Ten Different Types of Travel

Many people tell us that they would love to travel like we do, but it just doesn’t fit with their lifestyle. We agree that our style of long term travel would not work for everyone. However, we also think that there are so many different types of travel out there that you are bound to find something that works for you.

None of these types of travel are good or bad as they each have their own advantages and disadvantages. You will probably find that you will end up enjoying several different types of travel throughout your lifetime. Here are 10 examples of travel styles:

Ten Different Types of Travel

types of travel

1. The Weekend Break

So you love to travel, but you also love your 9-5 job and you don’t want to give it all up to travel around the world for 6 months? Don’t worry, you can still travel by taking short weekend getaways. Look for cheap airfare deals, fly out on Friday evening and return on Sunday and make the most of the short time you have.

The ultimate expert on this is Justin from 48 Hour Adventure. He is an Australian living in London and working in IT and he spends his weekends jetting off to different destinations throughout Europe. Check out his fantastic blog for 48 hour guides to lots of different cities.

types of travel

2. The Package Holiday

The beauty of a package holiday is that all the work is done for you. You simply pick which beautiful beach you would like to be lounging on and your travel agent will make sure that everything is arranged so that your hardest decision is whether to order a Pina Colada or a Margarita from your sun lounger.

Although the package holiday is sometimes looked down upon by hardcore backpackers, there is nothing wrong with wanted to spend your hard earned two weeks holiday on a sunny beach partying with friends and family.

This is not one of the types of travel where you learn a lot about another culture or get to know the locals. It’s all about spending a week or two having the time of your life in paradise!

types of travel

3. The Group Tour

Group tours can describe busloads of 20-year-olds who want to drink and party to groups of 80 year olds who want to visit historical monuments and everything in between. No matter what your interest, from art history to ghosts to cheese-making to fishing, there is a group tour out there for you. Your itinerary is usually packed with many different activities so you will never be bored.

The advantage of a group tour is that you will be automatically thrown into the mix with a lot of people who share your interests and you will probably make some new friends. However, some people just can’t stand the thought of having all of their activities laid out for them and prefer the freedom of independent travel.

4. The Caravan/RV Road Trip

Buckle your seat-belt, put on some great tunes and hit the open road for a road trip!

When you own a caravan you will always have the option for a cheap holiday and whenever you get a free weekend you can pack up and drive somewhere new. This is a great way to explore the natural beauty that lies close to home and is also one of the most child friendly types of travel.

types of travel

5. Volunteer Travel

Whether you are helping to build a school in Africa, volunteering on an organic farm in Italy or working in an orphanage in Cambodia, volunteering around the world is another one of the popular types of travel.

While volunteering can be an incredibly rewarding experience, it’s important to know that your efforts are really adding value to the community that you are visiting. Read this interesting piece about “Voluntourism” by one of our guest authors for a more in depth perspective on this.

Koh Chang, Thailand

6. Long Term Slow Travel

This describes the style of travel that Lee and I do most of the time. Long term slow travel is when you take several months or years to make your way around the world, staying in each location for long enough to really soak up the culture.

Long term travelers are often budget backpackers, trying to make their travel fund stretch for as long as possible by staying in hostels and looking for cheap food and attractions. Rather than other short term types of travel, long term travel often becomes more of a lifestyle choice.

Sometimes these types of travel experiences are funded by savings, or sometimes long term travel can be funded by working on the road.

To find out more, check out our post Is Long Term Travel For You?

types of travel

7. The Gap Year

A Gap Year is when you take a year off usually to work, volunteer or study in another country.
When you hear the words “Gap Year” you might think of a University student trekking around before they join the “real world”. However, there is no reason why you can’t take a “Gap Year” and travel at any point in your career no matter how old you are.

A Gap Year trip isn’t as much about what you do on your trip, it’s the fact that you are traveling for a longer period of time that differentiates it from other types of travel.

Obtaining a working holiday visa is a great way to spend a Gap Year because you will be able to earn money while abroad in order to fund your travels. Here are some great resources if you want to learn more about working holiday resources.

types of travel

8. Visiting Friends or Relatives

Another one of the many types of travel is when you go to visit friends and family who live abroad. Because you have someone to stay with, you can probably afford to stay a longer than you could otherwise.

Your friends and family abroad are always offering for you to stay. So, why not take them up on the offer? Plus, the more you travel the more great people you meet around the world. You’ll start to have many options for where to stay.

You’ll get the insider perspective on the culture that comes with staying with a local. The only downside is when you are a guest in someone’s home you won’t always have the freedom to explore on your own.

types of travel

9. Event Travel

This is when you travel to a destination specifically to attend an event. For example, it might be the Olympics, the World Cup, the Full Moon Party or Rio Carnaval. It might also include attending a music festival or following your favorite band around on tour.

Plus, you’ll be visiting alongside thousands of people who share the same interest as you. You’re sure to make new friends!

types of travel

10. Business Travel

The best thing about traveling for business is that usually your company is footing the bill. Being paid to fly first class and stay in luxurious hotels is a great way to see the world.

You won’t have a choice of where you go and you will be spending a lot of your time working. However, getting paid to travel rather than being stuck in a cubicle is still pretty great. You may consider adding on an extra day to your trip at your own expense. That way, you can spend more time exploring the city and combine your business trip with a mini-vacation.

These are 10 examples of the different types of travel. Which is your favorite way to see the world?

Kelly Dunning

A Canadian freelance writer with a love of art, culture, literature and adventure, Kelly loves exploring foreign lands and expressing her experiences through the power of the written word.

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  1. I really fancy the Long term travel now – just taking my time with no particular place to go, the idea of just following my nose really appeals.
    meanwhile – Weekend breaks are the order of the day for me.


  2. Family/friends visit and event travel are what I tend to do nowadays – I don’t like wasting money otherwise, and I seem to use up all my vacation days just doing the first two 🙁

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  4. Most of my travel to date has been the weekend break kind or a week or two to visit friends or relatives. I’ll take a weekend to Las Vegas or California or just go fishing, or head back to Iowa for a couple weeks with the relatives. I don’t think I’d enjoy the package deal or group tour thing. I like to explore on my own and am more of a spur of the moment kind of guy. I don’t want things too well planned out. What I really want to do is combine the RV and Gap year, and spend a year traveling around the United States in a motorhome. Hopefully I’ll be able to do that before I hit retirement age. 🙂

  5. In the same manner that there are different types of travel, there are also different profiles of a traveler. I prefer to be the traveler who immerses in the culture and lifestyle of a certain place. I love taking the local means of transportation, eat native dishes and just stay in backpacker or budget accommodations.

  6. The visiting friends and relatives is what I can only do at the moment. Not the most exciting type of traveling but its better than none at all. Ber month has already started so I am pretty sure that we will be doing more of those travel types soon. Package holiday might be suitable for us.

  7. It’s very interesting to see these different types of travel set out in a list like this. I’ve not seen that done before.

    I’d add an 11th – because it’s one that I’ve done many times – charity event travel. This entails signing up to a trek or something similar and raising funds for a charity prior to taking the trip. I’ve trekked from Amman to Aqaba, up to Macchu Picu, along the Great Wall of China and ridden a horse across the Mongolian desert.

    The fundraising can be the hardest part – for me, having no travel partner, it meant that I was travelling with an interesting and motivated group of people.

    One group trek even included 2 members of a very famous rock bank and their dads who were just after some chill-out quality time together.

  8. My travel style doesn’t seem to fall into any one of these 10 actually. I work 9-5 and so far not interested in giving it up for long-term travel so I tend to take a few one or two week trips each year, but I go independently rather than group tours. So…short term independent travel?

    Earlier this year I spent 10 days in Costa Rica. Tomorrow I’ll be embarking on 3 weeks spent between Croatia, South Korea and Japan. Then it’s back to work to save up for my next trip.

  9. I personally love the road trip. I love going cross country especially on the back roads. This takes you to places that aren’t really tourist destinations but are still cool places to see. I have been through quite a few old mining towns that have been a lot of fun and they weren’t packed with people. I usually do this with my friends and it usually ends up being a blast.

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  12. Good article, if in order to choose I prefer vacation package because with the holiday package I just pay to the person and I can walk the path include with my guide trip driver, fun and simple is not it? Regarding the holiday this time I will give a recommendation for you who want to go to Bali visit “Hanging Gardens Of Bali” we provide a comfortable resort and spa for you who want to relax yourself hanginggardensspa.com

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  16. Great list, but you’re missing one that is becoming more and more popular lately: naked traveling.
    These days there are options for traveling in the bare all over the world and it’s an experience everyone should give a try at least once!

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  18. You have nicely covered leisure and business travel types in this post. Gap year travel and weekend break types of travel are great way to unwind yourself from an otherwise hectic routine life. I mean, it can get in your head sometimes and you need a break. Travel could be the best thing that one could do rejuvenate and come back with more energy. I particularly liked your definition of a long travel in the 6th point as “Long term slow travel”. Very interesting! Would love to read more from you on such topics.

  19. Wow, sounds lovely, while taking care not to make yourself vulnerable on the other hand. You’re the mingling type.

  20. Hi Kelly. A refreshing read is this article. Just earlier today I received this idea of travelling the world and making it a career. Didn’t take long before I googled “types of travel”, and here is your blog post. By the way, I once ran two companies whose names started with ‘Nomad’. Interesting.

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  24. Great site, but you missed an entire of segment of travellers: those with time AND some money. For those so inclined (ie without children usually, and usually a solo traveller) they, like me, can takes years and years and not have to worry about penny pinching at hostels and all the hostel that comes with it. Doesn’t mean staying in luxury often, but it also doesn’t mean cramming in with a bunch of other foreigners it’s usually somewhere inbetween for $15-$20 per private room with various extra assistance. What’s the point of going to India or Georgia or Mali if 99% of the time you hang out with other foreigners and don’t learn any thing significant about the people where you’re going and normal life? It takes time to make “normal” friends and establish trust, rather than just looking for the next instagram photo to pay via a vlog. I usually find that between 1 month and two years is suitable for each destination depending on the complexity of the culture or personal connections you make there. Most (all?) travel sites only focus on how to see as much as possible with little money, or making money along the way, I used to be a backpacker too not long ago but the types of things you learn between these two are profound at times. But all travel in any fashion is good.

    A couple things that I disagree with though: (1) Voluntourism. This sounds nice on the surface but actually can be quite damaging and is often frowned on. Does a backpacker from (usually) the west REALLY think s/he is showing, suddenly knows everything about how to build a school i a foreign culture with no connections or language skills? Have you seen the way those local people build things, shirtless and shoeless without concern for safety in blistering heat all day long? THe vonuntourists I’ve seen dig a hole, are pooped, then pose for photo-ops for the local administration or themselves, then go party or rest in the shade. The money that was spent flying there by voluntourists could usually build an entire school or house without their “help” – not to mention voluntourism can often have a very negative effect on local economies by denying locals a job. Just something about being wary.

    (2) Business travel. Sorry, I have no diplomatic language for this one. It sucks – other than you may or may not get off an airplane – which also sucks. It may sound glamorous for new grads or bragging rights. You have no say about where you go, which is usually a middle range office building in the middle of nowhere. You have to work much harder than usual hours and longer because your employer is worried about the travel budget. You’ll only be locked up with your coworkers whom you mostly already know. You’ll probably be taken to some nice, but not authentic, restaurants designed for business travelers. You will not learn anything of the culture except anecdotally or superficially (“Oh look, French people put mayonaisse on their Freedom Fries! That’s SOOOOO weird!”) And any destinaton/workplace that could be interesting you will be restricted by security/insurance policies (about which you get no say) and likely even chaperoned. I wouldn’t even include this segment as travel.

  25. I would prefer weekend getaways since that way I won’t have to worry about the figures in my salary slip. And if leaves and bank balance permit, I would love to go for a package holiday for at least a week. Another type of travel that I would definitely want to take is visiting friends and relatives settled far away. That’s the best way to go down the memory lane and build up family ties.

  26. I prefer for my own side volunteer and group tour because as a student we add yourself many social organization and we got a chance to volunteer tor. It could be amazing and lot of fun there. Group tour also very enjoyable because you can go with your near friends and family.
    Thank you very much for shear your different travelling idea.

  27. Here in the Philippines, they do group travel tours using vans, like a Toyota Hi-Ace. The organizers try to cram as many people as they can in them, and typically do rushed weekend 1-2 night trips with a strict itinerary. Not really my thing… and the organizers typically try to be as cheap as possible to make more money for themselves.

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  31. In today’s fast-paced world, families often struggle to find quality time to connect and bond. one of the top reasons that I love family travel is it is one of the best ways to strengthen relationships and create lasting memories. Bonding beyond borders not only allows families to explore new places and cultures but also provides a unique opportunity for them to grow closer together. From shared adventures and challenges to discovering new interests and hobbies, family travel offers a multitude of benefits for building stronger relationships.

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