Vacations are supposed to be relaxing, but planning them—particularly deciding on where to go—can feel like work.
Fortunately, your personality can help you hone in on the perfect destination. Whether you’re more introverted, romantic or open to new experiences, follow this vacation guide—where to go depending on your most dominant traits, with destinations picked by expert travel writers, bloggers and airline employees who travel the world for a living.
The Romantic: Hanoi, Vietnam
If you’re looking for love, Zach Honig, editor-at-large for The Points Guy, recommends Vietnam’s ancient, high-octane capital city. Navigate the hectic, crowded streets of the Old Quarter, dodge motorcycles that zip down the roads and sample street food at the Hang Dao Night Market for the perfect opportunity to bond with a loved one. Need quiet time? Walk hand in hand around Hoan Kiem Lake, go on a boat tour of Halong Bay or watch the sunset over West Lake. Southeast Asia can be a challenging destination for first-time visitors, says Honig, noting Hanoi’s madcap nature. “Overcoming the challenge of being a tourist can bring people together,” he says. “It’s a true relationship test.”
The Extrovert: Sydney, Australia
If you’re looking for a place where you can interact with others and participate in activities galore, look no further than Sydney, says Anders Lindström, director of communications for North America for Norwegian Air. “It’s centered around the harbor for sailing, there are so many beaches to choose from and the Blue Mountains are just two hours away for hiking.” The outdoor activities, rich coffee culture and a bustling bar scene make Sydney a great place to meet other travelers and locals. Plus, it’s often cited as one of the greatest cities in the world.
The Outdoorsy Traveler: Reykjavik, Iceland
“The so-called ‘Land of Fire and Ice’ is chock-full of waterfalls, geysers, black sand beaches and other natural wonders that are jaw-dropping and best navigated by foot,” says Oneika Raymond, a travel journalist and host of the Travel Channel web series, Big City, Little Budget and One Bag and You’re Out. Hike one of Iceland’s volcanoes or glaciers, she suggests, snorkel a fissure between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates or take a Super Jeep excursion to a waterfall. No trip to Reykjavik and its surrounding area is complete without a visit to the Blue Lagoon, where travelers can check out the hot spring’s new Silica Hotel.
The Introvert: Northern Croatia
If you’re a self-proclaimed introvert, freelance travel and food journalist Marisa Robertson-Textor suggests Croatia’s northern Dalmatian Coast from Mali Lošinj on the island of Lošinj down to Zadar. You’ll find both history and natural beauty. “It’s every bit as stunning as the Split–Dubrovnik corridor, but much less touristy,” she says. Swim, dive for sea urchins, dine on perfectly fried branzino and drink in the lavender and pine-scented air, she says. “Introverts will never want to leave.”
The Cautious Traveler: Galway, Ireland
Ireland is often a good entry point to the wonders of world travel: English is the primary language, but rich Irish culture reminds visitors they’re not in Kansas anymore. Honig suggests heading to Galway, which has been called the world’s friendliest city. Timid travelers never need to worry about asking for directions or seeking recommendations for a local mom-and-pop restaurant, a pub or the best spot to grab a slice of Banoffee pie. For a faraway feel, Honig recommends driving around Ireland’s West Coast.
The Explorer: Naples, Italy
This gritty, anarchic Italian city is all about “embracing chaos and magic and a healthy dose of fear, which is my definition of romance,” says Anna Hart, author of the travel memoir Departures. By day, Naples is a charmingly rough-and-tumble town where Vespas zip by crowded maze-like alleys, art lovers ogle ancient Christian frescoes and street art and tourists line up for a taste of the pizza that changed Julia Roberts’ life in Eat Pray Love (it was at L’Antica Pizzeria Da Michele). At night, the city’s darker side can come out. While crime has fallen in recent years and tourists are generally safe, the Overseas Security Advisory Council notes that petty theft and robberies persist, which is, in part, why Naples is best for adventurous travelers well-versed in navigating big city life. Naples’ draws include delectable Neapolitan pizza, views of Mount Vesuvius, easy access to the wonders of Pompeii and gorgeous glimpses of the island of Capri—perfect for an easy, romantic day trip.
The Overworked: Cambutal, Panama
For the person who works a little too hard, the traveling podcasting team at On She Goes suggests heading to the laid back village of Cambutal, Panama, where the forest meets the Pacific Ocean. Trade society’s demands for napping in a hammock overlooking the ocean, taking surf lessons, bird watching for the endangered scarlet macaw or just relaxing and watching the waves. The travel podcasters suggest booking a room at the Sansara Yoga & Surf Resort.
The Adventurer: Rwanda, Africa
If you’re looking for an adventure, particularly one filled with wildlife, Lindström recommends Rwanda. The country has worked hard to recover from the 1994 genocide and it now has a burgeoning safari industry, with visitors heading to see the mountain gorillas in Volcanoes National Park and the Big Five (lions, rhinos, elephants, buffalo and leopards) at Akagera National Park. If you want to stay in the heart of the park, the Rwanda Tourism Board suggests booking a room at the Akagera Game Lodge, or for a more rustic, intimate experience, the Ruzizi Tented Lodge.