What I have found is that INTJs need for efficiency and optimization tends to expand to how they travel as well. Which means, the pairing could be either unbelievably magical or downright difficult. So what personality types travel best with an INTJ, typically a fellow NT. Not to say our SF or NF friends can’t work, but it certainly requires significantly more effort on both parts. I’ve never met an ST (that I know of), so can’t really say how they’d fall in.
An INTJ focused on maximization and optimization of the day, will not be found sleeping in. That’s the first thing to know. If the sun is up, the INTJ is up. There’s a day to be had. I’d be curious to understand if other INTJs also value breakfast highly or if that’s just a Sara thing. Anyhow, although we’re insane planners, I can only speak for myself here, but I tend to plan the details of the trip once we arrive and settle in. I’ll usually have a high level plan of what to do, though as soon as we start talking details watch out, the brain starts creating all sorts of connections for how to create the most optimal path between all sites and the most efficient ordering – times of day, days of the week, etc. Probably why we INTJs defer until later, because once the processing starts, it’s a path we can’t stop and one that’s exhausting but has perfectly wonderful results that create a flawless experience.
Anyhow, when it comes to seeing the sites, we tend to be more information consumers. You won’t usually find an INTJ sitting in a coffee shop getting to know the locals. Does it happen, sure, but is it the norm, no. Can we be found ingesting all sorts of data points about history, architecture, and culture, absolutely. Which means we’re historical sites people, really anything that provides data and information about where we’re at. Strangely one might say, that could be done by talking to locals, however, that doesn’t seem as efficient and it also seems biased and subjective which discredits the value of the data, hence leading us back to historical sites… haha, yes, part of why we’re either a love hate travel companion!
I’ve found there are three forms of travel that works the best for INTJs – (1) with a significant other, (2) solo, and (3) group. I’m sure the latter seems counter, but hear me out. In a group, your INTJ can politely hide from unwanted social situations or chatty people, they can also sneak out of activities they don’t enjoy without anyone really caring because there’s enough other people for the group to do stuff with. The key here is having friends that understand the INTJ, especially the female INTJ, is different, it’s not personal, but in the same way she’s a little different at home, she’s a little different abroad. She’s not into social scenes, talking about gossip, getting male attention, shopping, etc. She’s also not into sharing beds with other women, or clothes, or make-up, or really anything, she meticulously packed what she needed for the trip and expects the same of others.
One might argue, well the INTJ should be more flexible and more accommodating. Really you have no idea how much they’d love to be that too. Do you know how much easier life would be if we could master that. Unfortunately in the same way many people are designed to be people pleasers innately in-tune with making people happy to be around them, the INTJ is so deeply wired in efficiency and optimization it’s just not possible to willingly and happily adopt a less efficient, less optimal plan especially if extrapolated out shows other key priorities will be missed if the ordering is done in the inefficient way. It doesn’t make sense for the INTJ to give up stuff for no reason. The best course of action is to just trust your INTJ, chances are they’ve more than overthought how to do everything on your priority list (they are extremely selfless). If that’s not possible, expect bumps…it’s like telling a people pleaser to be rude, they can’t. Telling an INTJ to be inefficient, they can’t.
I feel like this has come off as INTJs are a pain in the bum to travel with and that’s just not true. It can be true with an incompatible companion, but pair them with another NT and it’s like Dynamo. They’re like an explosion of awesomeness destined to see as much of a city in as little time while maximizing enjoyment. Some say if an INTJ is racing around they aren’t enjoying, however, that’s just not the case, seeing maximum amounts of stuff and ingesting the largest amount of data in the shortest amount of time is pure enjoyment for an INTJ. For them, the planning process was a puzzle, the seeing process was watching their puzzle come to life, it doesn’t get much better than that.
If you are an NT and you’ve never travelled with another NT, I highly recommend it. It changed my entire travel companion experience from something I was nervous about into something I craved. It’s probably no coincidence that my best travel partner is an ENTJ, we’re like travel soulmates it is so perfect.