What Kind of Traveler Are You?

What Kind of Traveler Are You?

Summer is coming, you guys! Every March, I get fixated on the season ahead and start brainstorming warm-weather trips, even ones I know we won’t really take. (For example, I researched a bunch of Berlin rental apartments last night, if anyone needs any tips?) So, I’m curious, as you carve out summer plans, what kind of traveler are you?

What Kind of Traveler Are You?

A beach goer, who packs a good book and sunscreen and heads straight to the water.

What Kind of Traveler Are You?

A city explorer, who wanders through museums, loves to people-watch and goes out for cacio e pepe at night.

What Kind of Traveler Are You?

A road tripper, who makes a playlist and drives cross country, stopping at taco stands and amusement parks.

What Kind of Traveler Are You?

A nature lover, who unpacks a tent and… I don’t know what else because I never go camping.

Which kind of traveler are you? What are your favorite places to visit? Alex and I used to do mostly city vacations (Berlin was our first trip away together, and I was nervous we would run out of things to talk about) (we didn’t), but last summer, our family got really into the beach and now that’s all I’m dreaming about.

P.S. Nine ideas for family vacations, and Venice under water.

(Top photo from a past trip to Fire Island. Beach photo by Amy Stone. Road trip photo by Seth Smoot. Wildflowers photo by Gabrielle Assaf.)

  1. We usually like road trips around California and the Pacific Northwest. I wish we could drive east and hopefully we can do this in the near future. But we also like traveling in cities and trying out the local cuisine. One destination we liked (despite some pollution and the crowd) was Metro Manila.

    I do not like traveling by plane, not because of being lunged miles up into the air but I feel kind of claustrophobic inside that steel vessel, confined to a small seat. It can also get quite uncomfortable. So definitely I like driving or even the train!

  2. Camping, ha ha, I know! We just went with the kids for the first time and it went much better than expected. (My expectations were pretty low, ha ha.) The key was having another family with kids to play with our own kids (keeping them occupied while we set up camp, make a campfire, etc…) Oh, and going with someone who is a regular camper and knows how to do everything. And having someone to borrow gear from. So basically, we’d never have done it on our own… It was fun and I’d do it again, but it’s still not my preferred way to travel. ;)

  3. I used to love city vacations, but after becoming a parent I now love beachy/outdoor vacations. There is nothing better than watching my daughter play at the beach. I think being near water instantly makes everyone happier (I am sure you’ve probably already posted something about that)!

    I have Muir Beach overlook/beach on my mind. Its local enough for us to take a day trip but far enough that it still feels like an escape.

    xo Lendy

  4. ami_in_germany says...

    Berlin is so pretty in the summer and very kid friendly! If you are looking for rental apartments AirBnB is a good place to start. If you want to stay in neighborhoods near the city that are not too loud Charlottenburg, Prenzlauer berg, and Schöneberg are really nice areas for kids. The different lakes around Berlin and the castles in Berlin and Potsdam are fabulous to look at in the summer.
    I love traveling to cities, my husband loves Italy but since my parents live in the US, a lot of my vacation time goes to visiting family. However over the last couple of years I have cut back on visits to the US and instead my husband and I want to explore Europe/Asia more, next up after Easter is Prague :)

  5. Katie says...

    Beach. All the way. We had a condo on the north shore in Lake Tahoe growing up. We rarely used it for skiing – we were all about the beach. We’d pack up a bunch of gear, and walk to the beach late morning. Set up camp and read, swim, drink, run, eat and play trivial pursuit all afternoon. This is still my ideal day on any vacation.

  6. Oh, cities, always! Cities, cities, cities.

    You must visit Paris, France (yes, with kids!). <3

  7. Amanda says...

    Every year, my fiancee’s family goes to Lake Powell for a week, and this will be the 8th time I’m tagging along. I was worried I’d be bored out of my skull, because if you’ve never gone you look at the pictures and say “Great! It’s a big lake surrounded on all sides by very high red-rock walls! And that’s it!” But then I went and realized the Lake is all about morning water skiing and percolating coffee and naps in the shade and catching up on as many of the books you put off in the last year as possible. It’s about swimming in water warm as a bath, catching dozens of striped bass after rainstorms, skinny-dipping in the evenings, and spending time with people you love, laughing over endless games of Yahtzee and gin rummy. If you’re lucky, a howler of a storm rolls through and leaves you with waterfalls that spout from every crevice of the canyon country 60-70 feet above you and plummet into the lake like gushers or meander down the walls like lazy serpents. But the best part is sleeping on the top deck of the houseboat every night, because the sky is so full of stars and so immense. You’ve never seen so many stars in your life! I’m already counting down the days to our week in August :)

    • Emily says...

      Can I come?!? This sounds so dreamy : )

  8. I’m for sure a beach person. But I’ve recently gotten into cities. I guess I’m the opposite of you! Currently planning a quick getaway to Asheville. Glad to know I’m not the only one who can spend hours researching fake trips though! High five.

  9. Jo,
    We’re headed to Berkin this October. I’d love to hear more about the rentals you found!

  10. Nancy says...

    I am more of a mixed kind of gal and can appreciate a good art gallery or museum as well a hike for a spectacular view. My DH however hates crowds and would much rather camp. We have combined both by camping through Hawaii, Italy and France. There is a campground in the centre of Florence amongst an old olive grove and being able to walk to the centre of the city to see the Duomo is a memory that I won’t soon forget. We have also taken our two kids, then 8 and 11 across Canada by train with a stopover in Jasper to camp for three nights and then camped for several nights on Vancouver Island. They also love a good hotel, but at this point, I have learned that a condo suits our needs the best. We can do day trips, lounge by the pool and shop with the locals at the grocery store or farmers market.

  11. It’s hard to say. Perhaps a bit of them all! My boyfriend and I recently went on our first getaway together — to Paris! — and we spent four lovely days wandering museums, people watching from sidewalk cafes, dining on red wine and steak frites, and living our way into the days. We are daydreaming together now about our future honeymoon and talking about everywhere from Iceland to a roadtrip up the Pacific Coast Highway….so we’ll see what mood strikes!

  12. My husband and I moved to Southeast Asia 7 years ago and love exploring the region. We love going to remote areas where locals are surprised/sometimes shocked to see you. Always go to a local market and eat your heart out. Also picking up a new adventure skill has been fun like free diving and surfing in Bali or rock climbing in Thailand. Also obsessed with textiles which I have a stack of and need to do something with! We are planning to be in Berlin later this summer with our little guy who will be 9 months so would love tips! Excited to be in Europe and get out of Asia! Whole new ball game.

  13. Polly says...

    The camping part was my favorite. ;)

  14. Eva says...

    I’ve always been a go go go kind of traveler – packing as much as I can into each day! My husband is very much the opposite and he’s taught me the joys of sleeping in, taking long naps and eating McDonalds in Paris if you’re feeling homesick. We definitely balance each other out!

  15. Danielle R. says...

    I love cities for the culture. On the flip side, I love nature and would love to camp out during Fall- like weather. I don’t care the beach even though I live on a Pennisula and there are several beaches near by (so that isn’t a trip I’d plan).

  16. Jill says...

    We’re going to be doing a bit of city exploring and bit of beach lazing this May in Germay and Italy!

    Any tips on Berlin, Prague, Naples, or Florence hostels/rentals anyone?!

    • Charlotte says...

      Hi Jill,
      We stayed in this apartment in Berlin in Feb. It comes with bikes for exploring and is in a great residential area with awesome restaurants and cafes, but still close to the sights. I’d definitely recommend!

  17. Cat says...

    My husband and I have been living in East Africa for the past two years, and which has allowed us to take vacations such as a safari in the Masai Mara (highly recommended experience, by the way), hiking in rainforests, and gorilla trekking in Uganda. We love nature and adventure, but being able to walk around and explore cities is probably my favorite. We went to Spain last year for meetings and spent a few days in Sevilla for our anniversary. We loved traipsing down old streets without much of a plan, admiring the architecture, soaking in the history, and having all of that time and space for conversation–just us. So refreshing.

    • Holland says...

      Hi Cat

      I saw this comment, and my husband and I have been discussing a safari in Masai Mara. Do you have any recommendations? We would be flying from the US, and we have never been to Africa.

      Thank you so much. We are excited to begin travelling more.

    • Alison says...

      The Masai Mara is incredible! I lived in Kenya for two years and luckily took several safaris in the Masai Mara. The best one was at Encounter Mara: Excellent camp, and is in a protected game reserve just next to the Mara which means it’s less crowded and allows night safari drives. Amazing and unforgettable!

  18. I find it changes with different seasons of life. My husband and I used to do a lot more city travel but now that we have small children we are road trippers to the make. We have a VW Vanagon and we haul our three littles all over the place. At least two big trips per year – one mountains (usually Montana, Oregon, Idaho, British Columbia, etc. for a month) and one beach (Baja California, Mexico). It’s hard sometimes with a 1, 3 and 6 year old but the best family time. I love it so much I’m actually writing a book on it to inspire other families to go!

  19. Nichole says...

    Going to Berlin for 3 days at the end of May. Tips much appreciated!! Thanks.

  20. Jennifer says...

    Something that I am just starting to do is plan very far in advance. My sister has done this for years so we were adapting to her schedule since we wanted our kids to spend time together. Now, we alternate summers. However, she lives in China, so it really does take us forever to plan things. 9 months out is ideal. She can plan her summer in the US and I can plan our trip together in Europe. Bonus, using points for our hotels is really easy this way and if something goes wrong with the schedule, it is free to cancel.

  21. All of the above! My husband and I love exploring new cities, but also being outside. This summer we are planning trips to Vermont, Newport RI, Boston, and Germany! No matter what we do though, whether it’s camping, beaching, exploring–we try to tap into the local experience and try new foods, taste the wine, get off the beaten path, etc.

  22. kp19 says...

    All of the above! I have thoroughly enjoyed all the types of traveling you mentioned and I think the best thing to do is mix it up.

  23. Meghan says...

    I am a combination of city & beach traveler. One thing is for sure- I am NOT a camper!!

  24. Michelle says...

    Go to Berlin! My husband and I went 2 years ago because he had a conference. I didn’t really have any expectations going in and Berlin had never been at the top of my travel list, but it’s such a wonderful city! Tons to do, all kinds of food, you can walk everywhere, beautiful architecture. I would absolutely go back.

  25. nohatnogloves says...

    I love cities. But I also love the sea. Not so much for lounging by but just to be near it. I can take a couple of days of complete idleness, lying in the sun, reading and dozing then having a beer but after that…nosing about in a new city, watching people go by, eating new food and NOT BEING RUSHED. I just need to have a spare fortune to hand and I will be off.

  26. Prudence says...

    My husband and I do mostly city travels but going for a beach holiday is definitely on my bucket lists of things to do too!


  27. +1 to all of the above! Each of those “types of travelers” makes for a super fun getaway and it’s all about knowing what you’re in for and planning it right. Nothing like thinking about all of these that makes me want to plan what’s next (for me it will be hiking around Menorca!).

  28. Katie says...

    I am a city explorer! I love to see and try all the new things! It can be such a learning experience, but also so draining by the end! I do love a good beach vacation, though. Laying in the sun, splashing in the waves, drinking beer on the deck…that’s a good life, too.

  29. My husband and I try to take one city holiday and one beach holiday every year. I would love to add a bit more road trips and camping into the mix – a recent one day road trip + camping holiday with friends was unbelievably fun.

    Since we have such busy schedules with a lot of late night and weekend work and a lot of work travel thrown in, on our long breaks, I love having the husband just to myself (we don’t have kids yet). So I’m kinda super protective of these long breaks, because it’s exclusive “us” time.

  30. I used to be a city escape kind of girl. Now I’m older and all I want is nature (mountains or beach, I don’t care), a good spa, great food and tons of free time to wander around. Slow-paced travel, that’s my thing.

  31. I am dreaming of a beach vacation!! But we are headed to Copenhagen next weekend for a few days and I’m looking forward to that, too : ) Other places we’d like to go this year are Scotland/Ireland, Bordeaux, San Sebastian, possibly Japan or possibly South Africa. Time to get planning!

  32. city and beach. city when I’m going abroad, and beach when I’m staying in Cyprus! So many gorgeous beaches, such warm weather you can’t really do anything else-and don’t realy want to! Having said that, If I could play tourist in my own country, I deffinately would, and I am jumping at such oportunities when they appear! :p

  33. Oh my Gosh you should go to Berlin! I took my son when he was 9 months old and was so impressed by how kid friendly it was. I felt like everywhere I looked I saw good looking young people with kids and they all seemed so at ease. Everywhere we went we felt very welcomed with a child. So many offbeat playgrounds and even a stroller/family section on the tram. I feel like he would ever enjoy it more now that he is older. GO GO GO! Its so great!
    We also went to Amsterdam and Prague but Berlin by far was the most relaxed and family friendly.
    In one month we are going abroad for 2 months and will be staying in Buenos Aires which I have heard so far is very family friendly. fingers crossed!

  34. I am all of the above depending on where I’m going and if I’m rolling solo or with a friend. I love wandering cities until my feet feel like they’re going to fall off. I love hitting the open road with some loud music or a good audio book. And even though I am often too restless to sit still, sometimes I need a few days at the beach to dive into a book and escape from the real world. I’ve got a few exciting trips in the works for the next few months, and I look forward to being each of these travelers while on the road :)

  35. Jacqui says...

    I dread the approach of Summer here in Queensland (Australia). Winter is my fav time for a holiday :)

  36. Gem says...

    I lived in small towns for the first part of my life and so when I traveled, I always wanted to see cities and revel in the crowds and the hustle-and-bustle. But now that I’ve been living in a major city for a few years, when I travel I want to get out of the city! Lately I’ve been dreaming of hiking trips, like treking Patagonia, or to Everest base camp, or across New Zealand!

  37. Jodi says...

    I explored SO much when I was on exchange semester and I was totally the city explorer – seeing as many cities in that semester as I could squeeze in. But I find myself now wanting so badly to revisit some of those spots to really soak in the city, the people, the culture, etc. I think I was too fast paced? Nowadays, depending on what season my partner and I travel, we do all of the above you mention. Beach vacations when we’ve had a stressful few weeks/months at work, camping vacations to soak in those long summer nights where day meets night meets day, and city vacations when we’re up for trekking through a vibrant city and immersing ourselves in it.

  38. Alice says...

    All of the above at the appropriate times!

    Hubs and I did a road trip through the Scottish highlands and hebrides when I was six months pregnant as a last free hurrah, before that Madrid and Hong Kong with best girl pals, thai temples and beaches alone, greek islands with wild friends in my teens… Different times in your life call for different trips.

    But with two kiddos in tow I’m craving beach this year too. Rock pools full of wonder and waves and sand that give hours of entertainment. I don’t care if it’s tropical or Newquay, I want sand in my toes and salt in my hair!

  39. Alex says...

    I used to be an American tourist – squeeze absolutely everything in and spend all day every day on the go go go! I did 7 European countries in 16 days once. Then I met my Australian husband, and he has shown me the ways of Aussie traveller. Take your time (if we’re leaving the country its for absolutely no less than 2 weeks. 4 is better), live like the locals do, relax… It’s so much better this way! Our last trip was 4 weeks back to Oz to visit with friends, show off our 3 month old baby, and drink coffee in Melbourne. I will say that I’ve introduced the concept of the ‘long weekend’ to my husband. Living in NYC requires lots of mini getaways – we go upstate at least once a season to slow down, eat, drink, and see the stars at night.

    • Anna says...

      Ha! I am also an American transplant in Australia and find that my travel style is much more suited to my Aussie friends. Your description is spot-on, and airbnb is the best enabler!!!

  40. Oh, I love all kinds of traveling! I’m probably a little bit more of a city traveler though. Excited for adventures this summer!

    xx Chelsea

  41. Oohh, good question! I’m going to cheat and say my husband and I are city-exploring nature-lovers. We spend much of our trips exploring parks, meadows, farms and stay in the nearest decent-sized city at night. (And for at least a day of museum- and market-hopping.)

    • Gem says...

      Same! My favorite trips have been centered around a major city, with daytrips or overnights out into nature for hiking, kayaking, biking, etc. A week in a tent sounds like hell to me, but a day of hiking in the nearby mountains is perfect, so long as I’m back in my nice hotel that night :)

  42. Taylor says...

    For a trip- city all the way! Getting lost, finding random hole in the wall places, food, culture, exploring; it makes me feel alive! Now, vacations are all about relaxing (perhaps with a hike or water sport tossed in) at the beach or poolside with a drink in hand.
    We tend to travel locally in the summer, as we live in Michigan and the summers are great. Shoulder seasons are for ‘trips’ and winter for ‘vacation’.
    Our best trip to date was our honeymoon through Australia, which was a combination of city, beach, glamping and road tripping, as we spent 3wks going up the eastern coast. Ahhh, good memories. Kids have since cramped our style ;)

  43. Amanda says...

    City girl here. But I’m not opposed to the others you mentioned. I can only lie on the beach for an hour before I’m bored!

  44. Steph B says...

    I always pick a new body spray or shampoo for a trip we’ve never been on so when I smell that scent years later all the memories come flooding back. It’s like revisiting all the magical memories whenever you want. I used a real deep masculine vanilla bean for my first trip to New Orelans and one sniff and I’m consumed by the French Quarter all over again.

    • What a great idea!!!

    • Katie says...

      That’s such a neat idea to intentionally manipulate your sense of smell!

    • JT says...

      Brilliant. I did this inadvertently on a trip to Mexico and picked up some Burts Bee’s facial wipes to try and combat the humidity’s impact on my face but now a whiff of that scent sends me right back to Mexico. (Also, how amazing is the French Quarter)

  45. I used to always want to go somewhere new, but since we had kids we go to Sardinia every autumn to extend our summer a little at the beach. It’s my favourite place in the world and I love that my three littles are falling in love with it too, as they explore the very same rock pools I did as a child. ..

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that sounds incredible!!

    • Natasa says...

      Oh Sardinia. There is no summer more without Sardinia for us since we discovered this see jewel.

  46. Rachel says...

    All of the above! Our last 2 years – Chicago, New Orleans, and Atlanta- our city trips are not exactly relaxing but it’s worth it to take in as many museums, restaurants, and sights possible. Multiple trips to the Fl Gulf Coast beaches (they are a close drive and the white sand and aqua water get us every time). Biannual major road trips to Colorado (summer and winter)-probably are family’s favorite for our love of nature, outdoor adventure, exploring new places, etc. Heading to Washington D.C. this May-the first time for our boys. And of course, Disney World was in the mix too. We actually rented an RV and camped at the Disney campground. It was honestly a great experience that we will do again one day, but our kids know and want to explore the country/world.

    One fun thing we do each long trip is pick a “soundtrack” that we listen to for the bulk of the drive. It keeps the memories alive for…ever each time you hear those songs.

    • Amanda says...

      I love the idea of a soundtrack for each vacation! I cannot hear Squeeze without thinking of my Summer in Tuscany as a college student!

  47. I’m hoping to do a family trip to a beach or lake near NYC after my trip to fashion week. An air bnb near water is what we’re hoping for if anyone has any suggestions on locations! There will be a toddler and baby in tow!

  48. clare says...


  49. Cait says...

    I’m a mix! I’m such a city girl through and through – however, my first trip with my fiance (ever!) is coming this May for our honeymoon – a week in Paris (another one of my faves) and a bit of tropical/European glam with a week in the South of France. We’re basing in Nice. It looks amazing!
    An interesting post would be tips/experience from other people on their first trip with their significant other… I’ve never travelled with a boy before and while I’m so so excited, I am a bit nervous!

    • katrina says...

      My husband and I took off on 2 months of no-to-little planning of touring France, Switzerland, Italy and England…mostly camping and backpacking. It was SO Fun! I think we crammed 5 years of lessons learned in marriage into those 2 months…so just remember that it’s an experience you will look back on, and if it’s positively or negatively, it’s mostly up to your attitude :)

  50. Joanna says...

    Really a mix of all.
    I live in Greece so, we have the beach covered and I would take any opportunity to travel anywhere or everywhere. Maybe a road trip through cities and nature! You are welcomed to Greece again anytime!

  51. Jess says...

    Beach and city! As you know, holidays change when kids are thrown in the mix so although we’ve done London and Paris with our toddler, the beach vacation is definitely less exhausting. And when my husband and I need a quick re-set, we head to Palm Springs for the weekend (we live in LA). A cocktail, poolside without kids changes everything. xx

  52. Caz says...

    A bit of everything, I think! Camping is probably my least favourite, but it’s nice occasionally.
    Cities and beaches make up the majority of my trips as I’ve been living in Europe without a car for a few years. Back home in Australia it was easy to do a quick 3 or 4 hour road trip when you had a 3 day weekend, and I miss that freedom.
    Having said that, the ability to take a 1 -2 hour plane ride and be in another country is fantastic! I recently went to Poland and Turkey and look forward to exploring Spain more this summer.