For some reason, people love to categorize what kind of traveler they are. Some define themselves as foodies or beer drinkers, nightlife seekers or cultural connoisseurs, adventurers or into the historical side of their chosen destination.
I admit that I do the same. If asked where my interests lie, I’m more likely to say that I prefer to be outdoors doing some sort of hands-on activity, and, if I had my choice to define the perfect vacation, I’d probably spend it getting dirty and gritty in the great outdoors. I’m in my element when I’m hiking, camping, zip lining, riding a bike … well, you get the idea.
Like many travelers out there, my trips tend to focus on a specific type of experience. Press trips, in particular, tend to focus on a theme—art and history, food and wine, outdoor adventures—but even when my husband and I venture out on our own, we often have some sort of focus in mind. We want to pitch a tent and get lost on the trail. We stay in a nice hotel in the city and plan our days around museums and walking tours. We save money to splurge on a nice meal when the vacation calls for it. Or we book a trip simply to do absolutely nothing.
I mentioned last week that we spent some time in one of our favorite destinations, southern Utah, but this time, instead of doing the same things, which we love, we mixed it up a bit and took what I like to call a multi-genre trip. There was a bit of local dining, some luxury, a touch of culture and history, and still a share of outdoor adventure. As much as I enjoy being an outdoorsy person, I definitely think taking a multi-genre trip is a great way to diversify a vacation. These are the reasons why:
> Avoid burnout. As much as we love to hike, there comes a point when our muscles are tired, our feet are sore and the last thing we want to do is throw on a day pack. On a multi-genre trip, it’s okay to take the day off and indulge in something else.
> Push your boundaries. If you don’t know much about the local spirits (and normally wouldn’t care) or you don’t usually splurge on spa treatments (but you’re visiting a place known for them), you can enhance a trip to particular destination by going beyond what you normally do and include an activity that enhances the local vibe.
> Discover a new interest. How do you know that you wouldn’t like a wellness retreat until you take one? Instead of focusing so much on staying away from tourist attractions, what would happen if you embraced them for a day instead? You may be surprised to discover that you have a built-in interest for architecture or sculpture, volunteer work or diving.
> Learn about all aspects of a destination. It’s a rare day when a destination is known for only one thing. When you spread the love and do a little bit of a few things instead of focusing specifically on one type of activity, you’ll discover the many faces that help define a place. As a side bonus, this also helps spread your tourism dollars around to a variety of businesses and companies instead of keeping it in the pocket of one outfitter or type of industry.