What Kind of Traveler Are You?

What Kind of Traveler Are You?
Our family has put a lot of miles under our belts (seat belts, that is). And during our travels we’ve gotten to know each other better.
That may sound odd to you, coming from a couple married more than 13 years. How could a few road trips or frequent flyer miles teach us more about ourselves than living together every day?
It’s a funny thing – the road. It is exciting and revealing – bringing out the best and worst of our travel personality types. I have identified several types that you might find vaguely familiar in your loved ones.

The Passive Passenger
My husband, Chip takes travel to a whole new level of calm. Whether traveling in a jumbo jet or a four-wheel drive, he’s snoring within minutes of take-off, unless he’s driving, of course. When we arrive, he calmly unpacks suitcases, neatly placing clothing in the drawers. He might even find time for a little nap, or a moment to read. Expecting little more than a relaxing time away, he is content to enjoy his surroundings. Promptness at the airport, preferably two hours in advance, is essential to retain his travel “zen.”

The Travel Show Host Tourist
I approach each vacation as if it were a travel show, researching the destination online from Fodor’s to the Lonely Planet to Conde Nast traveler to find the top recommended restaurants, hotel deals, cultural events, most popular beaches and historic landmarks before stepping out the front door. Upon arrival, I fling open my suitcase to grab a camera and head out the door to experience the sights. My motto? “Let’s get this show on the road. There’s so much to see.” At my insistence, our days are jam-packed with activities, until the entire family falls exhausted on the bed each night. I approach our trips with lofty goals of vacation excellence, almost always impossible to reach. The polar opposite of my husband’s travel type, you can see our potential for problems on the road to paradise.

Steady Snack Sightseer
Crawford is along for the ride. His vacation goal, like any self-respecting 7-year-old boy, is solidly based on the four food groups — candy, cookies, donuts and ice cream. Museums? Not likely. His idea of a good time — is a snack free-for-all. Much cajoling and convincing is required by the Travel Show Host in order to enlist him in the laundry list of daily activities planned. Resistance results in bribery, which results in more snacks.

Adaptable Adventurer
Flat Stanley* is perhaps the greatest travel personality of all. He joined us once on a cross-country excursion and I would have adopted him, if I hadn’t promised to send him back to his California preschool. A loveable guy — and easy to pack — Stanley never complains about leg room, does not require snacks or rest stops and is always ready for a photo opportunity. Here are some pictures of his trip with us cross country.

Perhaps on my next “travel-show” — Stanley can be my co-host. Though, admittedly, he’s not much of a conversationalist.
What travel personality type are you? Whatever your type, this travel issue will delight you with great ideas for kid-friendly resorts from nearby to exotic, tips to cut through travel red tape and pages of fun things to make your next adventure a memorable one!

Wherever your go with your family this year . . . Enjoy the trip!


*For the uninitiated, Flat Stanley is a character who is often used as a learning tool in the classroom. Each child either takes him on his own travels or sends him to be hosted by a friend or family member who lives far away, and the host is charged with recording his “adventures” in a journal so kids can learn about life in other places.