How to Have the Perfect Road Trip as an Introvert

Few people hail Introverts for their adventurous nature, but despite popular opinions, they may be just as adventurous as their extraverted friends! It’s just harder to spot as the Introvert needs more time between big adventures to unwind and recharge. Rather than being constantly on the go, many Introverts prefer planning over spontaneity so they can build little oases of calm into their itinerary, and most will enjoy spending time in a small group rather than a large one. But even with these slight differences, adventure-packed road trips are still calling Introverts every day, and they’re achievable! 

Before making travel plans, it’s important to know that Introverts can span an entire spectrum of travel types. For instance, you might be someone who prefers a solo adventure, or you may even surprise your friends with a bold and fearless attitude that’s the envy of the most daring risk-takers. Whatever your travel preferences, you can have the perfect road trip as an Introvert – as long as you know the most important aspects of the trip and how to deal with your unique, introverted needs.

Ignore other people’s expectations    

As an Introvert, you may hear the words “road trip” and feel intimidated due to the expectations you’ll face when traveling with extraverted friends. “What will everyone expect of me?” you ask yourself, or “Will I have enough time to wind down from the day’s events?” 

The truth is, you don’t need to conform to everyone’s expectations on a road trip. You’ll have plenty of time to plan out what to do, and you can also schedule some downtime or prioritize activities that are more relaxing to you. Likewise, you don’t need to attend all the events that place a high demand on your precious energy stores. One way to make sure you’re taken care of is to include a fellow Introvert on your trip who’s occasionally willing to part ways from others or let your extraverted friends know you’ll need to step away from some outings if you feel too drained. 

Excuse yourself when you’re feeling overwhelmed, and make sure your friends respect your need for space when you want to be alone. Above all, communicate with your travel buddies to get the most out of your trip.

What type of road trip fulfills your travel expectations? 

Everyone is different in what they want out of a vacation, but when you know your road trip style, you’ll have a better idea of how to plan your ultimate road trip. While a past-experiences approach can definitely help you rule out trips that just won’t work for you, one of the most helpful tools is a test that brings some insight to your travel personality. 

Enter the “What’s Your Road Trip personality?” test, created by personality type experts at Truity in collaboration with HearHere, the road trip storytelling app co-founded by actor Kevin Costner. Based on the Big Five personality system’s personality factors such as Openness, Conscientiousness, and Extraversion, the test measures your preferences to match you with one of eight travel personalities. Your results should open your eyes to what you value most on a road trip and how to incorporate these ideals into your next trip. 

Finding your road trip personality match

Although pinpointing your road trip personality might feel tricky (especially if you’ve rarely traveled), the “What’s Your Road Trip personality” test aims to help you better understand your desires through a simple questionnaire that speaks to your Big Five personality traits. You may be one of eight types, but the quintessential Introverts of the bunch include: 

  • The Self-Driving Explorer: An observant type who prefers to travel and sight-see at their own pace. 
  • The Nonstop Nomad: A type who prefers to live out the motto, “Carpe diem,” and likes to move from activity to activity. 
  • The Culture Hound: One who prefers to take a deep dive into the culture and the heart of a locale through low-key museums, experiences, food, drink, and more.
  • The Creature of Comfort: A person who loves to stay within their comfort zone and, above all else, feel pampered and comfortable on a trip. 
  • The Zen Traveler: A low-key traveler who prefers to stay in the moment and keep travel plans from becoming too restricted by schedules, tight deadlines, and over-packed itineraries. 

Of course, not all Introverts are equal, and you may find you’re ultimately more outgoing and concerned with packing everything into your trip than you expected. Whatever your travel personality is, though, it’s essential to keep your energy levels prioritized, even as you explore a new place.

To find out which road trip personality you are, you can take the test for free at Truity.com.

Things Every Introvert Should Keep In Mind When Planning A Road Trip:

  • You won’t be able to do everything, so you should prioritize your lists of “must-dos” as well as your list of relaxation and self-care techniques to keep you grounded. 
  • Express what’s the most important to you before you head on a trip with friends. If some people have divided opinions, go on outings with the people who share your desires where possible.
  • Don’t feel bad when you pencil in time to take a bath or watch TV, read a book, or listen to music alone in your hotel room once you’ve broken off from the group.
  • You might find yourself outside of your comfort zone. When this happens, go with the flow and allow yourself enough recovery time to recharge your batteries. 
  • Don’t be afraid to take an entire day off the trip to focus on yourself and what you would like to do, away from your travel buddies.
  • Talk to your friends about your plans, and be prepared to speak out on issues you feel unable to compromise. For an Introvert, this could mean securing a solo room or bunking with another Introvert on the trip instead of bunking with everyone else. 

In The Car

You’ll spend a lot of time sitting in the car during a road trip, and while your extraverted friends might engage in constant conversation, games, or otherwise, you might find it helpful to remove yourself from the over-stimulation. A way to remove yourself from the group without being rude is to tell your friends that you need a bit of solo time and that you’re going to pop in some headphones to listen to music, a podcast, or an audiobook. 

If you’re able to read in the car without getting carsick, whip out a book and tell your companions you want to catch up on your reading. Of course, you can always sit and stare out the window, enjoying the scenery. In any case, make sure your companions know you want to be in your head for a while and don’t feel like joining in on the conversation.  

Know before you go

The common denominator for Introverts is their need for internal processes and alone time for energy creation. So, while your extraverted friends will feel energized heading out to a local bar or club, you’ll want to set aside plenty of time to unwind after a long day of energy expenditure. Of course, that doesn’t mean you’ll skip out on all the activities your friends have planned. Instead, it’s about picking and choosing what you can handle and what you find the most valuable aspects of your trip. 

If you’re an Introvert who’s planning to travel with Extraverts, a parting tip is to remind your friends that you don’t always want every outing to be spontaneous. A good balance of planned and impromptu itinerary options will provide you with the best choices and allow you to take care of your needs while experiencing the best the road trip has to offer.

Cianna Garrison

Cianna Garrison holds a B.A. in English from Arizona State University and works as a freelance writer. She fell in love with psychology and personality type theory back in 2011. Since then, she has enjoyed continually learning about the 16 personality types. As an INFJ, she lives for the creative arts, and even when she isn’t working, she’s probably still writing.

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