There are so many options when it comes to travel, that basically you can assign several niches to it. Backpacking is a well-known travel niche that is clearly distinguished from the regular family, tourist, and business traveling. But even backpackers have their own sub-niches that differentiate them even further. So, in which niche do you fit in?
The City Hoppers – These are the ones that travel from city to city spending just a couple of day on each one. Their trips are based on main tourist areas and easy to get spots. Sometimes they venture the “off the beaten path”.
The Wild Ones – These travel only to wild and remote locations with the sole purpose of camping. They carry in their backpack EVERYTHING and NOTHING at the same time. You will be surprised on how they can pack everything for their own survival on a single 35 liter (or whatever size) backpack. Their main key is to travel light and only with the essentials.
The Adventurers – These go to places to experience the adrenaline of different activities like rock climbing, rafting, canyoning, spelunking, and more.
The Early Retirees (Gap Years) – These are mostly college students or young professionals. They usually take a year or so to travel around the world. Their main purpose is to have a good time and to detach themselves from the daily routine of their lives. They tend to stay in cities for some time and even work there to fund their travels. There is no set schedule for them, so anything can happen. Some of the favorite places are in Australia, New Zealand, Asia and Central America. Most of the time they travel to any destination an around the world ticket will take them. They normally travel cheap to extend the money for a long period of time.
The Spirituals – Usually are young travelers looking to find a higher purpose in their life, reconnect with the world, or just to find themselves. These are mostly concentrated in Asia, where there are a wide variety of ancient religions and spiritual retreats. They spend their time away meditating and studying the religion.
The Vagrants – These are the ones that don’t mind spending the night sleeping on a street bench, eating only cheap local food, and spending a couple of days without a single shower.
The Culture Junkies – They spend their time learning the culture and uniqueness of the place. They love spending time visiting museums, monuments, and sightseeing very touristy places.
The Stickies – These backpackers tend to travel to the same destination over and over again. They tend to relive their past experiences of their previous travels and complain on how “this place” has been beaten down through the years.
The Party Monsters – The name says it all… They travel to find the best parties around the world. And when there’s no party, they make the party. They use every opportunity they have to get drunk. They roam places like Europe and Southeast Asia.
The “Upgraders” – These backpackers like to travel on budget but they won’t lower their living standards. So, no cheap mixed rooms for them… They usually carry all their electronics and tend to hang near wi-fi spots. They spend most of the time in or around tourist areas. They like to keep connected and still feel the attachment of their social life back at home. Normally, their travels are based more on checking a “to do” list than experiencing the place and culture.
So, these niches, and so many more, are ways for us to see how people experience travel differently. It’s good to experience some of these niches and see how they influence your travel experience. I have personally experienced some of them and they have definitely influenced my trips.