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Traveler vs Tourist: What’s the Difference?

October 12, 2022
Angelica Carrillo

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Tourist vs. Traveller
Traveling As a Tourist vs Traveller

The Complete Guide to Understanding the Differences Between Tourists and Travellers.

What are the Differences Between Travellers and Tourists?

The term “traveler” is often used when referring to someone who has traveled extensively and has a love for exploring new cultures. Travelers are usually the type of people who don’t just want to see the tourist attractions but want to experience the local culture.

In contrast, “tourists” are usually people whose main focus is visiting tourist attractions. It’s easy to get into tourist mode and do all the things. Check all the attractions, get on a tour and you are late, the group is leaving, go, go, go. I’ve done it and I end up more tired needing a vacation from your vacation. 

1) Difference in Attitude Toward Destination Countries or Places

The traveler is the one who knows how to get the most out of their trip. They are open to new experiences, and they know how to find hidden gems in their destination. They are not afraid of exploring new things and do not mind getting lost.

The tourist has a set itinerary that they follow, and they don’t deviate from it. They stick to the same places and do the same old things because that’s what they’re used to. They’re scared of anything unfamiliar, so they just stick with what’s safe or highly recommended by a tour guide.

2) Difference in Approach Towards Travelling -Spontaneous or Planned

Travelling can be either spontaneous or planned. Spontaneous travel is when you don’t have a set plan of where you’re going to go and when. It’s a more free-spirited way of traveling, which is why it appeals to many people. 

On the other hand, planned travel is when you already know where you want to go and when. It’s more structured and organized than spontaneous travel because there are fewer variables involved. Usually, tourists are bound to limited vacation time so planning helps make the most out of the time at the destination. 

The difference between these two approaches lies in the level of control that travelers have over their destination, itinerary, and timing of their trip. The spontaneity in spontaneous traveling allows travelers to have a sense of adventure that might not be possible with planned trips. 

But on the other hand, unplanned trips can lead to unforeseen circumstances that might make the experience less enjoyable than it could have been if they were planned out properly beforehand.

3) Difference in Spending Habits -Do They Have Restricted Budget?

The budget for a traveler or a tourist can look drastically different, as it depends on the amount of time, experiences, location, and expenses.

Tourists planning trips with a lot of time in advance can get the best prices. Or travelers making friends with locals could experience similar experiences at the price locals do. 

Tourism vs. Travel – Which One Do You Prefer to Explore New Places?

You can be both, a tourist in some places and a traveler in others. 

A quick way of knowing, which way could be best for your next trip is to ask yourself if you could pass as a local. Are you from a country nearby, or can you pick up their language and accent?

If you stand out and look like an outsider then possibly being a tourist for the first part of your trip could help you get used to the place.

How much time do you have to explore this city? If you only have a couple of days and you don’t think you’ll ever be able to come back, then be a tourist, pack everything in your schedule and have fun. But if you can stay for long periods of time, try to take it slow, wander around, and have a regular day as locals would. 

In the end is up to you, have a nice trip!

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Fueled by passion, and too much coffee. I'm here to help ambitious founders, and entrepreneurs create their perfect business. Grow your business, your network and your net worth.

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Hi! I'm Angie and I'm here to help women who are ambitious create their perfect business and grow a bigger network and net worth. I run a blog where I share my tips on business growth, investing, travel tips, feminism, and life in general.

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Fueled by passion, and too much coffee. I'm here to help ambitious founders,  and entrepreneurs create their perfect business. Grow your business, your network and your net worth.
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