How to Travel as an Introvert (and Have a Really Great Time)

Does the thought of traveling the world and seeing new, beautiful places excite you? Imagine sitting on a beach, sipping a cocktail while reading your favorite book, smelling the salt in the air and enjoying the sounds of the waves lapping on the shore…

But first, you’ll have to travel to the airport, get through security without any problems, board the plane, avoid awkward small talk with the people sitting next to you, fight through other passengers as you try to corral your carry-on from the overhead bins, then a journey through another airport, a car ride to your hotel, get settled into your room and then use the rest of vacation to avoid the throngs of other tourists visiting the same places as you. Phwew…

Sound like a headache or an adventure waiting to happen? For introverts, the idea of traveling can be extremely stressful and draining, which can stop them from visiting new places. Studies suggest that introverts process social stimuli differently from extroverts, who draw energy from frequent social interaction. However, introverts need a quiet, calm place to regain energy after being social for extended amounts of time, which is why some frequently avoid travel and vacation.

However, there is no need to fret, introverts! Here at TripValet, we want everyone to get up, get out and experience this amazing world we live in, including those who would rather skip the crowds and do their own thing instead. What’s better than a night in with snacks and a warm blanket? Only a night in with snacks and a warm blanket at a resort overlooking beautiful seaside views in a foreign country!

Here’s how self-described introverts find time for themselves when traveling:

Remember your self care items

Self care items are essential when vacationing. Reading materials, headphones, ear plugs, eye masks, sunglasses and the like help ward off unwanted small talk with strangers while traveling. All of these items politely excuse you from conversations with well-meaning, more extroverted travelers than yourself.

A camera also buys you time by yourself, away from conversations or people you’d rather not engage. You can just wander off to snap that perfect photo you’ve been waiting for, which means a couple minutes to gather yourself.

Skip the airport crowds

Although it might come at an extra expense, if you’re an avid traveler and could do without the crowds at airports, airport lounges can spare you from the hustle and bustle of an airport. However, many travel credit cards will have an annual fee you can pay to access airport lounges, which saves you money since you’re not paying extra money every time you travel to use a lounge. Of course, lounges can be crowded, but often, the seating is more comfortable and the noise levels are lower. Overall, if you’re an introvert, airport lounges can really enhance your travel experience.

Communicate with others

No one is able to read your mind, it’s just a fact of life. If you’re traveling with others, be sure to communicate your needs before and during your trip to ensure a pleasant experience for all. You have to be your own advocate. It’s up to you to help those you’re traveling with understand that it’s not anything wrong with them, but you need to take a moment for yourself. Those with you should completely understand and respect the time you need for yourself. When you communicate your needs with others, it creates a much better travel experience for all.

Schedule time away

When you’re traveling with others, it’s really tempting to save money and book rooms together. However, if you’re an introvert, you may want to think twice before going in for a hotel room or AirBnB with your friends. Getting your own hotel room is more expensive than sharing, but does offer you more chances to be alone. If you decide to share a room with others, try to schedule some time away for yourself. Whether that’s getting up early for a walk and a coffee, or spending a few minutes alone on the beach with a good book, get your alone time in so you can recharge and enjoy your vacation to the fullest with your pals.

Travel during the off-season

The off-season varies depending on the place you’re visiting, but booking travel during this time means more access to the places you want to see, minus the heavy crowds. It’s often cheaper to book hotels, flights and almost every other aspect of your trip in the off-season as well.

Explore solo

Although group tours are great for learning about the places you’re visiting, they can leave poor introverts maxed out on social interaction. If you’re not quite feeling up to a tour and want to do your own thing, most places offer guided audio tours you can use to explore on your own. Plus, there are plenty of guide and travel books to read and use for solo exploration of your favorite spots anyway. Take it upon yourself to sightsee on your own – don’t feel pressured to do a group tour, unless you’re feeling up to it.

Engage when you want

Experiences are waiting for you, both in and out of your comfort zone. It’s all about finding the right balance. This is especially true for introverts. You never know what could happen when you break out of your comfort zone. On the other hand, you also never know what revelations you’ll come to when reflecting on your travels in your alone time. Immersing yourself in your experience, both in and out of your comfort zone, can lead to development both personally and professionally. Be sure to find a balance when traveling in your experiences and see where this world leads you.

The key to fully enjoying your vacation as an introvert is scheduling in alone time and being open with others about it. There is absolutely nothing wrong with taking a walk on your own, needing to spend a few minutes alone in your hotel room or skipping the group tour. Traveling is all about enjoying yourself, experiencing new things and gaining new perspective – there is no right way to do those things!

While you’ve got vacationing on the brain, take a few minutes to discover TripValet’s travel portal. As a TripValet member, you can experience thousands of destinations around the world for a fraction of the cost of other websites. You can even find discounts on activities happening in your own backyard. For more information about TripValet and how you can explore the travel portal for free for seven days, click here.