Travel vs Vacation

Travel Forums General Talk Travel vs Vacation

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1. Posted by JetlagWarriors (Budding Member 19 posts) 2w Star this if you like it!

Here's an excerpt from my daily blog I wrote today.

START
Travel is not vacation man! They are related for sure; but not the same. Cousins, maybe. Vacation is about relaxation... sitting on a beach being catered to. Lots of drinks, lots of food, lots of indulgence. On a vacation you probably wouldn't want to lift a finger. You would want to be looked after from start to finish. From first class flights to 5 star rooms. It's 'me-time', to relax and unwind. It's something you really couldn't do for more than a week or two. You would head home and feel refreshed and ready to get back to real life because you've had some a nice break from the hustle and bustle.

Travel is not like that at all! Travel is about adventure and exploration! Staying in cheap accommodations, taking methods of transportation that are as unsafe as they are awesome, feeling culture shock, trying to figure out where the dang bus stop is -- in the rain, under time pressure and with a quickly deteriorating map! There is certainly no one pampering you when you travel, in fact you feel out of place quite a bit. It's like: high level and often ridiculous problem solving with potentially fantastic results. Big cities, small towns, mountains to climb and lakes to swim in... and certainly no swim-up bars! Geez last week we stayed in a place where the shower head was directly in front and on top of the toilet. Talk about peeing in the shower!! Travel is about... "getting lost and finding yourself" and all those cliches that are over used. Travel is addictive and tiring and confusing and overwhelming and fantastic and certainly not vacation!
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This thought of travel vs vacation came up because a friend of mine messages me : I can't believe you're on vacation for an entire year!!

I thought this might bring up a little discussion and I'm curious what you guys think.

2. Posted by Old Man At (Budding Member 49 posts) 2w Star this if you like it!

Haha, I am not sure you want to go there...

I posted a similar thing once under a forum entry "Planning" without putting any preference to one or the other but was basically called a snob. So good luck ;)

3. Posted by Andrew Mack (Respected Member 657 posts) 2w Star this if you like it!

Quoting Old Man At

I posted a similar thing once under a forum entry "Planning" without putting any preference to one or the other but was basically called a snob.

That may have been what you intended to say, but you didn't actually say it. You put it in a very different way...

4. Posted by berner256 (Moderator 1126 posts) 2w Star this if you like it!

Yes, you can be an adventurer while on vacation. I see that all the time in my global travels. Take for example tour groups that hike or bicycle in the Himalayas. They stay in tea houses or basic lodges (many without western conveniences) or camp; and contend with dust storms, etc. A couple recently spent their school holiday hiking in Ethiopia's desolate Danakil Depression, including the Erte Ale volcano. They also traveled to Sudan, Djibouti, Eritrea and Somaliland. We can do many things during our free time, including adventure travel.

I applaud those who still work for a living yet take the time and effort to travel as much as they can. Even more impressive are those who take their youngsters along.

I went this weekend to a meeting of the Travelers' Century Club and saw some members in their 80s who primarily are traveling now on cruises. Yes, it's easier and more relaxing than hiking in Gabon to see lowland gorillas. But they continue a lifelong passion to see as much of the world as possible. They are travelers in every sense of the word.

5. Posted by road to roam (Full Member 47 posts) 2w 1 Star this if you like it!

Quoting berner256

I applaud those who still work for a living yet take the time and effort to travel as much as they can. Even more impressive are those who take their youngsters along.

The debate about travel being different than vacation is a good one, no doubt. To the locals, however, we are all simply the same - tourists.

6. Posted by ToonSarah (Travel Guru 832 posts) 2w Star this if you like it!

I don't believe it's as black and white as you suggest. Someone could fit closer to your description of 'vacation' - taking a two week break, staying in a decent hotel, etc. - yet still spend their time more adventurously than sitting on a beach or by a pool. I know I have! Likewise, it's possible to travel with adventure and discovery in mind but yet allow yourself the comfort of a good hotel at night and a delicious meal.

Into which of your polarised groups would you put the person who has only three weeks to spare and who travels in a fairly undeveloped (for tourism) country but with the support of a guide? Where would you put the older couple on a walking holiday who have their bags transported between each of the comfortable guesthouses they stay in? Where would you put someone on a photographic safari in Africa, a one week cookery or language course in Central America, a road trip across the US on Route 66, a small-ship cruise in the Arctic? None of these people face the challenges you ascribe to 'proper travel' but each of them is doing something that for them represents adventure.

Edits to correct typos!

[ Edit: Edited on 04-Feb-2019, at 07:28 by ToonSarah ]

7. Posted by goodfish (Full Member 154 posts) 2w 2 Star this if you like it!

LOL. Sounds like another version of the silly "traveller versus tourist" argument that's been beaten TO DEATH on travel forums since forums have been around, I swear. Given a nickel for every one of those I've seen ("Lordy, here we go again?!!") I'd shamelessly be booking first-class plane tickets for long-distance hauls, no question.

For the heck of it, I looked in a dictionary for the definition of "vacation":

"A period of time to relax or travel for pleasure instead of doing your usual work or school activities."

Pretty much covers everything from a "staycation" to something more exotic, hmmmm? Different 'pleasure' strokes for different folks. I'd love to link one of the better blog pieces I've seen on the traveller v.s. tourist or holiday-maker/vacationer v.s. traveller subject but the mods might understandably be twitchy about that so I'll just quote this bit of it:

"We are all village idiots; outsiders, people who do not belong but have been welcomed in anyway. That is exactly what makes travel beautiful. We get to see a glimpse of different lives. We get to see new faces, experience new smells and flavours. We get to do, see and eat whatever and wherever we want, even if it is a cheeseburger in the resort café. Everything about travel is a personal experience – not a competition. People will explore the world and themselves in different ways. There is no wrong or right or better or worse. So instead of spending all your energy trying to be the most un-touristy traveller out there, how about just enjoying travel for what it is; a chance to escape the rut of daily life, learn about yourself, see the world, and have a good time."

Editing to add: one doesn't necessarily even have to travel far from home to have an adventure. Something new and different might be a mere ramble on foot from your house. ;)

[ Edit: Edited on 04-Feb-2019, at 07:46 by goodfish ]

8. Posted by road to roam (Full Member 47 posts) 2w Star this if you like it!

We take vacations from our travels by settling down for a month or a few weeks rather than move about so much. We once passed through a city in Mexico (Ciudad del Maiz) that offered NOTHING for travelers (or folks on vacation) but we ended up staying for several days. It was refreshing to not have any expectations, and for locals to not expect anything from us. Downtime is good. If we constantly aim our arrows too high, they tend to sail over the target.

9. Posted by ToonSarah (Travel Guru 832 posts) 2w Star this if you like it!

Quoting goodfish

I'd love to link one of the better blog pieces I've seen on the traveller v.s. tourist or holiday-maker/vacationer v.s. traveller subject but the mods might understandably be twitchy about that so I'll just quote this bit of it:

"We are all village idiots; outsiders, people who do not belong but have been welcomed in anyway. That is exactly what makes travel beautiful. We get to see a glimpse of different lives. We get to see new faces, experience new smells and flavours. We get to do, see and eat whatever and wherever we want, even if it is a cheeseburger in the resort café. Everything about travel is a personal experience – not a competition. People will explore the world and themselves in different ways. There is no wrong or right or better or worse. So instead of spending all your energy trying to be the most un-touristy traveller out there, how about just enjoying travel for what it is; a chance to escape the rut of daily life, learn about yourself, see the world, and have a good time."

I love this Kate - spot on! I suggest you try linking that blog as I don't think the mods would have a problem with it if it's not promotional/political/inflammatory etc :)

10. Posted by AndyF (Moderator 1377 posts) 2w Star this if you like it!

Quoting ToonSarah

I love this Kate - spot on! I suggest you try linking that blog as I don't think the mods would have a problem with it if it's not promotional/political/inflammatory etc :)

There's probably more concern with quoting it than linking to it, as quoting it raises copyright issues.

[ Edit: Edited on 04-Feb-2019, at 08:21 by AndyF ]