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Repost: The 7 Types Of Travel

You’ve been planning your vacation for months. You get into the office early to speak with the boss and tell him about this trip you want to go on. With that stamp of approval, you’re off to wherever for a week of sun and fun. But before you know it, your vacation is over and you’re back in the office. It’s the typical 9-5 vacation. While the 9-5 Vacation is the most common way to travel, it’s by no means the only way to travel.

There are many different types of traveling. Here’s a list of some of the ways I have come across.

1. 9-5 Vacation

The most common way people travel. Get away from your 9-5 job for a few days, a week, maybe even two.  It’s enough time to visit a place without putting too much stress on the office back home.  While it is the most common way to travel it’s probably my least favorite.

9-5 Vacations are really short and as a result often crammed with everything you want to do on your holiday. The only way to fit so much in so little time is with $$$. On a day for day basis 9-5 Vacations are the most expensive way to travel. With all the running around on a 9-5 Vacation and the money just pouring out of your wallet, it’s not uncommon to feel more stressed after your vacation than before.

9-5 Vacations are about escaping a reality.  On this trip anything that resembles work is shunned and expectations for a perfect trip are high. 9-5 Vacationers are viewed as high maintenance and difficult to please, but locals know their time is overly precious to them and they’ll pay top dollar to fit it all in.

  • Duration: 3 days – 2 weeks
  • Average Daily Cost (ADC): Very High
  • Growth and Fullfillment (G&F): Very Low
  • Ability to Maintain life at Home (HLS1): Very High
  • Ease of planning: High
  • Authenticity of Cultural Experience: Very Low


2. The Package Tour

The slightly more attractive cousin of the 9-5 Vacation is the Package Tour. Sometimes the same length as the 9-5, but is often a bit longer. The Package Tour is where you pay a lot of money to a tour company to take you around with a group of other tourists to various tourist destinations.

The best part of a Package Tour is you are traveling with the same group for a while so you get to build a relationship with other tourists in your group. Other than that, I see little upside to this way of travel.
On a Package Tour you are brought to various high rated tourist sites and herded through each stop like cattle. You can identify Package Tours from a mile away. It’s the large group of people firing away on their cameras as they briskly walk through the historic parts of town.

For youth Package Tours substitute historic sites for bars and clubs. Youth Package Tours involve copious amounts of drinking in the party districts of different places. Ask anyone on a youth tour about the last city they were in and they will respond with their experience at that one nightclub in the town.

Time is extremely limited in each location on a Package Tour. You only get a glimpse of the place you’re visiting. On this trip the goal seems more about snapping enough selfies in tourist spots to show off to friends back home.
As these trips are a little longer, they are rarely done while holding down a job, but are popular with people between jobs, or with people before they enter or after they leave the work force.

  • Duration: 2 weeks – 2 months
  • Average Daily Cost (ADC): High
  • Growth and Fullfillment (G&F): Very Low
  • Ability to Maintain life at Home (HLS):  Average to High
  • Ease of planning: Very High
  • Authenticity of Cultural Experience: Low


3. The Working Journey

The Working Journey is all about volunteering / work hopping from one place to the next. You see a lot of volunteers in hostels doing this. They are on a tourist visa so they can’t officially be paid, but in exchange for work they might get a free meal and bunk bed each night. It’s a great way to cut down on travel costs, but you sacrifice 60% of your day in an underpaid job. The work is rarely ever difficult, but it can suck you in.

You might only be asked to work for 5 hours, but you often find yourself spending your entire day at your workplace. You’ve become close with the other volunteers at your workplace, and with offset schedules you end up hanging out at the hostel bar to keep your friends company.

The Working Journey allows you to live like a local even though you will always be a tourist in their eyes.  You get to meet a lot of people but while they are getting ready to go explore a waterfall your shift is about to start.  It can be a bittersweet experience.

It goes without saying that on a longer trip like this holding down a job back home is difficult, but when you can travel on just a few dollars a day, do you really need to maintain a job?

  • Duration: 3 months – 1 year
  • ADC: Very Low
  • G&F: Average
  • HLS:  Low
  • Ease of planning: Very Low
  • Authenticity of Cultural Experience: Average to High


4. Skill Focused Travel

Skill Focused Travel is about getting away from the distractions back home to focus on learning a new skill.  Want to become more knowledgeable about wine? Why not move to Chile for a few months to explore wine culture.  Want to learn the tango?  Spend a month in Argentina taking a dance class every day.  One friend I met while traveling spent 6 months in a South American country learning to fly small planes.

I haven’t tried skill focused travel (update: I have now!), but I envy those who have.

Skill Focused Travel is all about learning that new skill you’ve always wanted.  Learning in a new place helps you focus on doing just that without the distractions of home life.  What would have taken years to learn back home, might only take a month or two while isolated in a foreign location.  As a person you probably grow more in this style of travel than in any other type of travel.  Skill Focused Travel comes with a lot of other benefits too.

With this type of travel, you probably aren’t wandering far from your primary destination, and most skills only require few hours of your day. This leaves you the rest of your time to get to know the people and places around you. You have time to explore in the evenings and to become a regular, if only for a few months, at a local restaurant or coffee shop. You learn about the shop owner’s life and his family. At the end of your trip you have grown from your studies, but are also left with a deep connection with those you’ve met on your trip.

  • Duration: 1 Month – 1 year
  • ADC: Low to Average
  • G&F: Very Very High
  • HLS:  Low
  • Ease of planning: Low
  • Authenticity of Cultural Experience: Average to Very High


5. The Spiritual Journey

Similar to Skill Focused Travel the Spiritual Journey is taken to find a deeper connection with one’s spiritual beliefs, or just to better understand one’s own place in this world. This type of travel can be short, but rarely is. Spiritual Journey’s often go on for months if not years.

For the religious types, this might mean hopping from religious site to religious site while learning about your religion. It often includes deep points of meditation while trying to build that inner connection.
For the less religious types it includes lots of time spent in introversion and observation as you try to justify your own existence and reason for waking up every day.

The Spiritual Journey is a very emotional one and can lead to drastic changes in your outlook on life. The way you interact with people back home usually changes as a result and can lead to the loss of old friends, but the discovery of new ones too. One Spiritual Journey may be all that is needed to find focus for the rest of your life.

  • Duration: 2 weeks – Several years
  • ADC: Very Low
  • G&F: Very High
  • HLS:  Very Low
  • Ease of planning: Very Low
  • Authenticity of Cultural Experience: Average to High


6. Vagabonding

Similar to number six, Vagabonding is for people who find life more comfortable on the road. Some people are just happier this way. Vagabonding is about spending as much of life as possible exploring the world. While typically done on a tight budget, it doesn’t have to be this way. Vagabonding is really just about the high that comes with exploration.

Other people will ask a Vagabond the reason they are traveling. A Vagabond replies with the confusing answer that travel is the reason.

It’s the hardest form of travel to describe as it is the most fluid type of travel. It takes many different shapes and forms. Often Vagabonds will work like crazy for a short stint to create a healthy cash reserve and then go out in the world for as long as their reserves will alot them before starting the cycle all over again.

Vagabonds are lovely people to spend time with. Their outlook on life is one of complete abundance. They’re never in a rush and happy just to spend time having a chat. They have little in terms of expectations for life and just enjoy it as it unfolds.  With no agenda, Vagabonding promotes an extreme sense of generosity that is infectious.

The toughest part about getting into Vagabonding is letting go.  Long term travel like this often means forfeiting almost all of your material collections and ties back home. While this is extremely freeing after it’s done, it’s riddled with anxiety.  It is worth it though.  Always.

  • Duration: 3 Months – Years
  • ADC: Extremely Low
  • G&F: Average – High
  • HLS:  Extremely Low
  • Ease of planning: Low – Average
  • Authenticity of Cultural Experience: Average to High


7. Freedom Business Travel

Freedom Business Travel is about finding a work lifestyle that can be managed from anywhere at any time. It’s all about being able to take your work on the road.  It’s working in a way that allows you to spend your time living on your own terms.  Freedom Business Travel is the most idolized and envied form of travel.

The idea of being able to open your laptop, click away at the keyboard for an hour, and then take off on an adventure for the day is what this travel style is all about.  Money is flowing in every day and allows you to travel without the fear exceeding your budget. Splurging isn’t such a big deal as more money will come your way soon enough.

The funny thing about Freedom Business Travel is that as much as people wish to live that way, few ever put the work in to create this travel lifestyle for themselves. It’s actually not even that hard.

Freedom Business Travel is all about having your cake and eating it too. As long as you can keep the money flowing there is little need to limit yourself.

The worst part of Freedom Business Travel is there’s always a little cloud of anxiety that follows you around. Sure you’re having a good time, but is there something you should be doing for your business right now?  Also be prepared for your friends to not understand your life and to be envious.  While they are in the office on a Tuesday at 11 AM, you’re wrapping up your work session and heading off to the beach for an afternoon of surfing.

Few people you know will be able to live this way so it can be lonely.  In the end you are living like a king.  Once you have a taste of this way of living and travel do you really think you can go back?

  • Duration: Any
  • ADC: N/A (assuming you only spend what you make)
  • G&F: Average
  • HLS:  Very High
  • Ease of planning: Low (travel based on access to WIFI and work load)
  • Authenticity of Cultural Experience: Low – High (depends on how much you work)

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