Differences between Tourists and Travelers

A tourist is always a traveler, but not all travelers are tourists. Both travel to a different place, get away from their so-called normal life and yet are completely different. There are several differences between tourists and travelers. None is superior to the other, but serves the individual purposes of respective people.

traveler vs tourist

Here are some key differences between tourists and travelers:


Tourists generally go on a holiday or a vacation. Travelers go just for the sake of traveling. While both are away from the places they call “home”, the rationale behind the same accounts for much difference. Also, tourists generally go in groups, the idea being enjoying with their friends and family. Travelers, on the other hand prefer going solo or with maximum 1 or 2 people, so they can travel.


Tourists generally have a set schedule, and they work according to it. They wouldn’t extend their vacation just because they are feeling good being in that place. While, travelers would happily do that. Tourists have a planned itinerary and they fix all their travel plans much before they go. Travelers embrace the spontaneity and believe in their instincts. That’s what keeps them going.

Accommodation & Commute:

Tourists prefer enjoying their holiday by staying in luxurious hotels. They usually commute by some pre-booked taxi which was included in their travel package or other cabs. Travelers around the globe would rather spend the money of that 1 night in a luxurious hotel by spending 4 nights in some tent beside a river at some hill station. They would prefer taking public transport because that would enable them to connect to the local people.

Road less traveled:

While tourists seldom prefer taking the road less traveled, travelers get an adrenaline rush out of it. Tourists, as we have stated above, have a set itinerary. They are just observers of the already explored beauty. Travelers are the explorers. Travelers are the one who explore places. Then people establish settlements and make it apt for tourists.

Salt vs. Sugar:

Salt dissolves in still water, while sugar doesn’t. Tourists are like sugar, because they don’t really blend with the culture and the locals where they go. Tourists don’t really talk much to the locals, except to ask for directions maybe, when Google Maps aren’t working. Travelers on the other hand are salt in this scenario. They go out of their way to connect with the local people and their culture, to actually become a part of them. They would spend hours listening to their stories. Tourists would prefer eating what’s familiar to their tongue, travelers would try the local cuisine without giving a second thought.

Pictures and Statuses:

While tourists prefer taking pictures and uploading statuses to flaunt their vacation, travelers post them to inspire others to travel. Travelers after feeling that zeal want others to feel the same.

Like we said, among tourists and travelers, none are superior. They just do what they want to, and choose what caters to their own needs. But let’s face it, being a tourist or a traveler is much better than being stuck in a place.

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