We all are travelers in our own ways and there different types of travel to explore. While some of us are in the business of traveling, it is a part of life for everyone. Humans have an inherent urge to travel, to see the unseen, to know the world unlike ours. Our ancestors were nomads, they wandered around in search of food and shelter. I wonder if they also wandered to discover new lands, new landscapes, new types of food and maybe better dwellings.
Human Civilization has come a long way since then. Our urge to travel, our curiosity for the world not seen yet has taken the shape of holidays. We look forward to breaks from our work to enjoy leisure time in a new destination.
37 Types of Travel
I am often asked what type of traveler you are? How does one answer that? There are so many reasons and seasons to travel. So, here is a post telling you some of the popular ways to travel. Which one should you choose depends on your interests, your finances, and your personality? I would say try as many as possible at least once.
1, 2 – Short Weekend Breaks Vs Long Slow Travel
The first thing that you need to travel is time. If you do not have time, there is a day job that needs all your active time. Take a weekend break at least once a month. Explore the areas surrounding your own city and you will be surprised how much there is to explore there. When I was working full time I used to follow weekend travel for at least one week in a month.
On the other side of the spectrum is Long Slow Travel is the type of travel that digital nomads prefer to work with these days. In Long Slow Travel you stay at a destination for a longer duration – anywhere from one month to one year. Most nomads would stay for 3-6 months and explore the destination or region at a slow pace. Many Travel bloggers also do this.
3, 4 – Backyard Travel Vs Travel the World
If you live in an ancient land like India, there is so much to explore right in your neighborhood. You can simply go walking around in your own city and you will discover so much. When I lived in Delhi, I walked around the streets of Delhi and explored so much about the ancient to the modern history of the city. I wrote 30 odd walking tours of Delhi. It was a world in itself waiting to be discovered. And, while you go around exploring the nook and corner of India, don’t forget to secure your journey with Tata AIG’s Domestic Travel Guard Insurance to have a hassle-free trip.
Travel the world is everyone’s dream. We all fulfill it to some extent. It is always fascinating to visit new countries and learn about their culture and food. Many travelers keep a count of the number of countries visited, some are chasing the number of stamps on their passports. Whenever you travel overseas, make sure you have International travel insurance to take care of any mishaps. The laws of every land are different and costs of trip cancellation, baggage loss, unexpected accidents, and medical emergencies can be prohibitive.
5, 6 – Leisure Vs Business Travel
Leisure travel is what our dreams are made of. Sitting on a sunny beach, sipping our favorite drink in a luxurious resort away from the world. This is travel when we leave our normal day to day life back home and treat ourselves to all the luxuries we can afford, pamper ourselves and rejuvenate ourselves. Please treat yourself to such travels once in a while, works like magic for your well being.
Business travel also takes you to different parts of the world. While most of us see it as work, it shows you the world from a common citizen’s perspective. Take out time in the evenings or add a day to your travel to explore the destination. When I was working, I used a lot of my business travel to explore many destinations my work took me to.
7, 8, 9 – Air Travel Vs Train Travel VS Cruise Trips
A journey is as enjoyable as the destination they say. The mode of travel you choose can be a part of the travel adventure. Many of us who grew up in the 1980s in India, travel memories are invariably tied to long train journeys. I remember my uncle used to live in Varanasi and we used to visit them during our holidays. The joy of the train journey is what I remember the most. We used to wait for stations for the food that we used to get there.
Air Travel is the most popular in this day and age. It has the advantage of speed, but I do not recall any stories from my thousands of air journeys. For some reason, people hardly speak to each other on airports. The food is usually bad. Having said that, Air travel is the best option for long distance travel or when you have a shortage of time.
Cruise ships take you over waters. Imagine surrounded by waters all day as you move from one destination to another.
10, 11, 12 – Road Trip Vs Cycling Tours Vs Walking Tours
Carrying the mode of travel thought forward, one of my favorites modes to travel is road trips with no defined itinerary. You have a final destination but there are a lot more than you discover on the way. Road trips are when you discover the small eateries on the way. You stop by the fields to admire them. I remember Sarson Ke Khet that you find across North India when you drive from Delhi to Alwar or in rural Punjab around Patiala.
Cycling tours are favorites with those who prefer eco-tourism and responsible tourism. It is also great for fitness travel. You are slower than a vehicle but faster than walking. You can stop where you want. There are cities like Chandigarh or Vancouver where you can rent a cycle and tour around the city. Hope every city in India someday gets this system in place.
Walking tours are my favorite. I love walking around the cities I live in & the cities I visit. When in nature they take the form of nature trails. Walking is like meditation in nature. In cities, it is like being a part of the trail you are walking. You engage with all the elements of place, absorbing them, making them your own.
13, 14, 15 – Luxury Travel Vs Backpacking or Flashpacking
Travel is for everyone – rich or poor or middle class. If you can afford it, you can buy all the possible luxuries in your holidays. If you can’t, you can still roam around like a carefree person with your backpack. The core of travel remains the same – a luxury traveler may take business class flight ticket while the backpacker may travel in second class in railways. The luxury traveler may enjoy the Gourmet food while backpacker may binge on fresh street food.
Lately, Flashpacking is becoming the trend, which is nothing but an affluent backpacker. The clear definition is still evolving but in my mind, it is the what next generation free-spirited travelers will aim for.
16, 17, 18 – Solo Travel Vs Family Travel Vs Friends Travel
Let’s come to who do you travel with. They say that travel brings out the best and worst in you. Maybe you should travel with your potential partners to discover that.
Solo travel is overhyped in digital media, most people travel solo as they cannot find a company to travel. Having said that, I suggest you should do some solo travels in life. It is when you travel alone that you are 100% in the destination. It is during solo travels that you get to know yourself a lot, get to spend quality time with yourself. It’s also the freest mode of traveling with no constraints to accommodate others. It comes with its own downsides, so balance it out by traveling with others, at other times.
Family travel comes naturally to most families, who look forward to spending some free time together. I think if you ask a couple or a family, their fondest family moments – they are always the travel moments. So, go ahead and create those magical moments for yourself and your family.
Traveling with friends is fun. While family usually has different age groups, most friends’ groups are in your age bracket. People in our age bracket tend to have similar tendencies, and that makes travels with friends so much fun. There is nothing like gossiping through the night or binging on your favorite food with friends sitting on a beach or a mountain.
19, 20, 21 – Visiting Friends & Relatives Vs Retreats
Do we always have to travel to distant places? Not really. Most of our childhood travels meant traveling to visit grandparents or relatives or family friends. It is still a great idea to go and stay with family and friends when you want to explore a destination. Not only do you get to meet your loved ones but your costs are also taken care of. Be welcoming when the reverse happens.
Retreats mean going away from everyone and spending time with yourself. There are different types of retreats offered in distant resorts like Yoga retreats, meditation retreats, spiritual retreats or wellness retreats.
22, 23 – Package Tours Vs Follow your Heart Travel
Package tours are looked down upon by many travelers, but they are the easiest way to travel. Everything is outsourced to someone and you just follow the itinerary and enjoy the tour. Yes, it does not give you the flexibility to do your things or spend as much time at any place that you may like a lot. I suggest if you have just started to travel – they are not at all a bad option to explore. Package tours are usually economical.
Planning your own travel itinerary or following your heart is something we all want to do. Please note that this requires a hell lot of research, negotiations, planning and any downside anywhere is your responsibility. You have the freedom but you have to do take care of every minute thing yourself.
24, 25 – Laid Back Vs Adventure Travel
Laid back and adventure travel may seem like two ends of a spectrum, but we need both of them. When you are stressed out and in need of some relaxation, choose the laid back resort to relax. On the other hand, when life is too sedentary, take an adventure break and get back your Josh.
I would not suggest choosing between these two types of travel but just enjoy them alternatively.
26, 27, 28 – Culture Travel Vs Nature Trails Vs Offbeat Travel
I am a culture vulture. I can spend hours in the galleries of museums, in the crowded markets, in old streets and talking to people. All the old living places are my go to places. This does not mean you have to like it too, but try it, you may just fall for it.
Nature is everyone’s muse. Who does not like to be closer to nature? Till industrialization made us a part of concrete jungles, our ancestors happily lived with nature. Flora and Fauna were a part of their everyday life. We visit national parks and wildlife sanctuaries to relive those times. For me, it is an opportunity to learn about wildlife, trees, spiders, and things that are not there in my surroundings.
Offbeat travel is a jargon. Anything that you have not seen but you want to see is offbeat. Does it really matter of million other people also want to see that? If you have not seen Taj Mahal but you want to see, it is offbeat for you. So, make your own wish list of places you want to see and follow it. You will keep adding things as you go, that is another thing.
29, 30 – Traveling for Festival Vs Sports
These types of travel are time-based. You must do them at a particular time.
Festivals are a good reason to visit a destination at a particular time like visiting Gujarat for Navaratri or Surajkund during Mela or Prayagraj during Kumbh Mela. This includes shopping festivals that are hosted by countries like Singapore and Dubai.
Sports events too, take place in a given duration. So, if you are a huge cricket or a football fan and you have a followed the sport all your life on television, once in a while you should see the action live. I think this would be best enjoyed with your buddies who are equally passionate about the sport.
31, 32 – Gap Year Travel Vs Volunteering
Gap year travel is popular in the western world. This is one thing I hope our Indian youth also starts taking up. There is so much you can learn first-hand from traveling that it would enrich you for the rest of your life.
Voluntourism came in vogue last few years but lately, there are a lot of questions being raised about it. I would say pick up a small job with a local organization that allows you about 50% of your time to yourself, that you use to explore the place.
33 – Pilgrimage Tourism
Pilgrimage is the oldest form of tourism. In India, many Yatras are prescribed for everyone, that would take you around the country. Though the ultimate destination is always a temple or a Tirtha the journey would take you through the landscape of the route. You would end up interacting with the people on the way and discover their cultures.
It is also the spiritual travel that you take as much inwards as you take it outwards. In good old days, when you went on pilgrimage, you also spent time with learned saints and sadhus with an aim to gain knowledge.
34, 35 – Medical Tourism Vs Industrial Tourism
These are two modern age technology driven travels. Medical tourism lets you go to a new destination for medical treatment. You may do it for its cost or for the quality of treatment. For example, a lot of people come to India for Ayurvedic treatments or Dental treatments.
Industrial tourism is mostly done by students trying to gain insight into the world of industries that they would soon become part of. However, in Germany, I visited the Volkswagen factory on a tour, and it was an incredible experience. There may not be too many readily available, but try the ones that you can take up.
36, 37 – Mountains Vs Beaches or Skiing Vs Surfing
Some of us are mountain lovers and others are beach lovers. I like both. Do not let the labels you give yourself not to enjoy the other. I have friends who would not touch beaches because they call themselves a mountain person. Skiing and surfing are equally enjoyable.
Finally, no matter what types of Travel you choose, you are essentially choosing between disconnecting from the World or engaging with the world. No matter how you travel, enjoy it, these are some of the most precious moments of your life.