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may 06 2015

18 Essential Tips for the Introverted Traveler

peaceful introvert traveler
(Michaeljung/Dreamstime.com)

This article was written by Leah Ginsberg and originally appeared on Yahoo Travel.

Confession: I'm an introvert. And as other introverts know, though we make up anywhere from a third to half the population, sometimes it feels like the world caters to extroverts. 

It's not always easy to be an introvert living in an extroverts' world. (If extroverts ruled the world, small talk would be outlawed.) This can be especially true when it comes to travel. Chatty airplane seatmates, group sight-seeing tours, bed and breakfasts, all-inclusive resorts, all these things can be an introvert's worst nightmare.

Why? Introverts' brains literally work differently than extroverts. "Introverts are oriented toward their own private thoughts and feelings," explains psychologist and University of Washington affiliate professor Jonathan Bricker. "They can be over-stimulated when they interact with too many people." In other words, introverts actually lose or expend energy in social situations. (Extroverts are oriented to the outside world and truly gain energy from social interaction, says Bricker.) 

That doesn't mean that introverts hate being around people. We are capable of going to new places, meeting new people, being in groups, and we can get as much as anyone else out of travel. But these interactions have very real consequences for introverts, says Bricker. We have to make decisions on how and where to spend our limited social energy—and we need alone time and quiet to recharge.

And, says Bricker, surveys have shown that you can have better travel experience if you make the right choices for your personality type. With that in mind, here are the experts' top tips for the introverted traveler.

Prep your travel partners beforehand

Especially if you're vacationing with one or more extroverts, let them know you're an introvert and what that entails. Tell them ahead of time that you'll need time to yourself. That's just how you roll.

Pack headphones, a sleep mask, and a book (or e-reader)

For an introvert, getting stuck on a plane or train next to a talker can feel like worst-case scenario. Unless you're genuinely interested in chatting with someone (and therefore it's worth your effort), small talk with someone you'll never see again is not a very good use of an introvert's limited social energy, explains Bricker. The easiest way to avoid conversation is to put on your headphones or a sleep mask or bury your nose in a book.

Choose an aisle seat

When stuck in a large group of people (as you are on plane—sometimes for hours) we introverts can actually feel physically uncomfortable. We tend to want to stay on the periphery and have an easy escape route. Plus, we don't like to be surrounded by people or objects on all sides. An aisle seat checks those boxes more than any other.

Related: Are You Enlightened or a Control Freak? What Your Airplane Seat Choice Says About You

Skip the B&B or Airbnb and stay in a conventional hotel

"With bed and breakfasts, you really have to expect the proprietors and guests may want get to know you and expect that same—it's part of the experience," says Lisa Avebury, an introvert and creator of the Sacred Introvert Retreat Tours, trips that cater specifically to introverts. That can be enriching, but it can also be too much for an introvert. At a big hotel you can be more anonymous and people will generally leave you alone. "Save your energy for the things that really interest you," says psychologist Pauline Wallin.

Spring for your own room

If you're traveling with friends or going on an organized trip where they try to buddy you up with a roommate, spend the extra money if possible. It's worth it to have your own space to return to, suggests Avebury.

Stay in an area that has something to offer in and of itself

That way, when you need a more low-key day, you can stay local but still take in the culture. "When I go to Paris, I always stay in Monmartre, because there's so much there, you can just go for a walk or sit at the café all afternoon people watching," says Avebury. (Yes, that's completely appealing to introverts.)

Travel away from the equator

"The closer you are to the equator, the closer the social interactions you'll usually have," says Bricker. For example, "South Americans need about 18 to 24 inches of personal space," explains Bricker. "In North America, it's three feet, and in Iceland and Finland, they need about four feet of distance. The closer, the more likely to interact." Of course, seeing Machu Picchu may be worth the social energy you have to expend that close to the equator. Just know what you're getting yourself into.

Related: This Is Why Iceland Is the Ultimate Stopover Location

Trade tour guides for tour apps

To an introvert, going on a guided tour can feel like torture—stuck on a set schedule with a group of people, listening to the tour leader drone on and on about the sights. Instead, Avebury advises figuring out what you'd like to see before the trip and reading up on those places. Then rent a car, download a local tour app like Detour or Field Trip or grab your guidebook, and go explore on your own terms. For introverts, says Avebury, it's all about taking in the vibes of a place and having flexibility.

Try physical activities or classes

This is especially useful when traveling with others, says Wallin. Things like hiking, surfing lessons, or even a cooking class are helpful for two reasons: 1. They help you get out of your head and live in the moment, and 2. Having a common goal or activity make socializing easier on an introvert because it's not all about talking to people.

Become an amateur photographer

"Being behind the camera will give you some objectivity if the situation feels too social," says Wallin. "When you see it from a distance it can feel less draining. And you can also get up and say, 'I'm going to take some pictures,' adds Wallin. "That way you're still there, but you're able to remove yourself a little."

Check in with yourself regularly

"Your body is a great barometer of introversion," says Bricker. "So check in with your body every two hours: How do you feel in your chest, your stomach? Notice if you feel overwhelmed. If you're at a seven or more on a scale of one to 10, it may be time take a break. Take a walk, read, or take nap. It's just the natural rhythm of introverts."

Schedule downtime

Whether it's waking up early before your travel buddies or family, taking an extra hour back at the room before dinner, or heading back early to read before bed, your brain very literally needs to recharge, says Wallin. If you don't schedule it into your daily activities while traveling, it's too easy to let it fall by the wayside and you can become overwhelmed.

Bring a journal

"Travel is often transformational, and that can bring up a lot of feelings," says Avebury. Whatever it is—joy, fear, frustration, overwhelm—writing is cathartic and a good way for an introvert to help deal with things and download.

Bring a calming tool box

Introverts can be particularly sensitive to their surroundings—light, smells, etc., according to Avebury. So it's helpful to pack your favorite soothing essentials, whether it's aromatherapy oils, soothing music, or chamomile tea.

Order room service

"Finding somewhere to eat three meals a day while traveling can actually involve a lot of interaction and be exhausting for an introvert," says Avebury. To avoid wasting mental energy on it, try ordering room service one night or stop at a local grocery and leave some snacks in your room for when you just need a nice, easy, quite meal.

For group activities, set a time limit

Remember we said that introverts don't hate people? It's true. Sometimes it's worth it to be in a group—meeting new people, whether locals or fellow travelers, is an important part of the experience. The trick is just to have an escape route: Decide ahead of time that you will leave in two hours or 9:30 p.m., suggests Wallin. "A time limit helps you let it go so you don't have to stress about it."

Choose a retreat

Retreats are pretty much tailor-made for introverts. Whether for yoga or writing or something else—retreats are set in beautiful natural surroundings, there quiet spaces for introspection, they offer single rooms, and the list goes on, says Avebury.

Take an extra day off work

It's not just during the vacation you need to make tweaks to fit your style. No matter how much an introvert loves to travel, it can be draining. So introverts need extra time when they get home to re-acclimate and decompress, explains Avebury. Make the return trip on a Saturday if you need to be back to work (and life) on Monday.

may 05 2015

Travel Is _________.

Celebrating National Travel and Tourism Week? Denver is one of Budget Travel's picks for Where to Go in 2015!

(EdgeofReason/Dreamstime)

Here at Budget Travel, every week is "travel and tourism week," but we are psyched that May 2 through 10, 2015, it's officially National Travel and Tourism Week. Sponsored by the U.S. Travel Association, the weeklong celebration focuses on our fave industry, which directly generates more than $900 billion each year..

may 05 2015

16 Picture-Perfect Small European Towns

this picture was taken early in the morning at hallstatt, austria on november 12th, 2008.

A beautiful morning in Hallstatt, Austria.

(Courtesy tgreuter/myBudgetTravel)

This article was written by Zeneba Bowers and Matt Walker and originally appeared on their blog, littleroadseurope.com.

Europe is full of small towns that look like they're lifted right from a postcard rack: Sweeping vistas; cobblestone streets; thatched-roof cottages or terracotta-roofed villas; idyllic parks; quaint storefronts selling meats, cheeses, flowers, and crafts; restaurants and pubs full of local flavor, in their cuisine and in their people. Some of these, like the villages that surround Italy's Lake Como or dot the landscape in England's Cotswolds, are dauntingly pricey and crushed with tourists during high season. However, there are many places, if you know where and when to look, that offer dining, shopping, and admissions to sights for very reasonable costs; lodging, too, is significantly less than you'd expect, especially in the off-season. Here are 16 picture-perfect European towns that we've discovered over the years.

Hallstatt, Austria

may 04 2015

Video! Watch SNL Skewer Airplane Tech with 'Bionic' Flight Attendants

SNL flight attendants

Robot flight attendants: They're more than meets the eye.

(NBC)

Replacing human flight attendants with a robot staff: What could possibly go wrong?

This past weekend, Saturday Night Live poked fun at travel technology — specifically ordering snacks and drinks via touchscreens and using automated voice menus — with a skit starring Scarlett Johansson and Vanessa Bayer as Stepford wife–like "bionic" flight attendants on Virgin Atlantic.

may 04 2015

Show Us Your #BTHotelfie!

Budget Travel Senior Editor Jamie Beckman snaps a #hotelfie at the Raleigh in Miami.

(Jamie Beckman)

It's such a great idea, we can't believe it took this long: There's no quicker or easier way to say "Having a wonderful time, wish you were here" than snapping a "#hotelfie" and posting it on social media.

Yes, it's just what it sounds like: A selfie (possibly along with your Sig-Oth, family, pooch, BFFs, etc.) showing how much you're enjoying your hotel stay. It can be as simple as you standing by an oceanview window, lounging by the pool (like BT's Senior Editor Jamie Beckman in the #hotelfie above), or toasting the sunset on the terrace. The hashtag #hotelfie is sweeping through social media, fueled in part by hotels' realization that it is, of course, a free marketing bonanza.

may 02 2015

5 Easy Ways to Save on Food at Disney

Magic Kingdom Disney World

Magic Kingdom dining hint: Have breakfast instead of dinner at Winnie the Pooh and Friends at Crystal Palace and save 35 percent per person.

(Puppie2008/Dreamstime)

This article was written by Ashley Dickey on behalf of ReserveOrlando.com.

"Affordable" probably isn't the first word you'd use to describe dining at Disney World, but there are deals on dining to be had that don't fall into the "mega-splurge" category. Use our insider tips below for navigating the park's food scene without emptying your wallet, including how to choose the right restaurants, dine at the right times, and scoop up special offers that few park-goers know about.

Make Your Character Meal a Morning Experience

may 01 2015

You've Gotta See This Cool Hyperlapse Video of Ko Samet, Thailand

Fishing in Ko Samet

Fishing in Ko Samet, Thailand.

(Courtesy kboaz/myBudgetTravel)

Ride along with us on the back of a Thai taxi! Photographer Quint Smith shot the hyperlapse video below in Ko Samet at the tail end of his recent trip to Thailand.

Underneath the video, Smith details how he got the shot and what it's like to visit Ko Samet:

apr 30 2015

Going to the Derby? Here's How to Eat Like a Local in Louisville!

Sure, Louisville, Kentucky, is a horse-obsessed city. But it's also home to a vibrant food scene!

(Courtesy pma03/myBudgetTravel)

Laura Siciliano-Rosen and Scott B. Rosen are the editors of Eat Your World, a guide to regional food and drinks around the globe founded on the principle that what you eat depends on where you are.

It's that time of year again in Louisville—when the big hats and big bucks come out to play at Churchill Downs for the annual Kentucky Derby horse-racing event. There will be drama, there will be betting, and you can rest assured there will be bourbon, but whether you're there to witness the "most exciting two minutes in sports" or just to soak up the hoopla around the ongoing Derby Festival, there's one thing you don't have to gamble with: delicious local food. From the city's signature hot brown and a hip country-ham "bar" to Top Chef contestant Edward Lee's two excellent restaurants—not to mention the requisite drive out in the country to taste bourbon at its source—you'll certainly have more culinary options here than you'll have time. Here's what to eat and drink in Louisville now.
 

apr 30 2015

New Travel Trend: 'Local Destination' Weddings

Lancaster County, Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Dutch Country is hot right now for "local destination" weddings.

(Courtesy mmiwig/myBudgetTravel)

Eloping to Europe or a secluded island with your whole wedding posse is soooo 2014. A new report from Wedding Salon suggests that the definition of a "destination" wedding is broadening—and moving much closer to home, especially for couples who have long guest lists.

apr 29 2015

8 Things You Can Only Do in Edinburgh

This article was written by Zoe Smith on behalf of Viator.com.

Whether you’re exploring the sights along the famous Royal Mile or taking in the views from the magnificent Edinburgh Castle, you’ll never be short of things to see and do in Edinburgh. But like many of Europe’s great cities, there’s much more to the Scottish capital than most tourists get to discover, so once you’ve checked off the must-see attractions, spice up your itinerary by enjoying some of the things you can only do in Edinburgh.

1. Attend the world’s biggest arts festival

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