Travelling with friends or partners for the first time can be quite a big deal – every person has their own rhythm, their own intentions to travel, their own dos and don’ts. It can be challenging to find a common denominator and agree on compromises when needed. Travelling together can make of break a relationship, but even a year-old friendship. Still I love giving it a try. It’s terrible when you realise you just can’t spend 24/7 with the other person, but on the other hand, it’s simply fantastic to find out that not even almost car accidents, terrible navigation skills or ear-battering snore attacks can’t rip you apart.

bangkok thailand von katja hentschel

One of the first things to discuss – right after destination and budget – is the type of accommodation you want to choose. I’ve travelled with a boyfriend who wouldn’t have slept in a hostel for a million bucks, with a gut who brought his own tent and left me hanging with paying for single motel rooms and with a friend who would have rather slept on a local stranger’s floor than paying for a bunk bed. Sometimes I knew before, sometimes I didn’t – but what I learnt is that every accommodation preference comes with a certain mindset. Which type are you?

1) The Holiday Rental Type

Breakfast in Lisbon Apartment

Your home is on the road, and you want to feel like home wherever you go? Then you are definitely the holiday rental type. Travellers of this kind want to experience a place like the locals do. They have a “normal” flat in a regular residential area, go to the local supermarkets and food shops and become a usual suspect in the neighbourhood. They are independent and experienced travellers who are more interested in the daily life aspect of their location than the tourist attractions. They get to know places inside-out and their accommodation to them for than a mere place to sleep and wash. They are private people who like to have their own rhythm. Often they travel is groups and enjoy having the space and freedom to spend time all together without others interfering. If you travel with this type you can look forward to plenty of lazy (Saturday morning) brunches and home-cooked dinners. Be aware though that they probably won’t bow to a crammed ’48 hours in…’ schedule. Take your time, lean back and enjoy!

If you are looking for cozy rentals around the world, check out Housetrip.com!

2) The Resort Hotel Type

four seasons maldives Landaa Giraavaru

You looked forward to this holiday for months and don’t plan on lifting one little pinky finger for a couple of days? Hello, resort hotel type! These travellers are in for a treat and want to get pampered – far away from all the stress of daily life, but also of tourist attractions. They are either in a complete state of zen throughout their trip, due to daily yoga lessons, full-body massages  and complimentary good-night liqueurs; or a bag of nerves because the WiFi doesn’t work around the pool area without realising that there is a good reason for that. Resort hotel types don’t like to be disturbed and want to have the ability to do whatever they want for a week or two. If you travel with someone of this kind, prepare for the worst, but hope for the best. You might relax like never before, or you get exposed to unnerving bickering about every little disturbance to the plan.

3) The City Hotel Type

Bed in Honeymoon Suite at Hotel Pincoffs Rotterdam - Frances M Thompson

All you need is a place to retire after a long day in the exciting world and rest in peace? Then you might be the city hotel type. Like your cousin, the resort hotel type, you like your privacy. This kind of traveller hates noise and disturbance of any kind, while exploring an exciting city, having a quiet place to come home to and reflect on the day is very important. All they want from their accommodation is a place to sleep, not another opportunity to meet people and socialize, or experience anything more exciting than testing the hair dryer and shower pressure. Travelling with them can be quite challenging because the line between “out there” and “in here” doesn’t blur that easily; at times, you might need to drag them out of their shell. On the other side, they are probably perfect companions for a lazy night in, testing the complimentary amenities set!

4) The Hostel Type

Hostel social area

Is the image of sitting alone in a hotel room haunting you in your wildest nightmares? Do you long for the company of other wanderers? Then you are probably the hostel type. Travellers of this kind are open to just about every possible experience. From playing “the floor is lava” in a filthy shared bathroom, to finding the second earplug at the bottom of their backpack in complete darkness – nothing will cost them the pleasure of mingling with other travellers. They are incredibly social and talkative, like to make friends from all over the world and – at least in many cases – do that over a glass of beer or mixer from the hostel bar. They might travel on a tight budget, but are still looking for some minimal stability: a booking system, guaranteed company and excellent infrastructure. When you travel with the hostel type, prepare for little alone time and many great conversations. The one or the other tourist attraction might have to wait until the next trip though.

5) The Couchsurfer

oslo people

Do you visit a place for its people, rather than for its sights? Welcome to the club of Couchsurfers. These travellers want to meet the locals, live with them and get first-hand recommendations on what to do and see. They can, but don’t have to be budget travellers, as couchsurfing is not to be confused with a free hotel. They want to share experiences and skills, and find local friends. They often travel alone, as it is easier to find hosts for one person, and are very flexible in their itinerary.  They are open for different lifestyles and don’t mind private space too much – they will happily sleep on the couch in a living room and share it with the host’s three dogs. Well, maybe not exactly “happily”, but they will do it anyways for the experience. Should you find yourself on the road with a couchsurfer, remember that definite plans don’t exist and every person on the way is worth meeting.

 

6) The Tent Type

camping with heimplanet

You think there is nothing more important than independence and flexibility? You seem to be of the tent type. These travellers carry their homes with them at all times. While all the others depend on hotels, hostels and hosts to be available, they simply pitch their tents wherever they are – quite literally. They live frugal lives, tend to be very budget-aware and prefer flexible itineraries. They go where the wind blows. They are improvisation artists and know how to fix pretty much everything. While they seek adventure outside, they don’t mind not standing up straight inside. If you travel with them, prepare for a lot of schlepping and a backache that is made up for by the beautiful view you wake up to.

 

Eventually, I think most travellers (me included) are a balanced mix of all six types, and most of what I said should be taken with a pinch of salt. Depending on the situation, the purpose of the trip and the destination, we will choose different forms of accommodation, but maybe one of them is outweighing the others? Let us know which type you are predominantly in the comments below!

 

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Photos by Katja Hentschel, Kathi Kamleitner, Frankie Thompson & Slo Hostel.