The debate on whether one’s a tourist or traveler seems to be never ending. Travelers and tourists are both people who enjoy traveling to different destinations because they like to see something new. Both love the journey, but have difference expectations of the new place they going to. Some people use these words interchangeably so here are some main differences between travelers and tourists.
Travelers want to talk and interact with as many locals as possible in order to fully experience the destination’s culture. Travelers can be heard trying to speak some words and phrases they learned in the local language to communicate best with the native people.
Tourists will have conversations with locals, but they don’t seek out these interactions the same way travelers do. They might run into someone who is from their home country, and grab a bite to eat with them or ask them what they saw during their trip.
Travelers want to immerse themselves in the culture of their destinations as much as possible. They want to experience activities that locals take part in and want to get off the beaten path. They will research the way the locals dress and pack accordingly.
Tourists prefer to stick to areas of town where people might speak their same language or where there are famous sites to see. They understand there might be crowds at the places they want to visit, but they know it will be worth the wait.
Travelers are usually living in the moment and only capture the best moments of their trips on camera. They are more concerned with taking in the sights, smells, and sounds around them. Traveler’s pictures will remind them of the beauty and experiences of their trip once they are back home.
Tourist never let their phone or camera leave their hand. They might pack a selfie stick so they can take pictures of themselves in front of everything they see. They never miss a shot and they have tons of pictures to comb through and show friends when they get home.
Travelers enjoy trying out new types of food, just because they love to embrace the local culture. They’ll ask a local where to eat and try something on the menu they’ve never had before.
Tourist are more comfortable eating food that they know they like. If they see a chain restaurant, they are happy to be surrounded by the comforts of home.
Travelers want to see major cities and landmarks, but want to spend the majority of their trip exploring smaller towns that have more locals. It doesn’t bother them that none of their friends have ever heard of Collodi, Italy or Cluny, France, they want to go see what those towns are all about!
Tourists spend the majority of their trip combing through the famous cities of the world. They don’t mind spending most of their trip in Rome or Paris if that means they get to see everything!
Travelers are always on hunt for something to bring home, but they usually won’t find what they are looking for at typical souvenir shop. They might buy a refrigerator magnet for a friend, but they are searching through farmer’s markets and local boutiques for uniquely patterned kitchenware or a scarf made by hand with local fabric.
Tourists also love souvenirs and they can usually find what they want in a gift shop. Tourists tend to have a collections of keychains or coffee mugs from every city our country they visited and are looking for the perfect one to add to their collection.
A traveler’s main goal on their trip is to learn and experience new things.
Tourist’s goal is to have a relaxing break from their hectic everyday life and to see famous sites. A tourist motive is to roam their destination so they can see everything on their list.
No matter if you’re a traveler or a tourist, there is only one way you should travel– whichever way makes you happy! As long as you are having fun, respecting the destination and having the time of your life, you are traveling the correct way.