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A Detailed Guide to the Types of People You'll Meet While Traveling

You're basically guaranteed to run into these folks while you're on a wild adventure abroad.

By Rowan MarleyPublished 6 years ago 7 min read
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Photo by Steven Lewis

Travel is a hobby for many of us, and like many other hobbies, it tends to attract certain people over others. The fact is that those who travel often have tendencies that make them easy to stereotype and pick out from a crowd. This is even more true when you yourself are a traveler, and are currently on a trip.

Oddly enough, the same can be said about locals who travelers tend to run into. Chances are that if you're a traveler, you've run into at least a couple of the following types of people.

The Annoyed, Snooty Local

Look, we all know that tourists can be obnoxious, and most travelers try their hardest to avoid being "that guy." But, for some locals, just being from a different place is enough to provoke them into sneering, eyerolls, and rude commentaries.

Most commonly found in places like France and New York City, annoyed locals make a point to let people know that you're in their country - and that you are not too welcome.

The Super-Friendly Local

Photo by Dogancan Ozturan

On the other side of the local attitude coin is the Super-Friendly Local. These are the people who are thrilled to meet tourists, will give them unofficial tours around town, and also will ask plenty of questions about your home country. They are fascinated by the exotic, and if you're traveling, that means you're exotic.

In some cases, Super-Friendly Locals may turn into flings... or even long distance relationships. If you're lucky and looking for love, meeting some of these people may be the start of a beautiful relationship.

The Tourist Trapper

As every well-seasoned traveler knows, there are a slew of businesses that make their entire living off of tourists. These businesses may be legitimate, but generally speaking, they tend to be predatorial in nature.

In some cases, it may be because they lured tourists in for cheap drinks only to give them bills that are ten times the typical amount. In other cases, it could be because what they're offering isn't legal at all. Some will go so far as to rob those who aren't local to the area.

These are the types of people and businesses that tourists need to guard themselves against... and thankfully, there are often warnings against them on public forums that tourists can check out.

The Ugly Americans

As much as most people who go out and about try to be respectful of other peoples' cultures, Ugly Americans tend to make many Westerners look bad. This term, which was coined back in the 1950s, describes loud, poorly-dressed, obnoxious, and often narrow-minded people who go abroad.

These are the tourists who tend to dress in terrible clothing, act out in bars, and also isolate themselves from others. They are, at best, an eyesore and, at worst, a major problem. In many cases, they're known for causing scenes and even causing physical damage to major tourist venues. Don't be this stereotype, please?

The Traveler Who's "Too Cool For This"

Some people just can't enjoy anything they do, and will make a point of rolling their eyes at anything and everything offered to them. This is the problem with the traveler who feels a need to act "too cool for school."

Even though they should be thrilled to go abroad, they make a point to seem jaded. In some cases, they may also brag that they went to cooler places. If they are in Japan, they'll brag about Timbuktu. When they're in Timbuktu, they'll talk about how cool Tokyo was.

The Retirees Who Finally Got To Travel

Photo by Nathalia Bariani

Out of all of the people you'll meet, the retirees who finally managed to scrape up enough money to travel will probably warm your heart the most. These two never got the opportunity to travel abroad when they were younger, so now that they're in their golden years, they're going to live it up.

You can most commonly tell they're traveling by their comfortable clothing, their big smiles, and the occasional overheard conversation about things that happened long ago. Even if they aren't the coolest people you'll meet, there's still something about them that's awesome.

The Happy Camper

Unlike the Traveler Who's "Too Cool For This," the Happy Camper is a fellow traveler who's eager to try everything. They'll squeal for joy when they see the castles in Edinburgh. They'll be overjoyed at the chance to try fugu from a real Shinbuya sushi bar. Everything for them is a new adventure to be cherished.

In terms of traveling partners, having a Happy Camper as your travel buddy is a very wise decision. They tend to be the best prepared, and also tend to be the most fun people you'll ever meet.

The Micro-Planner

Certain people just can't handle travel without having every little thing planned out to a the point that it may just be a sign of obsession. Every meal, every pitstop, and every single little travel detail has to be confirmed and planned out.

This is all well and good, but there are some moments that can't be planned for. Should a mishap occur and their plans get thrown off, they are very likely to flip out, panic, or throw a tantrum. Thankfully, they also tend to have backup plans in place... or a travel agent they can yell at.

The "Go With The Flow" Travelers

While some people may feel the need to plan every little minute detail of their itinerary, these travelers will make plans as they go. So, no, they don't know what motel they're sleeping at. They also have no clue where they're going to be eating at, or who they'll meet. At times, they may not even know where they're going! But, hey, at least they're there.

The Jetsetters

Photo by Marisa Buhr

Jetsetters are the type of travelers who are totally fine with traveling as long as it doesn't involve any sort of inconvenience, dirty work, or potential of running into the "hoi polloi." They may get annoyed at the mere thought of having to travel coach, and they also will expect doormen to carry their bags for them.

In terms of travel destinations, jetsetters will never deign themselves to places that could possibly be dingy or gross. After all, they do need to have the right shots for their Instagram accounts. Jetsetters can be fun to travel with if you can afford it, but they tend to be so image-obsessed that it's not actually fun to be around them.

The Terrible Traveler

If you want to see what a total nightmare a tourist can be, all you have to do is look at a Terrible Traveler. These people are dour - moreso than the Travelers Who Are "Too Cool For This."

No matter where they go or what they do, nothing is ever good for them. The Southern BBQ ribs they got in South Carolina were "too overcooked." The jungle safari they took in South Africa had "too many insects," or was "terrible."

Along with being totally unappreciative, the Terrible Traveler is also prone to rage outbursts, arguments, and occasionally, physical fights. When with kids, they may allow children to vandalize tourist locations, cause a scene, or make a huge mess. Terrible Travelers often find themselves asked to leave from venues - no matter how much they may have paid to get there.

The Student

Photo by Annie Spratt

Some people go out to travel so that they can gain wisdom and knowledge about the world around them. In many cases, these people are students in college who want to spend their youth abroad - but there's also the occasional older person who seeks knowledge in travel too.

People who fit this bill tend to make a serious effort to learn the local languages, customs, and foods. They may also enroll in courses abroad, or make a point of visiting local museums.

In terms of travel partners, having a Student as a traveling buddy is a very wise decision. You'll almost be guaranteed to learn something, and they tend to plan out some pretty awesome trips.

That being said, many Students either prefer hostels or can't afford anything more upscale. So, expect their journeys to be doable on a shoestring budget.

The "Enlightened One"

Though there are people who go out of their way to learn things about other cultures, "Enlightened Ones" aren't it. Unlike Students, "Enlightened Ones" only want the appearance of being learned and well-traveled. Actually making the effort to learn other cultures' traditions or going off the tourist map of locations will not happen with them.

While they will be happy to boast about meditating in Kathmandu, they won't be able to tell you much about the people, the religious concepts, or even what kind of food they ate. They're "Enlightened," though, and you can totally tell how deep they are by their Instagram posts.

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About the Creator

Rowan Marley

Rowan Marley is a 20-year-old sports enthusiast who hails from Brooklyn. When he's not hitting up a local Zumba class, he's drinking organic smoothies. That's just how he rolls.

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