Travel Planning for Introverts: the 3-Step Rule to Mindblowing Vacations

The following article is a guest post by Jacob Marek, Founder & Chief Explorer at IntroverTravels. Jacob designs life-changing, nature-inspired travel experiences for introverts. Definitely check out his custom designed travel experiences. Are you an introvert? Anxious? Shy? Has that ever impacted you taking a trip? Let’s hear from you in the comments!

Travel for introverts


Extroverted or Introverted, we all need a vacation from time to time. How do introverts handle travel planning?

As all introverts know, we need downtime. And lots of it. Most introverts don’t want to dial up the activity level to 10 and be going going going non-stop or hitting the clubs in Miami for 10 days straight. Nor do we typically want to shut our brains off on the beaches of Wakiki or Cabo the entire time.

So how do you find the right balance between relaxing, stimulating, or adventurous vacations? Does it have to be one or the other?

As a general rule, I recommend a three-part formula for a successful trip for introverts, with two parts tranquility and one part mind-blowing activity.

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Plan tranquility into your travels

Planning downtime into your vacation isn’t a “waste” of your travel time. Think of this as the main ingredient in your delicious recipe.

Traveling slowly allows you to experience life at a comfortable pace and truly savor the experience.

Allowing yourself to sleep in a bit on a vacation, or stay up late reading a great book – somehow those things feel like indulgent ways to enjoy our introverted re-charge time.

This is your PTO and your life to enjoy, so you don’t have to feel guilty if you want to have downtime. Of course, there are times when you’ll want to catch a phenomenal sunrise or do a nighttime safari (when the big cats are most active). In those instances, you’ll schedule your downtime in the afternoon hours; maybe read a book by the pool or do yoga on the lanai (or take a nap in a hammock!).

Woman doing yoga against the setting sun. Fitness classes outdoors. Stormy sky with sunshine.

Plan adventure into your travels

The activities you do on your trip are the “spices” in your recipe. I prefer bold flavors, so once a day or so, I suggest adding a life-changing, jaw-dropping activity that will make you feel alive!

Use all five senses to feel something new. Smell the clean air, touch the spongy-looking thing, or listen to the choir of birds in the rainforest. See the Circle of Life unfold in front of your eyes on safari, or devour the best of the region’s cuisine with locally-sourced produce.

Don’t be afraid to up-level your activities, either! Rather than driving a long distance, why not ride horseback instead? Don’t limit yourself to activities on terra firma, either. Consider a hot air balloon as a way to see the world from a different perspective!

Green and yellow balloon flying near an acacia tree over the Serengeti National Park, Tanzania
Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

Introverts aren’t necessarily shy, as those of us on the other side know, so don’t rule out a small-group travel experience. Going on an organized tour is a great way to travel solo, but not alone; for one, there’s safety in numbers, and for two, oftentimes it’s better to share a mind-blowing experience with others, to create meaning and connection.

Pro tip: Research the timing of sunrise and sunset, if you’ll be visiting a place that will showcase them to best effect. Perhaps a sunrise over the ocean is the perfect way to start the day, or photographing a fiery red sunset bouncing off a granite mountain is the best way to end it.

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You don’t have to sacrifice experience for introversion

I like to create a framework around the big-time travel experiences. Trying to pack everything in doesn’t allow you the extra time to explore the area at your own comfort and pace, and sticking to a rigid schedule doesn’t allow you the flexibility of additional exploration when things pique your interest.

With the right mix of adventure and solitude, and socializing and recharging, you can cook up a beautiful trip, if you just remember the 2-to-1 recipe of solitude and adventure.

Jacob Marek is the Founder & Chief Explorer at IntroverTravels, where he designs life-changing, nature-inspired travel experiences for introverts. In addition to travel, he enjoys black coffee, yellow curry, and red wine. Follow him on Instagram @introvertravels and email him here to find out how to customize a mind-blowing and life changing travel adventure.

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