When you’re planning a solo vacation, things are pretty simple. There are no conflicting opinions, no one to coordinate or compromise with. And you can do exactly what YOU want to do. In fact, the number of solo travelers is rising. Visa’s 2015 Global Travel Intentions Study found that the number of travelers going solo increased from 15% in 2013 to 24% in 2015. And increasing numbers of solo travelers are women.
However, the majority of vacations still occur with family and friends. In addition to opinions about cost, price point and type of vacation, personality differences can determine the type of vacation people want. They also play a role in how people plan their vacation.
But travel is proven to make people happier, so what’s the best way to plan a vacation without frustrating your travel partner?
How to plan a vacation without the frustration
Think about planning a vacation like working on a project. You and at least one other person have a goal to accomplish (a little R & R away from your current location). But if you have different personalities you plan to get to that goal in different ways.
This is especially true if the people in the group have different preferences for Judging and Perceiving.
But here’s the good news. When working together, these differences help the group get things done in the best way possible if you know how to work with those differences. Read below how your preference for Judging or Perceiving play out when planning a vacation. (If you’ve already started vacation planning and it’s stressing you out, find de-stress tips here.)
If you have a prefer Judging, you focus on closure. You want to put a plan in place for getting the project (vacation plan) done. Once those who prefer Judging have the plan they usually want to follow it and avoid last-minute changes (especially ones that could cost them money).
If you prefer Perceiving, you focus on how the project (vacation planning) unfolds. You gather new information or possibilities along the way. Those preferring Perceiving usually don’t mind deviating from the plan or dealing with last-minute changes.
With these different styles, sometimes people with Judging and Perceiving preferences often drive each other crazy plan anything. Including vacations.
But you can turn crazy-frustrating into crazy-good by remembering each other’s personalities when working together.
How different personalities like to plan
You have two people with different personalities working together planing a vacation during the summer next month. Whoever has the Judging preference tends to start planning early and work systematically. They’ll likely have their portion of the planning at least halfway complete one week into the month. Those with a Perceiving preference start planning closer to the deadline. They like to work spontaneously and in bursts of effort. They may have none or only a few items completed one week into the month.
Then, they meet about the vacation at the end of week one to see how things are going. The Judging preference person gets frustrated because the perceiving preference person isn’t halfway done. They see them as dropping the ball. The Perceiving preference person wonders why the person with the Judging preference is expecting work so early. They feel like the other person is being unnecessarily controlling.
With MBTI personality type as a framework, however, the pair could negotiate their differences earlier in the vacation planning process.
Use personality differences to your advantage
The pair identifies specific items that need to be done one week into the month (decide on final travel dates, buy the flights, find the hotel room or AirBnB). The key word here is need.
Because sometimes those with a preference for Judging want to have something done early, even though it might not actually be essential. If there are items that truly need to be done by the one-week point, then the pair could set a deadline to meet in one week to go over them.
That sets up a plan for those with a Judging preference and a deadline for those with a Perceiving preference.
Then the Judging preference people need to let the Perceiving preference people do their part of their project in their own way. Maybe this means that the person who prefers Perceiving is working on parts of the vacation like a list of potential activities or restaurants. Things that don’t have to be nailed down or decided on now, but that are options for the vacation. People preferring perceiving don’t like to have to stick to a strict schedule and like to be open to new information. So anything with variables to choose later work well for Perceiving types.
Just remember, self-awareness plays a big part in communicating the differences that make working with anyone else (coworker, friend, significant other) go smoother. And everyone wants to plan a vacation without frustrating your travel partner and have a smooth vacation, right?
Not sure about your MBTI personality type?
Take the only official, research-backed Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) assessment online here.