The Introvert's Guide to Travel: 7 Tips for Planning the Perfect, Non-Stressful Trip
Updated: May 18, 2023
AAA Travel Editor Katie Broome
Decide on the Type of Trip That’s Best for YOU
Be honest about the types of trips that you actually enjoy. Not everyone can handle cruise travel, backpacking trips or fully guided vacations—and that’s OK! There are types of trips to suit every personality; a AAA Travel Agent can be a good resource if you’re not sure where to start. Travel agents can also take some of the planning off your plate.
What destinations are good for introverts? Places that encourage introspection and solitude are safe bets—think beach retreats, mountain escapes, luxury ranches or long road trips that provide plenty of time to observe and reflect.
“Make sure your trip is one you have wanted to do and are prepared mentally for. Going to a serene mountain town at a resort will generally not offer much in the shopping or nightlife scene,” says AAA Inspector 622.
Choose Travel Companions Wisely
The people you travel with can make or break your experience, so choose travel companions wisely. If you’re an introvert who values alone time, solo travel is a great option, too, as you’ll have full control of the itinerary and can set your own pace.
“Traveling with like-minded travelers is key,” says AAA Inspector 622. “It’s important when scoping out destinations, activities and dining that you are on the same page.”
If you’re traveling with loved ones or a large group, you can still find time to recharge. Let your travel companions know that you might need some alone time during the trip—and to not take it personally when you do. Taking a walk by yourself, getting a spa treatment or relaxing on a hotel balcony are all good ways for introverts to claim some alone time when traveling with others.
Scope Out Introvert-Friendly Activities
Solitary activities like fishing, hiking, biking, walking and even snorkeling can allow introverts to process a new environment without too much stimulation. Introverts spend a lot of time in their own heads, so wide-open spaces like beaches, gardens and national parks can provide a much-needed escape.
What about city-based activities for introverts? Consider guided architecture walks, audio tours, independent discovery at art museums and window shopping. “I personally like to walk around cities to get a feel for their street scene and culture,” says AAA Content Strategy Manager Elena Moore. “I chart a route with places to stop, put on some music and walk around and people watch.”
The self-guiding walking tours printed in AAA TourBook guides are also handy. “I tear out the page and put it in my pocket,” says AAA Travel Editor Thuyvi Gates.
Set the Right Pace With Your Itinerary
The most important part of trip planning for introverts is setting the right pace with your itinerary. Introverts prefer depth over breadth, so try to focus on the quality of activities rather than the quantity, and always allow time for recharging each day.
“Remember you may be in a different time zone or altitude, and setting a balance is important. Acclimate with low-key nights on the first and last evenings of your trip,” says AAA Inspector 622.
Visits to chaotic places like the Las Vegas strip or an amusement park aren’t totally off limits for introverts either, as long as you schedule some downtime before and after. Don’t plan stressful activities back-to-back, and do a little research in advance to see when certain attractions might be less crowded (such as in the early mornings or right before closing).
Consider including one or two “stretch” experiences on your itinerary, like learning to scuba dive, hiking a new trail or taking a cooking class. Challenges can help you learn more about yourself, connect with your travel companions and make great new memories.
Take the Stress out of Transportation
Navigating unfamiliar streets or relying on public transportation can be a major stressor for any type of traveler. Try to remove as much of the guesswork as possible up front by planning out your transportation in advance.If you won’t have your own vehicle, AAA Travel Agents can help arrange private transfers. If you want even more freedom, consider bringing your own set of wheels or renting a car when you get there (discounts are available to AAA members through ). It’s always a good idea to pack printed maps or AAA TripTiks in case technology fails. You can even use Google Street View before your trip to preview driving routes or check out areas you might want to explore on foot.
As for getting to your destination, choose your seat assignments with your personality type in mind. Aisle seats offer an escape route if someone is talking too much or you just need a breather, according to AAA Inspector 16, while window seats can provide a good distraction when you aren’t feeling sociable.
Evaluate Which Hotel Amenities Matter to You
Choose accommodations with features and amenities that appeal to your personality. For introverts, sharing a room in a crowded hostel can be a major travel stressor, but cabin rentals, campsites or private hotel rooms can lend themselves to plenty of personal space. If you value alone time, consider booking a hotel room with a great view or a comfortable balcony. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying some solitude in a new location while perfecting the art of doing nothing.
“Ask for a room on a higher floor away from ice machines or elevator banks if you like peace, quiet and distance from groups that tend to congregate at the first floor lobby and elevator landings,” says AAA Inspector 569.
Hotel features like on-site spas, stellar room service menus and common areas with cozy seating can also be of interest to introverts. AAA Travel Editor Thuyvi Gates shares an additional tip for choosing accommodations: “Check if the hotel hosts a small happy hour for un-stressful mingling.”
Take Care of Yourself While Traveling
When it’s finally time to hit the road, be kind to yourself, especially if you experience any form of travel anxiety. Make a habit of checking in with yourself throughout your trip. “Be honest with your self-checks and always know your limits. Are you having fun mentally and physically?” says AAA Inspector 622. Give yourself permission to adjust plans as necessary.
For anxious travelers, consider packing reminders from home like a comfy bathrobe, a playlist of your favorite songs or your Netflix login. These reminders can provide some comfort at the end of a long travel day.
Overall, remember that the trip will be over before you know it, so stay present and focus on enjoying each moment—and its challenges—as it comes.
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AAA Travel Editor Katie Broome
Katie Broome is a AAA Travel Expert.