How does a traveler differ from a tourist?



The goal of a traveler on his travels is to dive into the culture of the visited country, indeed, in a certain way as much as possible become a part of it. His main aim is to get to know them from the inside. To be accepted and to be perceived as far as possible as a local, to get access to their world and to be accepted as a member of the community.

It differs in this from a typical tourist, whose goal of getting to know a country can only be superficial because of the limited time. A tourist visits foreign places only for a limited duration, in the form of a holiday. A traveler, on the other hand, will stay in the foreign country for a long time.


The duration of the stay has several consequences. While the tourist has planned a certain budget for the trip, and depending on it, it can be more or less comfortable in the holiday destination, for example temporarily staying in hotels and restaurants and visiting tourist attractions, the traveler will try to get on with as small a budget as possible, Instead of staying in expensive hotels, he will prefer cheap hostels and private rooms. Maybe he will even try to get a job abroad in order to be able to cover the costs of the long stay and at the same time to merge even more with the local society.

Out of comfort zone

While the tourist also enjoys the comforts of his homeland at the holiday resort and, for example, has only access to fake cuisine, the traveler makes a serious search for the genuine, unadulterated. Just as the tourist will mainly move on the out-of-the-way paths and even without a local guide, the traveler will explore his surroundings with his leisure. He will consider it important to make friends and acquaintances with local residents. Through his contacts he will be able to get to know the real regional cuisine in a private circle between local people. While sharing his life with the population and constantly and exclusively surrounding him, he will be able to reveal the character of a country and the temperament of its inhabitants. In the best case he will also be able to authorize the language of the country.

Picture taking

A traveler does not take photos, at least not as a souvenir or proof of his stay. He is not concerned with superficiality. To report the survivors of his travels is secondary. While the tourist leaves his home only for short detours, the traveler usually breaks all of his tents to completely rebuild them somewhere else. He can be compromised in a certain place, while tourists unconsciously try to overcrow their own expectations. The emphasis is probably on the word “unconscious”, because most people do not want to be seen as “stupid tourists”, but as travelers. A true traveler is, however, only if one leaves his complete everyday life and passes completely unconditionally through the world. Both are always out of self-interest. Everyone wants to see something, learn something, broaden his horizons – the one more, the other less. Guests are all. The traveler, however, develops a bathing suit.