you are interested in sports!
Merge your favorite sport with your favorite location and participate in a sports tournament or attend a professional event as a fan.Collaborate with other fans and teammates through meetups and competitions.
Location is dependent on events.Sporting events can be expensive depending on the location.Restricts travel dates to specific times of the year often during peak seasons.
Have you ever just needed a break from reality but not a getaway? Sometimes a staycation is a perfect match. Do nothing for the weekend and just relax on the couch and binge watch your favorite series or go to all of the local restaurants that you haven’t tried before. More often than not there’s something new to try very close to home that you’ve never done before. You’ll be surprised at what you find.
Which traveler do we recommend for a staycation?
Staycations are for everyone! When the stress level is high, a staycation may be the perfect remedy. Every traveler type is the perfect fit for a staycation.
Cheap! Staying home doesn’t require any money spent on traveling.Explore hidden local gems you often oversee due to the constant need to get out and explore new locations.
Sometimes it’s difficult to truly relax, you try to but start realizing all of the things that need to get done around the house!Not necessarily as thrilling as an international vacation or another type of vacation
15. Solo Vacation
Like I said before, traveling solo can be intimidating at first but something you likely won’t regret once endured. Traveling alone can get you out of your comfort zone and force you to meet new people and experience new things. You can learn a lot about yourself and gain more appreciation for others.
Traveling solo can be scary!Safety! Make sure to be extra alert and take more safety precautions when traveling alone.
We hope this post helps you weigh out the pros and cons of each and helps you plan your next vacation.