The Introverts Travel Survival Guide
10 Easy Ways for Introverts to Recharge on the Road
Podcast Episode # 21
by Brad Kammlah
In this Episode, You'll Learn:
- How to tell if you’re an introvert
- Challenges introverts face while traveling
- Why introverts are amazing
- How to build your energy during your trip
- 10 Ways to Recharge on the road
Travel Stresses Us Out Differently
We all know that travel can be stressful for all of us. If your flight is delayed or you're stuck in travel it will likely stress anybody out.
But there are some things that stress us out differently depending on our personality type. If you're an introvert then the crowds and constant noise can be more stressful than if your an extrovert. And extroverts are more likely to get stressed when they aren't able to connect with family and friends when traveling.
But if you recognize which personality type you, then you can implement some strategies unique to you that can go a long way to make your trips better.
In this episode, we're going to cover the characteristics of introverts and strategies that can help them recharge on the road and in next week's episode, we'll cover extroverts and specific strategies they can use to connect on the road.
Are You an Introvert or Extrovert?
The easiest way to determine whether you're an introvert or extrovert is how you recharge. Introverts recharge by being alone whereas Extroverts recharge by being around other people. It's really more about how you get more energy not whether you're shy or social.
These personality types are also more of a spectrum. No one is entirely introverted or entirely extroverted. We all have some elements of both introverts and extroverts, but most of us fall a little more towards one or the other.
It doesn't really matter whether you're an introvert or extrovert, they are both great. What does matter is what you do with that information to build in better strategies for you to recharge so that not only are your trips better but your life is better as well.
- Energy expands through reflection
- Take pleasure in solitary activities (reading, writing, working alone)
- Overwhelmed my too much stimulation from social gatherings
- Nemesis is Crowds
Or simply listen to stand up comic Mark Normand talking about what it's like to be an introvert.
Or another way to see if you're an introvert is if these Introvert Unite t-shirts resonate at all with you with the Introvert Slogan.
Introverts Unite! Occasionally in small groups for very limited periods of time.
Introvert Theme Song:
Or do the lyrics of this song, Leave Me Alone by Calypso Rose resonate with you at all?
Leave me alone. I'm Going Home.
Introverts are Awesome
If any of these things seem to resonate then congratulations you are an introvert! And I want to tell you that Introverts are incredible.
Unfortunately there is a lot of misinformation out there that introverts are nerdy or antisocial but introverts are responsible for some huge contributions to society. Just check out this Ted Talk: The Power of Introverts by Susan Cain where she talks about all the wonderful things about being an introvert.
Problems Facing Introverted Travelers
Travel can be particularly hard on introverts. Since introverts recharge by being alone, this can be a challenge when it can be difficult to find some alone time when you travel. As soon as you walk out your front door, people are around. And then when you get to the airport, there are people everywhere. Then your tightly squeezed next to people on the plane. If you're traveling for work then you're likely to be meeting up with people and then having dinner with them as well and on and on.
And while this may sound amazing to extroverts, this can really drain introverts and leave them exhausted. Even if introverts enjoy these activities and these people it is still likely to tire them out and they'll need to find someway to recharge. And if you don't then when you finally get home it's not unusual to want to curl up in a ball in a dark room by yourself for a while.
This may be a good time to mention that I am actually an introvert. And this is often a surprise to people because I love people, I love teaching and podcasting and public speaking, but these activities tire me out and I have to have some alone time to recharge. In fact I used to come home from trips completely burnt out and couldn't figure out why I was so tired. And it wasn't until I started implementing some of these strategies to recharge on the road that I was able to return home not completely worn out.
10 Easy Ways for Introverts to Recharge on the Road
1 Recharge During Your Trip
The first strategy is to recharge throughout your trip instead of waiting till you get home. I used to go-go-go on my business trips, being completely extroverted all the time and by the time I got home I was exhausted. A much better approach is to continuously find time throughout your trip to be introverted and recharge so you feel better and have more energy.
2 Find a Quiet Gate at the Airport
Airports can be overwhelming for anybody, but they can be particularly stressful for introverts. So instead of waiting for your flight at your gate with the hundreds of other people, why not walk down a few gates to one that's empty? This way you can have a little more space and recharge a little bit and then head down to your gate a few minutes before they board.
3 Pick a Window Seat
Window seats are perfect for introverts because there's only 1 person next to you instead of two. Even this small change can help make your flight a little less tiring if you're an introvert.
4 Use the Airplane Do Not Disturb Sign – Wear Your Earbuds
Back in Episode 19 about Flight Focus, we talked about strategies that can help you be as productive as possible when you fly. And one of the strategies we talked about was using the “Airplane Do Not Disturb Sign” which is simply wearing your headphones so that people won't interrupt you while you're working.
But for introverts they serve another purpose which is to minimize the small talk with your neighbors that can be draining for you.
5 Rent a Car
While I often like to take public transportation in large cities, it can be draining being around the crowds if you're an introvert. One strategy that can help is to rent a car. This allows you some alone time to and from the office and the airport, which can go a long way to help you recharge.
6 Book a Different Hotel than your Colleagues
One challenge of business travel is the extremely long days with colleagues. And while extroverts can love this overtime interaction, introverts can find it tiring. And since business travelers often go from the office to a team dinner to drinks back at the hotel, it can be hard for introverts to get any of that alone time.
So instead of staying at the same hotel as the rest of your colleagues, why not stay in a hotel across the street? Not only does this give you an excuse to peel away after dinner since you're headed to your own hotel but those short walks by yourself can be another way for you to recharge at the end of an extroverted day.
7 Eat Alone
Business trips often involve eating together and while this can be great to build stronger team relationships, it can sometimes be too much time together for introverts. So one tip here is that if you know you're meeting colleagues later for dinner, then see if you can find a way to eat your lunch alone. Maybe go to a different sandwich place or something.
This small break in the middle of the day can go a long way for introverts to fill back up and power through the afternoon.
8 Eat in a Booth
And if you are eating alone, another strategy to make restaurants less overwhelming is to eat in a booth. Instead of a table out in the middle of everything, a booth can offer some privacy and a little less noise which can be very nice for introverts.
9 Take 5 Minute Quick Charges Every Day
Most cellphones now have a quick charge feature that when your battery is low, if you plug it in, it will recharge very quickly in just a few minutes.
Introverts can use this same strategy by taking a few breaks during the day or on their trip where you just take 5 minutes or so take a walk or be by yourself. And doing just a few of these can leave you much more energized at the end of the day than if you just powered through.
10 Plan Your Favorite Introverted Activities
The last tip is to make sure to build in some dedicated introverted activities during your trip. When I travel I like to stop at Barnes and Noble just to browse some books for a while. It's a great, quiet space to walk around and get back in my head and recharge.
So if you're an introvert, pick a few activities that you enjoy doing and be sure to plan them into your trip. This is particularly important if you are going to a conference or networking event since these are almost entirely extroverted.
Go Ahead Recharge!
Embrace your personality type on your next trip and try out some of these strategies to help make your trip even better!
And now that you know all about Introverts, check out Episode 22: Extroverts Travel Survival Guide so that you can get up to speed on their type and how best to connect on the road.