Skip Navigation

Is there a difference between a "tourist" and a "traveler?'

Travel Forums General Talk Is there a difference between a "tourist" and a "traveler?'

1. Posted by bryangrey (Budding Member 38 posts) 10y

Hello. I am curious to hear some thoughts on this. I happen to think that there is a difference and several variances. I think on one extreme you have the typical "American Tourist" who brings family along to Disneyland, Las Vegas, or some place like that. This individual will never leave the US and is content with that. (I know a lot of people like this) Then you have levels off that, where some might be bold and venture to Cancun or Cozumel or maybe even Jamaica. Great places don't get me wrong. But this tourist will insist on an American buffet breakfast and probably never leave the all inclusive resort. (Why one would go traveling only to look for the things they have at home are beyond me)Then you have a tourist who may do those things but will go way out on a limb and travel to London, Paris, Rome etc. But that's about it. When you tell someone like this you want to go to Laos or Vietnam they might say "Why on earth would you go there?" Then you have the next level. This tourist will go anywhere. Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe, North Africa, Middle East etc.. They may go to the touristy areas but do get outside and see the real country. Then you have diehards who go anywhere, see anything, eat anything, sleep anywhere, climb mountains, cross the Sahara, travel for months. The true traveler. Soakin' it up like a sponge. I think I am making my point. Honestly I'm not trying to sterotype, but lets be honest nobody wants to be called a "typical tourist." I admit that I am a tourist but I also consider myself a traveler. Because I want to go to Southeast Asia and travel across Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia etc.. Remember just wanting to go to a destination is the start of something powerful.

2. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 10y

You might find this thread interesting:

Traveller vs. Tourist

3. Posted by bryangrey (Budding Member 38 posts) 10y

Thanks Isadora!

Post 4 was removed by a moderator
5. Posted by penna (Full Member 110 posts) 10y

tourists just have more money and less time

6. Posted by dan-d-man (Budding Member 6 posts) 10y

Isadora, I think your post makes a very valid point..one I personally agree with totally. But I think there is a factor to this that we seem to have missed and that is one of "experience".

By this i mean we all grow up with given views handed down as grow up, no matter where in the world we come from. As children our view of the world is shaped basically by what we hear around us and see on TV..and sadly we grow with these impressions deeply embedded within us. It is only when we find ourselves questioning our own surroundings that we tend to looko outwards and see things with different eyes.

This phase in life happens a lot sooner for some than it does for most..meaning that most never really grasp the reality of the whorld in which they live..instead they continue to live in a bubble, with a view of other countries based souly upon second hand information and hand-me-down impressions of other coultures other than then their own.

The truly sad part about all of this is that people like this never get to understand that at the heart, we all all alike in more ways than we might care to admit..no matter what the color of our skin may be or upon which part of this tiny globe we live.

Just my huble thoughts on this..

All the best..

dan-d-man

[ Edit: Edited at Jul 20, 2006 4:18 PM by dan-d-man ]

7. Posted by Gelli (Travel Guru 2457 posts) 10y

Yes, there is, but in my view some of the people who think of themselves as tourists are actually travellers, and vice versa. So it's not an easy split or way of defining them. And it is also possible to be both. Or neither. And I really doubt that helps, sorry!

[ Edit: Edited at Jul 21, 2006 9:54 AM by Gelli ]