Identifying Personality Types That Thrive or Struggle With Spontaneous Travel

Why do some people love traveling and others don’t? Personality assessment tools like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) might have the answer. It categorizes individuals into 16 distinct personality types based on eight qualities.

  • Extraversion: Preference for drawing energy from the external world of activity, people, and things.
  • Introversion: Preference for drawing energy from the internal world of reflections, thoughts, and feelings.
  • Sensing: Preference for taking in information through the five senses and focusing on the present and concrete information.
  • Intuition: Preference for taking in information through patterns and impressions and focusing on future possibilities and abstract information.
  • Thinking: Preference for making decisions based on logic and objective analysis.
  • Feeling: Preference for making decisions based on personal values and the impact on others.
  • Judging: Preference for a structured, planned, and organized approach to life.
  • Perceiving: Preference for a flexible, spontaneous, and adaptable approach to life.

Combining these qualities results in 16 unique personality types.

Diplomats: The Lovers Of Spontaneous Travel

The type that loves spontaneous travel the most is the Diplomats. It has four subtypes: the so-called Campaigners, Mediators, Protagonists, and Advocates or ENFP, INFP, ENFJ, and INFJ respectively. These subtypes account for 8.1%, 4.4%, 2.5%, and 1.5% of the population. With 1.5%, Advocates are the rarest personality type.

Diplomats are known to be empathetic and caring and are often capable of deep insights into human nature. When traveling, they are most likely to seek thrilling activities and want to explore the culture of another country. They relish spontaneous trips, and they don’t mind visiting the same destination.  

The Connection Between Personality And Income

Studies have consistently found that wealthy people are more open to experience, conscientious, and extroverted than the average population. They are also more stable emotionally and less likely to avoid conflict.  

The uberwealthy don’t want to look at profit margins and stock market figures all day long, and they are well aware that a spontaneous romantic trip can help clear their heads. There are even millionaires using Tinder to find the right person to travel with. They generally opt for Tinder Select, which was created to benefit the rich and popular. However, some choose to enter the public dating pool to maximize their options.  

Trip Planning And Sensation-Seeking

A study published in Frontiers in Psychology in 2022 attempted to investigate how the personality trait of sensation seeking impacted trip planning behavior. Researchers questioned 344 people on the measures of travel risk perception, sensation seeking, smartphone usage, and trip planning. The results showed a negative correlation between sensation seeking and the propensity to plan trips in advance. The association was partially mediated by travel risk perception. Smartphone use moderated the direct impact of sensation seeking on planning and the indirect one of risk perception. In other words, the impact was more pronounced for travelers who used their phones more often and for longer periods.

The Most And Least Spontaneous Types

The ESFP is the most spontaneous, outgoing, and resourceful type. It accounts for 8.5% of the population. The type that struggles most with spontaneous travel, and spontaneity in general, is the ISTJ.11.6% of all people are ISTJs. They love planning and structure. They embody stability and love predictability. They are not fans of surprises.

Spontaneous Trips By Generation

A 2024 report from American Express Travel on around 2,000 adults reveals that 69% wanted to take a trip alone this year. For Gen Z and Millennials, the figure is 76%. 78% said they normally enjoyed spontaneous trips. Just 52% of Boomers and 65% of Gen X booked a trip a few days before they were to take off. The number was 77% for Gen Z and Millennials.

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About Derek Freal

"Some people eat, others try therapy. I travel."   Cultural enthusiast. Adrenaline junkie. Eater of strange foods. Chasing unique and offbeat adventures around the world since 2008. Derek loves going to new destinations where he does not speak a word of the local language and must communicate with hand gestures, or places where he is forced to squat awkwardly to poo -- supposedly its healthier and more efficient. For more information (about Derek, not squat pooing) including popular posts and videos, check out his bio.

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