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Posted on: Friday, 13 September 2013

5 types of traveller – which one are you?

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I took an online quizz recently to discover what type of traveller I am.

It turns out that not only am I a ‘cultural’ traveller who explores all the art and food a city has to offer (true) but I can sense a tourist trap from miles away (I can?) and I also gravitate towards more authentic experiences and don’t need a guidebook to show me what to do (well, ja, but I have a husband who reads them from cover to cover!).

The results were questionable, but it got me thinking about the ‘types’ of travellers we are – from those who simply want to sun worship, to others for whom a list of top attractions taken at breakneck speed is the very essence of travel.

Do you recognise any of the following stereotypes?


Adventure Traveller


You stick to tour groups and breathe a sigh of relief that someone else gets to organise the entire trip – thank goodness you don’t have to worry about where you will sleep or how to get tickets to the cultural highlights in your destination cities! Any ‘free time’ has you in a flat spin in case you miss the best spots.

You love the idea of travel, but just packing your bags brings on a bout of nervous tension that is only reassured by well mapped itineraries and nice hotels; 8-12 day tours are just about all you can take of anything foreign. Still, you return knowing all there is to know about the tourist spots and with a camera full of beautiful pics.


You’re not happy if an adrenaline rush is not part of the equation. If you’re not climbing the nearest peak then you’re sandboarding or skydiving. When you arrive somewhere you look for the action and constantly say things like: ‘I’d love to try that’. You wear an assortment of outdoor gear, complete with the requisite buff (which you really do wear in each of the multi-functional styles) and strong outdoor sandals.

You tan easily, cultivate an easy going manner that gives off a strong sense of the ‘can-do’ attitude you hold dear. Your idea of holiday heaven is places like Cape Town, Australia and  New Zealand, and you’ll try anything from wakeboarding to swimming with sharks at least once. (You’ll want to check out the Activities South Africa offers if you fall into this group!)


You’re usually in your twenties or early thirties, wear three outfits continuously, often sport dreads, and are game for any kind of exploration that is out of the ordinary. You tend to stay in youth hostels and improvise as you travel. Because you don’t have money to burn you tend to stick to the cheaper cities and countries of the world, are prone to skip the odd meal and will definitely visit any of the freebie tourist options in any given city.

You will often take odd jobs, like bar work, for a while in order to make money to continue to the next place. You are a free spirit with a ‘can do’ attitude. Your penchant for backpacker hostels means that you frequently swop travel stories, hot spots and best places to visit with other travellers. However, when you spend more than a month in any one place you start to sound ‘practically local’, which can be annoying. (See out Backpacking Section if you fall into this category!)


The Backpacker


You aim your iPhone at anything and everything in a bid to ‘share’ whatever it is you’re experiencing with your friends. You have been known to hand your camera and phone to complete strangers to catch yourself in ‘action’. Your appreciation of your surroundings is recognised only in those moments when you make a particularly startling update: ‘In London!! Rain, rain, rain; commuter tubes, umbrellas and little grey men. I’ve arrived!’

(Follow us on Facebook or Google+ if you love to share your experiences!)


You have worked out a schedule of note that incorporates every possible highlight of your chosen destination, and on no account are you going to skip anything off the itinerary. Should something unexpected arise or happen that looks as though it couldl interfere with the schedule then it will have to wait, if in fact you get to it at all.

Before you set off on your travels you carefully research all the hot spots to visit and, once there, spend a lot of each evening ticking off what you have done, and making notes to share with friends going on similar trips when you get home. Whenever you hear that someone is due to visit somewhere you have been, you send them a quick bullet list of the spots they would be mad to miss.

If you are Travelling to South Africa you might like …


Traveller types

Wanda Coustas


Wanda Coustas has written in one form or another for 10 years, seven of them as a copyblogger. She has travelled the Western Cape extensively and the rest of the country in protracted road trips that have given her both joy and an ongoing relish for experiencing what she writes about first-hand. She is a trained opera singer, poet, eurythmy dancer, philosopher, and bee whisperer.

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