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How to Pick the Right Travel Partner

By Scott Littlejohn
 

Why is it that even beautiful friendships or otherwise happy marriages, sometimes turn stressful (or worse!) on holidays? We’ve all heard travel horror stories. Maybe you’ve had one yourself! Well, there’s help for that. Read on.

Kayaking at Living Forest Campground, Nanaimo, BC

Kayaking at Living Forest Campground, Nanaimo, BC

If you travel with a person that has different ideas than you do about what makes a great trip, and you don’t find that out until you are on the road, you may end up wishing you’d stayed home!

But now it’s simple, fast and free to find out your travel type – and that is crucial information. Understand what you and your travel buddy want from a trip while you are in the planning stages, and you have the tools to make holiday magic together.

Researchers drilled deep into the question of why we ever want to leave the comfort of our homes in the first place. What they learned, led them to create a set of travel questions that provides an answer for each of us, to steer us toward the travel experiences that will give us a smiley face.

Turns out that our individual psychological profile determines our ‘travel type’. Our inner makeup, personal beliefs, social values, and how we view the world, that’s what shapes the kind of a travel experiences we crave, whether we know it or not!

On top of Mt. Benson, Nanaimo, BC

On top of Mt. Benson, Nanaimo, BC

Research done by Destination Canada (the Canadian Tourism Commission) shows we each fall into one of nine different travel types. They call these travel types a person’s EQ, or Explorer Quotient.

Being curious, I did the three-minute, anonymous quiz—and it was bang on! When completed, it instantly told me my own travel type and listed the kind of accommodation, activities and experiences I would love. And it sounded perfect! Brilliant.

I’ve shared this with lots of friends and they have all said it matched them like their favourite jeans. Take the online quiz.

Each of the nine EQ travel types are looking for different travel experiences. Rejuvenators want to escape the stresses of everyday life. According to their profile description, a Rejuvenator’s idea of a perfect trip is to slip into the bubble of an all-inclusive resort, only taking guided tours, and mainly eating in the resort restaurants. They want to be pampered and taken care of every moment of a trip.

Chair Potatoes at Living Forest Campground, Nanaimo, BC

Chair Potatoes at Living Forest Campground, Nanaimo, BC

But pair that Rejuvenator with a Cultural History Buff, who apparently wants to go to festivals, stay in B&B’s, dine with locals, find their own way to museums and seek out heritage sites to explore—well, you can see the potential for holiday stress there! That’s why you both need to take the quiz and plan accordingly. Simple really.

BC is a big place with many regions that are very different. Different in their geography, developed or rural, and the type of visitor experiences that are available. Depending on your travel type, some regions are a better match for you than others.

Destination BC’s research shows that Vancouver Island, where I call home, is particularly suited to three of the nine travel types. If you are a Cultural Explorer, Authentic Experiencer, or a Free Spirit, an Island adventure might be just the ticket for your travel type.

Snow Shoeing, Mt Washington Alpine Resort, Courtenay, BC

Snow Shoeing, Mt Washington Alpine Resort, Courtenay, BC

The travel types each come with a list of activity types that satisfies that type of traveler. Go through the lists for the travel type on their description page while you and your partner are still at the dream stage of your trip planning, and then look for parts of BC that have those activities.

I’m betting that if you do that, it will increase your chances  of coming home with grins on your faces anxious to start planning your next fabulous holiday. Holiday time is too short to waste it doing things you don’t love. And I hate being next to a couple that’s fighting, don’t you…?

Scott Littlejohn

About the Author

Scott Littlejohn is an Authentic Experiencer who works with his family at Living Forest Oceanside Campground and RV Park, in Nanaimo. Scott’s served on the board of Tourism Vancouver Island and Tourism Nanaimo. In another life, he spent 30 years as a sound engineer, and loves concerts and music festivals—because now he’s in the audience! Happily, his wife is an Authentic Experiencer too.

 

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