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Hoppers and Ploppers?  What's this about?  When you plan a vacation, spend some time thinking about  the purpose of the vacation. Some people want to explore and hop from location to location.  Others are browsers and want to combine exploration with rest and relaxation.  This latter group likes to "plop".  Read our article to see which description suits you. 


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Travel Advice - Vacation strategies, should you be a “hopper” or a “plopper”?

Some people see vacations as an opportunity to “explore” an area and look for a place they can establish as a base of operations.

  • Once settled, they scour the area surrounding the base during day trips focused on the sights that interest them (historical, scenic, shopping, etc.).
    • An example of this strategy would be to select a hotel on one of the Hawaiian Islands and then touring the island from that base.
  • For areas with a larger geographical extent, you might select to operate out of two bases to reduce driving time and avoid moving to a new hotel every day.

Others travelers would scrap the base concept, become vagabonds, and lodge somewhere new every evening.


Which is the right strategy for you and how do you reach that decision? Start with the following question "What it the purpose of the vacation?"

A common purpose of vacations is to provide play, rest, and relaxation.

  •  If this is your response, be a “plopper” and elect the strategy that lets you have a base camp that you can use to visit various surrounding attractions.
  • On days that you are tired of touring, just stay at the base and enjoy relaxing.
  • The advantages of “plopping” are that you do not have to pack and unpack everyday and that you can stay in during inclement weather or take a snooze whenever you want.

Another common response defining the purpose vacationing is"…to discover and experience places that I have not seen before".

  • If this mirrors your response, become a "hopper” and lay out a "path of places" to visit.
  • If you are determined to see a lot and love to drive, then, plan on staying a new location every evening and driving a path that allows you to visit the types of places that interest you.
    • Note that the “Path of Places” or “PoP” is a demanding vacation requiring a lot of "togetherness" if traveling with one or more companions.
    • In addition, PoP vacations usually require lots of driving and  can result, in a diet that does not take advantage of any place to eat other than those that are close to the road.
    • Take a little extra time and eat what the locals eat where the locals eat.  
    • Experiencing regional cuisine is one of the best parts of travel.

Whether you choose to be a “hopper or a plopper”, make sure that the trip you are planning fits your lifestyle.


  • If you like being at home and knowing where your socks are, you might not enjoy living out of a suitcase while stopping at a new hotel every night.
    •  Maybe, you would rather plop at a resort, put your stuff in a dresser and avoid all that packing, repacking, and finding your socks.
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