Are you a traveler or a tourist? Yes, there actually is a pretty significant difference when it comes to those two terms. The travel world has their own dictionary just like everything else is this world.
What does it mean to be a traveler?
When you are a traveler, you are someone who will place them self almost in a locals body. They will put his or herself in the local culture. The traveler will explore the less traveled road and areas. They will also go to places where tourism doesn’t pay for the economy. So for example, you will probably not see a traveler at the White House taking photos, you will see them hiking a mountain or exploring a town that’s not a popular place. When traveling, he or she will really try and talk with the locals and really get in tune to what its like to actually live there. A traveler will learn and experience new things rather than lay on a beach (for most of their vacation, we all need some R & R).
What a tourist does.
The locals can spot a tourist a hundred miles away! The tourist will be carrying a camera, a map, a guidebook, and wears the same clothes they would wear at home (oh and do not for get the fanny pack). They will stay in their comfort bubble by not learning the language or not learn any of the phrases, easy ones, such as where is the restroom or can I have a beer? The tourists will mostly stick to the major cities, rarely going off the beaten path.
How to be a better traveler?
If you would prefer to blend more with a cities culture, find where the locals gather, maybe like in the town square or a local pub and spend some time there. Talk and engage with the locals of all ages. Some things you might want to have a conversation about:
- Their Culture
- Common Interests
- Older/Young Generations
- Let them tell you stories (Be a good listener, you may learn a thing or two)
Also, do not avoid popular attractions just the White House. Those popular attractions are amazing and we know they will be packed with tourist, but you should still experience them as well.
A Better Tourist…
If you enjoy taking photos and seeing the attractions a city has to offer, then get down with your bad self! But if you can blend a little more with the culture try and do so, you will get a little more respect from the locals. Maybe do a little research and find out how the locals dress and pack that type of clothing in your suitcase. Find some locals and ask them what are some of the places you should really visit — leave the guide book at home! Experience simple things like the locals do, use their local transportation or travel by foot, instead of taking guided tours or boarding tour buses.
When you ready to book an amazing vacation or honeymoon, contact us at Simply Dream Travel!